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Oregon Trail


United States Atlas > Travel Photos | Oregon Trail Marker

The Oregon Trail stretched west from the Mississippi River all the way to the Willamette Valley in Oregon.  Marcus and Narcissa Whitman were important trailblazers for this historic journey, making the first covered wagon trip to Oregon in 1836.  Less than ten years later, in 1843, massive migration along the Oregon Trail kicked off with a wagon train departing Missouri.  Travelers began their journey from St. Louis, following the Missouri River west to Independence or other "jumping off" points.  Oregon was not the only destination; settlers headed for California, Nevada, Utah, Washington, and Idaho also followed the trail over the mountains before splitting off towards their final destinations.  Contrary to popular belief, Native Americans were not the greatest threat to settlers, but often helped them.  Poor sanitation, cholera, and accidental gunshots were actually the greatest cause of death along the trail.  More than a half-million people traveled west along this corridor before the advent of the transcontinental railroad in 1969.

Oregon Trail stone marker, Oregon
Stone Marker for the Oregon Trail

Oregon - Find travel information, maps, tourist resources, and more photos of Oregon.
Oregon National Historic Trail - Learn about this historic pioneer route between Missouri and Oregon.

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Oregon Trail