Today’s students.
Tomorrow’s leaders.

Hastings Trail to Majestic  Pilot Peak

 
 
 
 
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THE CROSSROADS OF THE WEST

Dedicated to Heritage & Preservation

Travel back in time and experience the adventure as three interns retrace the fateful steps of the Donner-Reed Party, traveling the ninety-mile waterless stretch of the California Trail known as Hastings Cutoff. This alternate route included this section across the southern end of the Great Salt Lake Salt Flats. Lansford W. Hastings promoted it as a shortcut to California.

Utah’s geographical location in the western United States has earned it a dependable flow of traffic across its expanse, and earned it the nickname “The Crossroads of the West”.  More than a thousand years ago small parties of hunting people crossed the Bering Land Strait and wandered into what is now the western United States. The Anasazi likely became the first of these wandering people to take up residence in Utah and other southwestern states. Over the past hundred and fifty to two hundred years of Utah’s exploratory history; Explorers, Trappers, Outlaws, Pioneers, Settlers, fortune hunters, the Railroad, Cattle\Sheep ranchers, and multiple Native American tribes either settled here, or made use of its vast resources while en route to Oregon and California (or the Pacific Coast).

Utah Crossroads, a chapter of the Oregon-California Trails Association, is dedicated to preserving, studying, and identifying the long distance historic trails developed and used by various voyagers and pioneer settlers from the early 1800s through the 1870s. Its goals are to identify and protect the resources, to document the human history of these routes, to promote research, education, preservation of trail traces, and to stimulate public awareness of their significance.

The Crossroads Chapter works with the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service’s national historic trails office, and numerous private land owners to protect and interpret the various stories of the tens of thousands of pioneers and travelers who passed this way. Throughout the year the chapter conducts field trips to explore, educate, and document the many historic sites and resources associated with the Oregon, California, Mormon Pioneer, and Pony Express National Historic Trails. Membership in the chapter is voluntary. We welcome new members from around the globe

 

IN THE NEXT SECTION EXPLORE THE TRAIL TOURS, TRAIL MARKINGS, AND HISTORY BEHIND THE VISION AND MISSION TO PRESERVE THE VERY TRAILS THAT MANY OF OUR ANCESTORS TRAVELED TO BRING A SENSE OF HOME TO US ALL.  FIND OUT HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE UTAH CROSSROADS OCTA CHAPTER AND MORE! 

 

Trail Tours

Discover the Trails Tours, such as the Central Overland Trail, Echo Canyon and the history of this route into the northern Utah area, retrace the Bryant Russell route, Hastings route, or Hensley/Salt Lake Cutoff and many other trails tours throughout the year! 

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History of the Trails

Utah is a literal trail crossroads. Our trail system includes the Mormon Pioneer Trail, California Trails and branches which include: Southern Route, Salt Desert Route, Overland Route, Hensley or Salt Lake Cutoff. Pony Express, Old Spanish Trail, and Lincoln Highway. 

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Preservation 

Our organization is dedicated to preserving, studying and marking the long-distance historic trails within our own state and others in the West. If you share an interest in the pioneers, traders, trappers, settlers and travelers and the old trails, tracks and emigrant roads that brought them this way, you're a kindred spirit.

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Trail Marking

The heart of OCTA's historic trail preservation program is the identification and marking of historically significant 19th century emigrant wagon trails. Our journey began in 1982.

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Trails Blog & Events

Follow our new Trails Blog and discover upcoming events. Sign up for the Annual OCTA Convention, Rails and Trails - Confluence & Impact on the Crossroads of the West in beautiful Ogden, Utah this year, August 5th - 9th. 

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Trail Photo Gallery

Travel the trails with us and see the many captivating photos of beautiful Utah! Discover the people who join together to save the trails and preserve our heritage. 

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Supporting education and PRESERVATION.

 
 

Empowering teachers and students for a brighter future. 

 
 
 
 
 
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OCTA’s  36th  Annual  Convention

The 2018 convention will be hosted  by the Utah Crossroads Chapter in Ogden’s Eccles Convention Center - August  6-10. 

The theme,  Rails and Trails- confluence and impacts at Crossroads  of the West will be explored through three primary methods: Speaker presentations,  field-trips and activity/workshops across 4
general topics: 

  • Native American History – the earliest crossroads  of the west
  • Transcontinental Railroad
  • Mountain men
  • Explorers and Emigrants pre 1847 

The traditional book room, silent auction, raffles, Awards & recognition Evening and Evening music groups will be enjoyed by all.   

The Convention will focus on Northern Utah and will not repeat information covered in the prior OCTA Conventions held in Salt Lake City. 

Attendees have many choices.  Discover more on this page and download the UTAH Auto Interpretive Guide to easily guide you on the trails during your trip to the Convention. 

Don't like registering online? Mail in your registration forms to OCTA by printing and filling out pages 7 & 8 of The Complete 28-Page Registration Book below.

TOURS

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Attendees can choose from: 6 pre and post-convention tours which cover; a) Native American cultural tour and Rock Art. B) Central Overland Trail, 3) Bicycle ride down Echo Canyon and the history of this route into the northern Utah area, 4) Retracing the Bryan Russell route, 5) Hastings route, 6) Hensley/Salt  Lake Cutoff. 

ACTIVITY STATIONS

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Experience 12 Activity stations covering such topics as;  1) Oxen use and training, Experiencing history through new approaches  by the BLM,  2) Native American songs and poetry, 3) Tracing your ancestors as they moved across the continent, 4) Marketing the natural beauty of the west - early photographs and processes. 

BUS TOURS & MORE

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Choose between 4 beautiful and interesting bus tours with guides and resource specialists; 1) Bidwell/Bartleson route, 2) Transcontinental route, 3) Echo and Weber Canyon use of Native Americans, explorers and mountain men, 4) Bear River Shoshoni Native American tour.   

8 EXPERT SPEAKERS

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Choose from 8 speakers;  1) Northern Utah - Why this theme, 2) First occupants & geomorphology and the Massacre site, 3) Construction of the Transcontinental – why the route, workforce groups, 4) Trailing the Mountain men, 5) Explorers and emigrants pre 1847, 6)  New West through lens of photographers.