Smoky Hill Trail

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Smoky Hill Trail
Route information
Length592 mi (953 km)
Major junctions
East endAtchison, Kansas
West endDenver, Colorado

The Smoky Hill Trail was an American trail across the central Great Plains of North America in use from 1855 to 1870.[1][2] Established in what was then Kansas Territory, it extended west from Atchison, Kansas on the Missouri River to Denver, spanning the length of what is today Kansas and the eastern portion of Colorado.[2] The trail was named after the Smoky Hill River whose course it paralleled for much of its length.[3] Used by prospectors as the most direct route west to the Colorado gold fields during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush, it later served as a path westward for American settlers before being gradually superseded by the Kansas Pacific Railway.[1][3]



  1. ^ a b "Smoky Hill Trail and Butterfield Overland Despatch". Kansas Historical Society. Nov 2011. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
  2. ^ a b "Who We Are..." Smoky Hill Trail Association. Retrieved 2013-06-17.
  3. ^ a b Weiser, Kathy (Nov 2012). "Smoky Hill Trail - Heading for Gold". Legends of America. Retrieved 2013-06-17.