Sonora was the goal of many emigrants traveling the various overland and sea routes.
The 1852 Clark-Skidmore Party of emigrants from Elizabethtown, Ohio and Lawrenceburg, Indiana struggled to force a wagon train up the Walker River and over the 10,000 ft. pass east of Sonora. In 1853, more than 2,000 emigrants with 20,000 cattle followed, creating a new emigrant road to Sonora.
Difficult for wagon travel, the Walker River and Sonora wagon route was soon abandoned. The Emigrant Wilderness area in the high country has been named to honor these pioneers. Following major changes, the trail became an important passenger and supply route between the Bodie gold regions and Sonora.