Covered wagons typically traveled only 10 to 15 miles per day, with travel west to California or Oregon taking around four to six months. A fully loaded wagon could carry as much as 2,500 pounds, making for slow travel speeds.
According to the National Park Service, covered wagons were sometimes referred to as "prairie schooners" and were used to transport food and other supplies for those who were travelling along the trails to the West. Fully loaded wagons left little space for travelers, and many travelers made the journey on foot alongside their covered wagons. The covered wagon fell out of use with the completion of railroads, which offered a much safer way to travel.