In December 1828, Peter Skene Ogden and his trapping brigade (Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fifth Snake Country Expedition) were the first European Americans to enter here. Joseph Paul, one of Ogden’s trappers, died nearby—the first immigrant to die and be buried in the Humboldt Country.
Late in 1845, John Frémont dispatched a group down the Humboldt. They traversed this canyon with difficulty on November 10. In September 1846, the Reed-Donner Party, enroute to disaster in the deep snows of the Sierra Nevada, viewed the canyon.
The Central Pacific’s Chinese track gangs constructed the transcontinental railroad (now Southern Pacific) through here in December 1868. Subsequently, the canyon became known as Carlin or Moleen Canyon. The Western Pacific, the second transcontinental rail link across Nevada, was constructed in 1907.
In 1913, Nevada Route 1, the first auto road, took over the abandoned Central Pacific grade through the canyon. In 1920, Route 1 became the Victory Highway, and in 1926, U.S. Highway 40. In its freeway phase, it is now designated Interstate 80.