Westport, Missouri to Gold Diggings Near
Pike's Peak, Colorado
Journal and Mileage Chart

Westport, Missouri to Gold Diggings Near Pike's Peak, Colorado Distance
 Westport to  0.00
 Indian Creek. -- The road runs over a beautiful country. Indian Creek is a small wooded stream, with abundance of grass and water.  4 3/4 miles
 Cedar Creek. -- The road passes over a fine country, and there is a good camping-place at Cedar Creek.  8 3/4 miles
 Bull Creek. -- The road is smooth and level, with less wood than before. Camping good.  8 1/2 miles
 Willow Springs. -- At nine miles the road passes "Black Jack Creek," where there is a good camping-place. The road has but little wood upon it at first, but it increases toward the end of the march. The road is level for some distance, but becomes more rolling, and the country is covered with the finest grass. Good camp at one mile from the main road.  9 1/2 miles
 110-Mile Creek. -- The road traverses the same character of country as yesterday, but with less woodland, is very smooth, and at 9 and 12 miles passes "Rock Creeks," which have no running water in a dry season. Good camp.  20 1/4 miles
 Prairie Chicken Creek. -- At eight miles the road crosses Dwissler Creek, which is a fine little stream; four miles farther First Dragoon Creek, and at one mile farther the Second-Dragoon Creek, both fine streams, well wooded, and good camping-places. Good camp.  22 1/2 miles
 Big Rock Creek. -- At one mile the road crosses a small wooded branch. Three miles beyond it crosses "Elm Creek," where a good camping-place may be found. At 7 miles it crosses 142-Mile Creek, and at 13 miles it crosses Bluff Creek, where there is a good camping- place. Good camp.  20 miles
 Council Grove, on "Elm Creek. -- Road passes "Big John Spring" at 13 miles, and is smooth and good. A fine camp is found three fourths of a mile beyond the "Grove," on Elm Creek, with abundance of wood, water, and grass.  20 miles
 Diamond Spring. -- At eight miles the road crosses Elm Creek, and passes over a section similar to that cast of Council Grove. It is fine in dry weather, but muddy after heavy rains. Good camp at Diamond Spring.  16 miles
 Lost Spring. -- One mile from camp the road passes a wooded creek. From thence there is no more wood or permanent water until arriving at camp. Take sight from Lost Spring. The country becomes more level, with grass every where. The road is muddy in wet weather.  16 miles
 Cottonwood Creek. -- Road continues over a prairie country, sensibly rising and improving. Wood, water, and grass at camp.  15 3/4 miles
 Turkey Creek. -- The road is good, and at 18 miles passes Little Turkey Creek. No wood, and the water poor at camp; grass good.  22 miles
 Little Arkansas River. -- The road runs over a level prairie, and at 3 1/2 miles passes "Big Turkey Creek," with the Arkansas River Valley in sight all day. After rains there are frequent pools of water along the road. Good camp.  23 miles
 Big Cow Creek. -- The road passes for ten miles over a level prairie to Charez Creek, which is a bushy gully; thence six miles to Little Cow Creek, which is a brushy stream, with here and there a tree. Good camp here to the left of the road, near a clump of trees. "Prairie-dog towns" commence to be seen. Road very level. Buffalo-grass here.  20 miles
 Big Bend of the Arkansas. -- The road at 12 miles strikes the sand-hills of the Arkansas River. They are soon passed, however, and the level river bottom is reached. The river has a rapid current flowing over a quicksand bed. The road is generally good from the last camp. Wood, water, and grass at camp.  20 miles
 Walnut Creek. -- The road is good. Cool springs at this camp; good grass and wood.  7 miles
 Head of Coon Creek. -- At five miles the road forks, one following the river, the other a "short cut" "dry route" to Fort Atkinson, where they unite on the river. The country rises for ten miles on the dry route, then descends to the river, and is covered with the short buffalo-grass. No wood at camp.  21 miles
 Arkansas River. -- The road passes over an undulating and uninteresting prairie, with but little vegetation. The water in dry weather is in pools.  18 miles
 Arkansas River, at Fort Atkinson. -- The road runs over a similar country to that of yesterday, with no wood near; pleanty of buffalo-chips for cooking, and good grass.  19 miles
 Arkansas River. -- At 4 1/2 miles the road ascends a bluff covered with thick buffalo-grass. At 17 miles pass a ford. Grass good at camp.  18 3/4 miles
 Arkansas River. -- The road is sandy for 14 miles, but not deep except in places; thence to camp it is good. Good camp.  19 1/4 miles
 Arkansas River. -- Country prairie, covered with short buffalo-grass. Good camp.  22 miles
