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John Marston

West Elizabeth (known as the Commonwealth of West Elizabeth) is the smallest of the three territories featured in Red Dead Redemption.

In Red Dead Redemption 2 and Red Dead Online, it is one of the five American territories, now with an expanded region to the north.


West Elizabeth is composed of three constituent regions: Tall Trees, Great Plains, and Big Valley.

In 1899 and 1907, it is preceded by Saint Denis in Lemoyne as a place of modernity. Regardless, it's still the modernized town in the West. Blackwater during this time is a port town going under the process of industrialization judging from the newly constructed structures sprouting within the town. As such, there is no built railway that passes Blackwater going to New Austin. Pacific Union Railroad Camp didn't exist at that time.

In 1911 and 1914, West Elizabeth is characterized as being the most modern and industrialized settlement in the West, the thriving port town of Blackwater, which also serves as the state's capital. The state is distinguished from others due to its uniformed police force, cobbled roads, and named streets.

There are two major settlements in West Elizabeth: Blackwater and Strawberry. There are also camps, ranches, and homesteads that dot within the territory. In 1911, it is the home to a large Native American population, many of whom are members of Dutch's Gang.


Map of the Southwestern US as shown in-game, with West Elizabeth highlighted in red.

West Elizabeth is bordered by New Austin to the south, which its border is established by the Lower Montana River. The river empties through Thieves' Landing, then to the San Luis River. In the north, it is bordered by the Upper Montana River in the original game but currently bordered by Grizzlies West. Big Valley is bordered by The Heartlands, in New Hanover, to the east, in which its natural border is the Dakota River. Eastwards, Flat Iron Lake borders the rest of the territorial limits.

The landscape progresses from rolling grasslands in the Great Plains region through snow-capped, impassable mountains around the edges of Tall Trees. To the north lies Big Valley, which falls under the foot of Mount Shann. The resemblance of Tall Trees persists northwards until near the vicinity of Strawberry where the elevation gets higher. The area is mountainous and slightly forested with patches of meadows surrounding the base of the mountain.

Much like other American states featured in the series, West Elizabeth is an amalgam of various states in the Western United States. Geographically, West Elizabeth appears to roughly correspond with Texas, Kansas, Colorado, and Oklahoma, although visually Big Valley and Tall Trees are closer to regions in California.

  • The Great Plains region is based on the real-life Great Plains region of the central United States. This physiographic region encompasses parts of states including Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. Great Plains itself does not seem to be based on a specific real-life location, and is likely a generalized frontier area.
  • Tall Trees is visually based on the Big Trees State Park and its surrounding areas along the Pacific Coast of California, especially with its sequoia trees; Tall Trees also bears a resemblance to the Carson National Forest in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in New Mexico.
  • Big Valley is likely the Yosemite Valley of eastern California. The blue wildflowers, which are common in Big Valley, are almost identical to the gray lupine, a wildflower most commonly found in Yosemite. The presence of loons in both Big Valley further suggests California, given that loons are normally only found around the Arctic Circle during the summer, but around the Pacific Coast of the United States in winter. Strawberry and the surrounding area is based off of Babcock State Park in West Virginia. Mount Shann, a tall mountain in the region, is based off of Mount Shasta in northern California. Big Valley's geographic location relative to the other regions would be similar to that of Colorado, Montana, or Utah.
  • Overall, despite mixing many elements, it can be assumed that West Elizabeth is based off of California and Colorado, as Big Valley is based off of several parts of California, especially around the Yosemite Valley area, while also having a mountain based on Mount Shasta, but the rest of the area is partially based off of Colorado. Tall Trees having a visual resemblance of Big Trees State Park in California. Great Plains is based on the real-life Great Plains region, which also stretches through eastern Colorado. The area also bears a resemblance to Carrizo Plains of central California.

Because there is an overlap area that links the original map with new areas of Red Dead Redemption 2, West Elizabeth is one of the most geographically diverse states in the series. In all, its terrain broadly reflects numerous characteristics that can be found across many real-life states west of the Mississippi River, from the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains to the redwood forests of northern California. In turn, West Elizabeth’s people reflect everything from eastern city and riverboat-based societies to mountain fur trade and forestry cultures. 

Red Dead Redemption 2

Due to a failed ferry robbery carried out by the Van der Linde gang in Blackwater, the area is semi-restricted and under constant guard by Pinkertons. Crossing towards Great Plains and Tall Trees will result in a maximum wanted level; Arthur will be shot at on sight when seen by lawmen, except during the mission "The First Shall Be Last". However, Arthur is prevented from reaching New Austin, as there is an invisible sniper that will kill him with a single shot.

Towards the end of the game, the rest of West Elizabeth is unlocked and fully accessible as well as New Austin. The player will control John Marston by this time, following the completion of "Red Dead Redemption". The focus of the game remains in West Elizabeth until the conclusion of the epilogue.

Red Dead Redemption

The game's opening cinematic begins with John Marston arriving in the region by steamboat, escorted by Federal Bureau agents Edgar Ross and Archer Fordham. The cinematic then transports the story to New Austin before giving control to the player. The player does not gain access to West Elizabeth again until the third chapter in the game's storyline, following completion of the mission "An Appointed Time." The focus of the game remains in West Elizabeth through the conclusion of the main storyline.

