The route of US 30 traces its origin to the early 1900s. Until that time, the current route was but a well-traveled wagon road parallel with the Oregon Short Line railroad. In the spring of 1903, Dr. Horatio Nelson Jackson became the first person to cross the United States in a car, following portions of what is now US 30 in Idaho and Wyoming. Dr. Jackson started his trek in San Francisco in a 20-horsepower Winton touring car he called "Vermont" (honoring the state in which he and his wife Bertha lived), and the final destination was Burlington, Vermont. His traveling companions were Sewall K. Crocker and a bulldog, Bud.
At the time of Horatio Jackson's trek, only 150 miles of paved road existed in the country, and gas stations and road maps were non-existent. This spur-of-the-moment trip, partially based on a bet, unknowingly turned into a race. Both the Packard and Oldsmobile companies sent their respective automobiles from California with hope of passing Jackson and claiming the title for first automobile to travel across the U.S.
It took 63 days to complete the journey, during which the trek merged with present-day Highway 30 near Pocatello, Idaho, and followed it into Soda Springs, Idaho, and finally into Granger, Wyoming.