Jedediah Strong Smith

From May to June 1827, explorer and trapper Jedediah Smith found a route from California’s central valley to the Great Salt Lake Valley in Utah. He became the first European American to completely cross what is now Nevada.

Because Smith’s journal and map have never been found, his exact route is unknown. Based on Smith’s own statements about his difficult trip, modern historians and geographers have pieced together the most plausible route. Smith crossed the Sierra Nevada at Ebbetts Pass, swung southeast along or across the headwaters and middle reaches of the Walker River, and passed into central Nevada’s open spaces south of Walker Lake.

Smith entered Smoky Valley on its southwest side in June 1827 and crossed the valley in a northeasterly direction. He then paralleled the future Simpson survey, route of the Pony Express and Overland Stage, along modern U.S. Highway 50.

He entered Utah at Ibapah.

This is Nevada State Historical Marker #84 located at the White Pine Public Museum at 78 North McGill Highway in Ely, Nevada.
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