Gold fever hit the Cherokee Indians as hard as it did the rest of the country. In 1849 and 1850, many Cherokees left their reservation in Oklahoma and headed west to seek their fortunes in the California gold fields. The trail began in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and traveled though Colorado before joining the California/Oregon Trail at Fort Bridger, Wyoming.
In Wyoming, the trail crossed the southernmost portion of the state. Cherokees that left in 1850 followed a slightly different route than those who had departed the year before. Much of the route taken by the 1849 excursion overlapped with the Overland Trail while the route through Wyoming taken a year later was further south.