The greatest untold story in American pioneer history!


In the fall of 1849 a mighty wagon train set off from the Utah territory for the gold fields of California.

A risky shortcut led them deep into an unknown American desert.   A “cursed hole,” “desolation beyond conception.” The doomed fortune seekers would soon name it “Death Valley.”

No water, no food, no way out. Two men volunteered to find an escape route, get help, and rescue the marooned group before they starved to death.

This is the story of how the cruelest of overland journeys

came to define American heroism.


Escape From Death Valley has assembled an extraordinary team of storytellers including Kit Tyler – Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker, Kevin Starr – the preeminent historian of California, Leroy & Jean Johnson – the undisputed authorities of the Manly-Rogers rescue in 1849, and a deep roster of top authors, western historians, and production specialists.

These producers, authors, historians, and craftspeople are all luminaries in their respective fields. Together they form a team of expertise and storytelling prowess that is simply without peer.


Breath-taking videography, exquisite time-lapse sequences, majestic aerial imagery, a custom music score, and a suite of impressionistic re-enactments will make Escape From Death Valley one of the most spellbinding historical documentary programs ever created.

More than $96,000.00 has been raised thus far.

Research, pre-production, the script, and more than seventy-five percent of field production – including all on-camera interviews – have already been accomplished!

The project now seeks completion funding  to bring this extraordinary program to national audiences in the fall of 2023.

Join Us!

Help bring this heroic story out of the desert; help Escape From Death Valley reach national audiences today!


Comments or Questions?  We want to hear from you!

916 806-7113