 Arkansas River. -- The road is fine, crossing several dry beds of creeks, along which are seen a few scattering trees. Good camp on a dry creek near the river.  22 miles
 Arkansas River. -- The road runs over a barren plain at the foot of the main plateau, and crosses two dry creeks near the camp, on which are cottonwood-trees. Plenty of wood at camp.  24 miles
 Arkansas River. -- The road follows the base of the hills at from one to three miles from the river. Good camp.  21 miles
 Arkansas River. -- At seven miles the road strikes the "Big Timbers," where there is a large body of cottonwood; thence for three miles the road is heavy sand. Good camps along here.  20 miles
 Arkansas River. -- At one mile the road passes some old houses formerly used as a trading-post. Here terminates the "Big Timbers." Coarse grass at the camp.  13 miles
 Arkansas River. -- At three miles the road passes the mouth of Purgatoire Creek. Camp is below Bent's Fort. Good grass here.  15 miles
 Arkansas River. -- Pass Bent's Fort. The grass is excellent in the vicinity of the fort, but after this it is not so good. The road runs over a high and considerably broken country. Good camp.  24 miles
 Arkansas River. -- Opposite the mouth of the Apishpa Creek; good camp. The Huerfano Mountains and Spanish Peaks are in sight from the camp. The "Cherokee Trail" comes in from Arkansas near Bent's Fort, and leads to the gold diggings at Cherry Creek.  11 miles
 Arkansas River. -- Opposite the mouth of the Huerfano Creek. Good camp, and a ford opposite Charles Audebee's house.  9 miles
 Arkansas River. -- At this point the Cherokee trail bears to the right and leaves the river. The left-hand, or river road, runs up to the old pueblo at the mouth of the Fontaine qui Bouille Creek. The right-hand road leads to the gold diggings.  12 miles
 Fontaine qui Bouille. -- The road strikes in a northwest course over the rolling country, and comes upon the creek at a most beautiful camp, where there is a great abundance of good wood, water, and grass. The wood, water, and grass are good at all points on the Fontaine qui Bouille, and travelers can camp any where upon this stream.  15 3/4 miles
 Fontaine qui Bouille. -- Here the road forks, one running up the river, and the other striking directly across to the divide of the Arkansas and Platte. I prefer the left-hand road, as it has more water and better grass upon it.  17 1/2 miles
 Forks of the Fontaine qui Bouille. -- The road to Cherry Creek here leaves the "Fontaine qui Bouille" and bears to the right. There is a large Indian trail which crosses the main creek, and takes a northwest course toward "Pike's Peak." By going up this trail about two miles a mineral spring will be found, which gives the stream its name of "The Fountain that Boils." This spring, or rather, these springs, as there are two, both of which boil up out of solid rock are among the greatest natural curiosities that I have ever seen. The water is strongly impregnated with salts, but is delightful to the taste, and somewhat similar to the Congress-water. It will well compensate any one for the trouble of visiting it.  6 1/2 miles
 Black Squirrel Creek. -- This creek is near the crest of the high divide between the Arkansas and Platte Rivers. It is a small running branch, but always affords good water. There is pine timber here, and the grass is good on the prairies to the east. This is a locality which is very subject to severe storms, and it was here that I encountered the most severe snow-storm that I have ever known, on the first day of May, 1858. I would advise travelers to hasten past this spot as rapidly as possible during the winter and spring months, as a storm might prove very serious here.  17 1/2 miles
 Near the head of Cherry Creek. -- The road crosses one small branch at four miles from Black Squirrel Creek; it then takes up to an elevated plateau, which in a rainy season is very muddy. The camp is at the first timber that is found, near the road, to the left. There is plenty of wood, water, and grass here. There is also a good camping-place at the small branch that is mentioned.  14 miles
 On Cherry Creek. -- There is good grass, wood, and water throughout the valley of Cherry Creek. The mountains are from five to ten miles distant, on the left or west of the road, and when I passed there was a great abundance of elk, deer, antelope, bear, and turkeys throughout this section.  10 miles
 On Cherry Creek. -- Good camp.  7 miles
 On Cherry Creek. -- Good camp.  11 miles
 Mouth of Cherry Creek, at the South Platte. -- Good camp, and a town built up since I passed, called Denver City.  17 miles
 Total distance from Westport to the gold diggings  685 1/4 miles


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