When Evan Thorpe and his family make the decision to "go west" they get much more than they bargained for on the perilous 2000-mile journey along the Oregon trail from the Missouri River to the Williamette valley.
A widower with three kids, Taylor's Evan Thorpe leads a wagon train through Indian country, during which he lands a mountain man as his scout, puts up with a peppery lady schoolteacher, and manages to keep his kids from being scalped. Evan Thorpe is appointed wagon master after the original leader is killed in an Indian attack which was precipitated by 12-year-old William Thorpe's theft of a spear from a secret burial ground.
Wagonmaster Evan Thorpe and his scout, Luther Sprague, battle dust storms, intense heat and injury in their search for water to relieve their drought-plagued pioneers.
A group of shady ladies liven up Evan Thorpe's Oregon bound wagon train until they come under the harassment of their deranged ex-employer.
A jury trial halts the wagon train as Thorpe (Rod Taylor) plays defense attorney for the accused slayer of a relentless lady's man.
While investigating a bullet riddled wagon, Evan is taken prisoner by embittered soldiers when he discovers their gunrunning operation. Evan tangles with a pair of gun-smugglers (Bill Bixby, Donna Mills).
Thorpe (Rod Taylor) and his convoy face starvation when a larger wagon train threatens to purchase all the available supplies in the next town.
Thorpe (Rod Taylor) has to deal with a religious zealot who refuses treatment for his daughter when she's hurt in a wagon accident.