1800's Covered Wagon Tracks Still Exist - Oregon Trail Ruts

1800's Covered Wagon Tracks Still Exist - Oregon Trail Ruts

Traveling through Wyoming now. Not stopping too many places but I wanted to stop here and show you this. This is a very interesting historical place. Where during the mid-1800s an estimated 500,000 people crossed this area on the famous Oregon Trail. They went through this sandstone, this rock. Those thousands of covered wagons crossed this area. They crossed over and eventually in through this sandstone rock, they created huge ruts. Some of the ruts are as deep as four feet.

Oregon Trail Ruts - Guernsey, Wyoming


I mean this is so interesting to me. This sandstone is a lot softer than other types of rock so those wagon wheels, slowly over the course of decades, cut into this. 

The Oregon Trail was about two thousand miles long and it took anywhere from four to six months for these pioneers, people in search of a better life out West, to cross and lots of danger lots of hardship. Lots of accidents and deaths. They were full on committed to making it out West.

So during the mid-1800s more than 500,000 pioneers journeyed West right through this area and the Oregon Trail was just a rocky, horrible, rocky rutted trail. It was never any nicer than that. The trail began in Missouri, crossing the plains before entering into here into Wyoming, along the North Platte River.

As they continued on the trail, travel became even more difficult and once they reached the Wyoming area, the terrain changed from wide open plains to rugged landscape typical of what's out here.

There's a plaque here that says the Oregon Trail was 2,000 miles and it's a tribute to the human spirit. The people from all walks of life sold most of their possessions, piled what was left in a wagon and journeyed West in search of a better life. Thousands of travelers struggled through this winding, rocky terrain before making camp just west of this point. Evidence of their passage is clearly visible at the crest of this hill where deep ruts cut by the wheels of countless wagons. Thousands of wagons are preserved in the soft sandstone.

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