Locations in West Elizabeth

Great Plains

Tall Trees

Big Valley


Red Dead Redemption

  • This is the only region not to have any Gang Hideouts that the player can attack. There are still gang members that can be captured via bounty hunting, however. Cochinay is considered a gang hideout but plays only a story-based role and cannot be revisited to eliminate the gang in the area.
  • As with the boundary between New Austin and Nuevo Paraíso, the transition of the music when the player moves between New Austin and West Elizabeth can take some time to register.
  • The landscape is reflective of various states in the Western United States. The eastern portion of West Elizabeth resembles and is named after, the Great Plains while the western portion (Tall Trees area) resembles the front range states along the Rocky Mountains.
  • The name would appear to be a reference to West Virginia since Elizabeth I was the eponymous "Virgin Queen" Virginia was named after.
  • This region is host to a wide variety of game for hunting, as the player can hunt for Bear, Wolf, Cougar, Elk, Bighorn and Boar along with many other species in Tall Trees.
  • West Elizabeth is the first state seen in the whole game. The game technically begins in Blackwater when John departs the Morningstar at the very beginning of "Exodus in America".
  • West Elizabeth is the only of the three territories to have Native Americans; the vast majority of whom are members of Dutch's Gang and are, therefore, extremely hostile.
  • West Elizabeth is the most developed territory as it has Blackwater, a fully developed city, and heavy government influence. However, there are still many untamed elements to this land such as the natives, the wildlife and there are even small settlements such as Manzanita Post formed by natives or frontiersmen.

Red Dead Redemption 2

  • In the mission "Fleeting Joy", Agent Milton refers to West Elizabeth as a "Commonwealth", which is an unusual title for an American state located in the southwest. This is unusual because the only states with the title of "Commonwealth" are located in the northeastern part of America.
  • The state flag of West Elizabeth reveals the state's official motto to be "Prosperity and Industry". It is a tradition in the United States for state mottos to be in both English, and Latin (for ceremonial purposes). Therefore, West Elizabeth's Latin motto would be "Felicitatem et Industria".
  • The character biography for Sean MacGuire released by Rockstar Games states that Sean met Dutch van der Linde and Hosea Matthews in "North Elizabeth", confirming the state to have a northern counterpart.
  • This game confirms that West Elizabeth is a separate state from New Austin, a fact that was left ambiguous in Red Dead Redemption, where a bounty obtained in either New Austin or West Elizabeth was valid in both states, regardless of the location of the crime.
  • West Elizabeth is one of two states to have a confirmed capital (Blackwater), the other being Lemoyne, whose capital is Saint Denis.
  • West Elizabeth has three trapper locations, the highest number among the five territories.
  • There is no fence or gunsmith in West Elizabeth.

Red Dead Online

  • A flag with the coat of arms of West Elizabeth on it can be equipped as the camp's flag after unlocking it by reaching rank 17 in the third outlaw pass.
    • As of the release of the fifth outlaw pass, New Austin is the only region to not have a state seal.

Early Access to West Elizabeth in Red Dead Redemption

  • The player should have a fast horse such as the War Horse, Kentucky Saddler or the Hungarian Half Breed, and look for a cliff near the waterfall north of the MacFarlane's Ranch. A display reading "Tall Trees" will pop up when at the edge. From there, players should then walk over to the other side of the railroad tracks nearby, staying as close as possible to the West Elizabeth border. Pitching camp as near to the water as possible will place the player in West Elizabeth; this method works in the GOTY version. This action can be seen here.
  • Another simple way over is to just follow this video. Once over the river, players should head to the Pacific Union Rail Road Camp and walk over to the stagecoach so it is marked on the map (an earlier version of Red Dead - not GOTY)
  • If the player is arrested at this cliff, they will be transported to Blackwater (Confirmed for GOTY and Early Version.)
  • To get back to New Austin, the player should auto-save the game and then die. However, if one buys the Manzanita Post property, the stagecoach is an option to return; this exploit still works as of 2018. Players should go to Thieves' Landing and use the stagecoach to go to any stagecoach marked on the map in West Elizabeth or follow the videos (depending on which Red Dead version the player has).
  • Another option to return is to use a fast horse to jump the unfinished bridge north at Thieves' Landing at a full gallop: with care, the other side of the bridge or land will be reached and safety achieved. Mason's bridge will also allow the player to return by hitting land underneath the bridge on the way down after leaping at a full gallop (but the fall may kill the horse and the player too if one is not careful). The Thieves' Landing bridge and Mason's bridge both work in the GOTY version.
  • A very simple solution to get in and out freely without unlocking the storyline is to get arrested like mentioned above. Once the player is out of jail, they can earn enough cash to buy the house in Manzanita Post, and then buy all the maps for the West Elizabeth towns (Great Plains, Tall Trees, etc..), then save at the newly bought house. After the player does this, they can come and go as they please without having to go through the storyline.



The discovery of locations in West Elizabeth count towards the following Trophies/Achievements:

10 gamerscoregamerscore
Bronze bronzebronze
Get from Blackwater to Escalera before sundown in a public Free Roam session.

10 gamerscoregamerscore
Bronze bronzebronze
Uncover every location on the map in Single Player.

100 gamerscoregamerscore
Gold goldgold
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.

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