It's California-or-Bust for young Dan Merrill, and he is hitchhiking West with a Caravan of Mormons without his parents' knowledge or consent. At Fort Bridger he runs away from the band to meet Jim Bridger, the famous frontiersman, and to ask news of his Uncle Ben, who had gone West before him. Bridger hasn't heard of Ben, but he takes a fatherly interest in Dan and determines to send him home with the next eastbound party. To Dan the Wild West is nothing but fun. He makes friends with a young Indian boy and has a grand time at being an adventurer. The story, however, never rises above the simplistic. Even the dramatic ending, when Dan gets involved in real danger, has the tone of a child's game of cowboys and Indians.