In 1848, gold was discovered in California and people from all over the United States packed their belongings and began to travel by wagon to what they hoped would be a new and better life. It was important to leave Salt Lake City and cross the desert before snow began to fall on the Sierra Nevada, making them impassible. A group of wagons began their journey in October of 1849, much too late to try to cross safely. It was then that they heard about the Old Spanish Trail, a route that would take them on a harrowing adventure that nearly killed them all. On today's episode of America's National Parks, the place that these prospectors would come to call Death Valley.