Abundant grass and brush found near springs and intermittent streams in Edwards Creek Valley were important ecological areas for Native Americans. Shoshone Indians wandered seasonally to gather wild seeds and small game and settled here in winter camps. Later, Northern Paiutes also lived in the valley.
In 1854, Col. John Reese discovered a route through Edwards Creek Valley that was shorter than the Humboldt trail. Established by surveyor James Simpson in 1859, it was followed by the Pony Express, the Overland Telegraph, and the overland mail stages. An 1862 Austin gold rush passageway too, the route remained as the region’s principal commercial artery until 1880.