Time Stands Still Along This 175-Year-Old Wyoming Trail
Wyoming is known for its place in history during the early days of the nation when much of the country was still undiscovered. Most people traveling west during the 1800s came right through the Cowboy State, and many stopped and settled here.
Countless others traveled on to find their fortunes and destinies even further west but, whether they stayed or moved on, those early pioneers all had one thing in common. It was the Oregon Trail that brought them here and led them on to Oregon. Amazingly enough, though it was over 175 years ago that emigrants began their trek, the path still exists today, frozen in time and offering a glimpse into an epic piece of Wyoming and American history.
The Oregon Trail is an immensely important part of American history. With starting points in Missouri and Iowa, the trail converged into one in Nebraska and spanned across three other states including Wyoming.
The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center in Casper is a terrific place to start a trip back through time along the Oregon Trail.
This museum is located at 1501 North Poplar Street in Casper.
It's packed with exhibits and information that will give you a glimpse of what life was like on the trail back in the 1800s.
While you're in Casper, why not get a taste of what life was like on the trail with an afternoon or overnight wagon ride in an authentic horse-drawn wagon?
When you're ready to see the actual path pioneers took when crossing the Cowboy State, head out to Guernsey State Park and the registered historic landmark where emigrants trod.
The site of the Oregon Trail Ruts is about an hour away from the museum in Casper.
There, you'll not only get a glimpse of the actual trail, but you can see the ruts made by wagons loaded down with all the worldly belongings the settlers brought with them on their journey.
What's more, you can even walk through the ruts, taking steps where those brave and daring souls marched in pursuit of a better life.
The Oregon Trail experience doesn't end with the Guernsey Ruts. There are a few spots along the trail - known as registers of the desert - where pioneers took the opportunity to make their marks, kind of like an Oregon Trail guestbook. Register Cliff is one of the better-known sites.
It's a limestone bluff south of Guernsey that displays thousands of names and dates.
Independence Rock is another guestbook of sorts.
It's a large granite rock in the southwest part of Natrona County, and it displays its own collection of pioneer sign-ins.
Now's the time to explore the Oregon Trail. Whether you follow the entire trail across Wyoming or visit the spots that highlight this historic site, it's certain to be an awe-inspiring experience you won't forget.
Have you walked in the wagon ruts near Guernsey or visited one of the registers of the desert?
What part of the Oregon Trail experience in Wyoming is your favorite?
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