Trail marker for the Oregon Trail / California Trail in the vicinity of Soda Springs, Idaho. This lush valley provided a brief respite for weary travelers and wagon trains who walked to west coast destinations westward from the Mississippi River in the era before railroads. The bear river now fills a small lake which covers the lowest area of the valley floor. Nearby in Soda Springs, Idaho, early travelers sampled natural carbonated waters from a spring, often comparing it unfavorably in taste to beer. Just beyond the dark point in the mountain seen in the distance, the California Trail split.