Elizabeth Martin and her two children have made it through the easy part of their journey, but now their wagon train faces high mountain passes, dangerous river crossings, and decreasing supplies. Desperate circumstances bring out the best and worst of the travelers, including Will Bramford, the wealthy widower who is pursuing Elizabeth, and Eli Kincade, the independent and solitary guide who has stolen Elizabeth's heart.
As the group reaches the Oregon Country, the emigrants part ways to find their new homes. Elizabeth and Will and their families have made arrangements to board a ship that will take them south along the coast. Will Eli change his plans and accompany Elizabeth to her new and permanent home? Or will his mysterious past continue to keep them from love?