Danger, hardship, and isolation could not turn back the tide of men and women who thirsted for yellow metal. The Pike's Peak gold rush of 1859 attracted as many gold seekers as the more famous California gold rush of the previous decade. In this volume, noted western historian LeRoy R. Hafen has collected invaluable Pike's Peak gold rush diaries chronicling the struggles, dreams, and heartaches of those who traveled the overland routes to untold riches. The diarists who came along the Arkansas and Platte Rivers and along trails from Texas, Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois created records of the landscapes and peoples they encountered as they journeyed. In the words of these single-minded adventurers, larger-than-life characters mingle with the awesome, terrible beauty of the Great Plains and the sparse comforts of the old Middle West. The Pike's Peak gold rushers provide firsthand accounts of the dangers and rewards of overland travel, as they sought ephemeral fortunes in the Rocky Mountain West.