The Eureka Trail

Student Entrant 2021

Brigham Young University
The Eureka Trail Team


It's 1850. You and your caravan are hoping to strike it rich by surviving the Westward trek to Eureka, California during the height of the gold rush. Test your wits and fitness by taking steps in the real world, earning money for supplies, hunting for food, tending animals, and avoiding dysentery, thieves, and other trail challenges! Remember, each step you and your caravan members take brings you closer to Eureka where you can stake your claim to Gold and assured fortune. Your caravan will travel for 15 tense days, during which you are encouraged to walk more, socialize with other caravan members, and have fun. You'll begin by choosing one of 10 roles (e.g., Wagonmaster, Carpenter, Horse Thief) and purchasing wagons, animals, fine china, and other critical supplies for the trip. Each caravan spends one real world day at a checkpoint (e.g., Independence, Missouri) or on a trail segment. On checkpoint days you will earn money (based on the steps you take and your wage), recover health, and purchase and sell supplies and food. On trail segment days, you will journey along the trail (based on your steps, animals, wagons, and caravan weight), hunt for food, and respond to challenges and events. Survival depends on making it to the next checkpoint. Your caravan's fame and fortune depend on reaching the Eureka boomtown early, so get moving! Good Luck!

This reimagining of the classic Oregon Trail game combines classic challenges like fighting dysentery and fording rivers with new game mechanics like cooperative team-based play, step-tracker based progress, health, and tending of animals. The snarky tone of the challenges contrasts nicely with the beauty of the pixelated paintings of Gary Stone, creating an unforgettable journey meant to be fun for all ages.