The Oregon Trail
The Journey began on May 1, 2023 from the traditional starting point. We did not spend long here at the courthouse, just long enough to get some pics and then start our journey on The Oregon Trail!
Prarie Village Santa Fe Trails Park
Stopped by hear not too long after leaving Independence and grabbed a quick snack. Looks like a nice park, not a lot of parking and not exactly what I was planning on seeing.
Arrived here on May 4th, it was later in the day so there was hardly anyone here. Still spent 30-45 minutes walking around, taking pictures, and reading the signs. After leaving here we headed to the Archway which I highly recommend going to and take the tour (it was also a good place to spend one night).
We arrived on the Morning of May 6th. Couldn't really walk up to it, they offer a museum tour for a fee which I did not take as there did not seem to be much to it. I am glad we stopped, and was able to see it again in the distance from Scotts Bluff later in the day.
Spent the afternoon of May 6th here and was able to drive to the top (there is a height restriction due to tunnels) and walked the trails. We talked to some of the rangers here that helped Jaime out and got her to start collecting every guide that she could get her hands on for free from this point of the trip on.
Another spot we were able to get to on May 6th. Watch walking in the grass due to the stickers, you will find them all over your shoes and any clothing near the ground. I was here last year but at that time no one else was. This time around other people were walking around, park staff was here, and there were some horses in the parking lot. A definite place to stop while driving the trail.
The spot where everyone carves their name in the rock with the year they were there. Saw quite a few old ones with ones as new as 2022. There are signs all over stating that it is under surveillance and it is illegal to carve into the rock, so do so at your own risk.
A new day, a new place to see! Stopped at a rest stop on May 7th which just happened to be where we wanted to stop to see this. There is a trail leading to and around it, not that long of a walk but a nice one as long as you watch out for what you could step in.
May 8th took us to Fort Bridger. Now this was not at all what I expected, but still glad we made the stop. There are some cabins outside of this picture that were restored showing you what the cabins along the Lincoln HWY would have looked like, but we mainly walked around the parking lot and grounds outside of the area you had to pay to get to as it did not look like a place I wanted to spend more time at.
We stopped by Fort Hall and still not sure if I just did not go to the right place or if the little recreation at the park is where I was supposed to be. Didn't seem like too much to me, just saw a lot of people playing frisbee golf at this park.
Craters of the Moon
While we did stop here on May 10th and were able to walk a trail, everything was not open yet which meant some of the roads were closed. While I did enjoy seeing what we were able to this is another place that is going on my list of places I have to go back to in the future.
It was just a small pull off on the side of the road, but there was a sign and some nice scenery.
On May 10th the full falls were not going as you can see in the pic as the dam was closed, but still a nice view and stop. We met a younger girl and her sister here feeding Rock Chucks that were walking around and told us what they were. By the looks of it they just had babies not too long ago as there were a lot of smaller ones running around. Did get some pics and video of the Rock Chucks.
Made it here on May 11th and taken to a big park with athletic fields, so not what I was expecting. But then again I wanted to be surprised along the way so did not look into what the stops were going to be, just where should I stop.
Oregon Trail Interpetive Park
When we got here on May 13th I was excited to see what this was since I had no clue just knew this was a spot to visit. Unfortunately I still can't tell you what is here because the road was closed part way up, right after where the pic was taken and will not open up till May 24th so plan accordingly if you want to come here.
All I knew is this was going to be a waterfall, and when we arrived on May 13th I was not disappointed. You can walk up to the bridge which we did, and then up to the top (about a mile one way) of the falls which we walked halfway up. It was a nice walk, hot day, and cool the further you walk up. Now the crowds were heaviest at the base of the falls and on the bridge, but cleared up after the bridge. One thing to note is when stopping here you will talk through a small tunnel that goes under the road so you can cross the expressway.
End of the Oregon Trail
We ended the day May 13th by completing The Oregon Trail! It is hard to believe that it only took us 13 days to complete this drive. We could have taken it slower but also could have done it a lot faster. Along the way we stopped by a lake for 2 days which was a nice place for me to work from during those days. Also drove a specific someone a bit crazy on my long workdays when we were at a rest areas in the middle of nowhere while I worked long hours. All in all it was a great trip and one I wouldn't mind taking again but slower and when I don't have to work, but with so many other places to see not sure when I will get back to it.
Pictures taken along the way
Here are some pics we took from the start to the end of the trail