Searching for gold in the American West was not for the faint of heart. To reach the fabled gold fields of California, prospectors penetrated the boundless high Sierras and the Rockies and crossed the desert wastes of Arizona, Utah, and Nevada. Waves of would-be miners poured into the golden gulches of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, while others climbed to the deeper mines high in the mountains of Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado. Along the way, they made their homes and earned a living in makeshift camps and towns, many of which have since vanished.
Written back when old-timers still recalled the glorious ordeal of the Old West and many ruins still stood, The Bonanza Trail endures as a classic of western storytelling. Muriel Sibell Wolle traveled 20,000 miles across 12 western states in search of the legendary mining camps and towns where adventure could happen on a dime and dreams of instant fortune filled the days. The risky but always exciting life in those bustling frontier settlements is memorably captured by Wolle in vivid detail and her extraordinary drawings and paintings.