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Oregon Trail Ruts, Guernsey

#6 of 44 in Trails in Wyoming
Hiking Trail · Nature / Park
Oregon Trail Ruts is a preserved site of wagon ruts of the Oregon Trail on the North Platte River, about 0.5 miles south of Guernsey, Wyoming. The Oregon Trail here was winding up towards South Pass. Wagon wheels, draft animals, and people wore down the trail about two to six feet into a sandstone ridge here, during its heavy usage from 1841-1869. The half-mile stretch is "unsurpassed" and is the best-preserved set of Oregon Trail ruts anywhere along its former length.
The site is maintained as a state historic site, and was declared a National Historic Landmark and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.
The trail was first recorded in 1812, when Robert Stuart and six others came through here heading east from Fort Astoria, Oregon. Traders, trappers, and missionaries used this route before 1841 when the Bartleson-Bidwell party became the first wagon train across the trail. The number of emigrants grew from 100 plus in 1842 to over 900 in 1843. With the completion of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1869, use of the trail as an overland route to the Pacific rapidly declined, although sections of it continued to be used locally for many years.
The trail ruts are 0.5mi long and are worn 2to into a sandstone ridge. The route was chosen to avoid the marshy ground along the river. It is located on the south side of the North Platte River, 0.5mi south of the town of Guernsey.
To visit Oregon Trail Ruts on your holiday in Guernsey, and find out what else Guernsey has to offer, use our Guernsey.
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221 reviews
  • My wife and I stopped on our way to Ft. Laramie. A nice piece of history and a nice place to walk and stretch your legs.  more »
  • It's a short (75 yards) up hill hike to see the Oregon Trail Ruts. If you like history and getting some fresh air this is the place for you. If you appreciate the efforts our forefathers went through....  more »

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