Idaho June 28, 2019
The Historic Hike In Idaho That Was Once Part Of The Oregon Trail
Hiding in our state is an incredible trail that documents an important piece of our country’s history. The Oregon Trail played a huge role in forming the Gem State, and you can actually hike it for yourself to this very day. This historic hike follows the exact route that the trail’s early emigrants used to make their way West. Complete with educational signage and even the remnants of original wagon ruts, exploring this trail feels like engaging in a living history lesson. It’s something that every history-loving Idahoan should attempt at some point, so keep reading to learn all about it.
Hiding out near Boise, Idaho is a place called the Oregon Trail Reserve. It's here that you can retrace the steps of the West's earliest settlers and see for yourself what it would be like to make the epic journey.
The site is part of the 2,170-mile-long Oregon National Historic Trail that stretches all the way from the Missouri River to the state of Oregon. First laid out in the early 1800s, families risked it all to traverse this trail and see what was waiting for them in the West.
You can get a small taste of what trekking along the Oregon Trail would've been like when you hop on the Idaho portion at the Oregon Trail Reserve. Located on the rim between Columbia Village and Surprise Valley, the trail is a living and breathing history lesson waiting to be explored.
Boasting beautiful basalt cliffs, plenty of sagebrush, and jaw-dropping views of the Boise River valley valley below, the hike itself has plenty of lovely scenery. However, it's the historical aspect of this trail that makes hiking it such a memorable experience.
As you make your way along the gravel trail, you'll spot intact wagon ruts that have been left behind by actual wagons trains from the Oregon Trail days. It's simply an amazing sight to see, and it really makes you wonder about the 80,000 pioneers who used this very trail to reach Oregon all those years ago.
The brief 2.8-mile hike covers the portion of the trail where covered wagons rolled from the cliffs into the valley below. It even contains the Kelton Ramp, a part of the footpath where emigrants would roll their wagons into the valley.
Idaho would probably look a lot different if the Oregon Trail hadn't run straight through it over 200 years ago. The Oregon Trail Reserve does a great job of preserving this treasured piece of Idaho and American history, and it's a journey that every Idahoan should take for themselves.
Did you know a piece of the Oregon Trail was preserved on this historic hike? It’s pretty amazing to think the trail has lasted all these years. For more fascinating hikes like this one, check out the rest of this list of
5 Idaho Hiking Trails That Lead To Some Incredible Pieces Of History.