Roadtrip: The Oregon Trail

Traveling along the historic Oregon Trail from Portland to Boston offers a journey through the rich history of westward expansion in the United States. While the original Oregon Trail covers a much larger distance and has various starting points, the following guide provides a route from Portland to Boston, featuring notable landmarks and tips for your road trip:


1. Portland, OR:
Start your journey in Portland, exploring the city's vibrant neighborhoods, parks, and iconic landmarks like Powell's City of Books.

2. Fort Vancouver National Historic Site (WA):
Cross into Washington to visit Fort Vancouver, a reconstructed 19th-century fur trading post.

3. Whitman Mission National Historic Site (WA):
Head southeast to Walla Walla, Washington, and visit the Whitman Mission National Historic Site, commemorating the tragic events of the Whitman Massacre.

4. Boise, ID:
Travel east to Boise, Idaho, and explore the Old Idaho Penitentiary and the Oregon Trail Reserve.

5. Craters of the Moon National Monument (ID):
Make a detour to explore the unique volcanic landscape of Craters of the Moon National Monument.

6. Fort Bridger State Historic Site (WY):
Continue east to Fort Bridger in Wyoming, an important stop on the Oregon Trail.

7. Independence Rock State Historic Site (WY):
Visit Independence Rock, a famous landmark where emigrants often carved their names during their journey.

8. Scotts Bluff National Monument (NE):
Head to Nebraska to see Scotts Bluff, a prominent landmark on the Oregon Trail.

9. Fort Kearny State Historical Park (NE):
Explore Fort Kearny, a historic outpost that served as a waystation for travelers.

10. St. Louis, MO:
Travel east to St. Louis, Missouri, and explore the Gateway Arch, a symbol of westward expansion.

11. Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (IL):
Visit Cahokia Mounds, the remains of an ancient Native American city near St. Louis.

12. Indianapolis, IN:
Continue east to Indianapolis, exploring the city's museums, such as the Children's Museum of Indianapolis.

13. Columbus, OH:
Visit Columbus and its attractions, including the Ohio Statehouse and the Columbus Museum of Art.

14. Cuyahoga Valley National Park (OH):
Explore the scenic Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio, offering hiking and beautiful landscapes.

15. Boston, MA:
End your journey in Boston, exploring historic sites like the Freedom Trail, Boston Common, and the USS Constitution Museum.

Roadtrip: The Oregon Trail


  • Historical Interpretive Centers:
    Visit historical interpretive centers along the way, such as the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Oregon and the National Frontier Trails Museum in Missouri.
  • Camping and Outdoor Activities:
    Embrace the spirit of the pioneers by camping along the trail and enjoying outdoor activities in the parks and nature reserves.
  • Photography Opportunities:
    Capture the scenic landscapes, historical markers, and landmarks along the Oregon Trail for a memorable photo collection.
  • Learn the History:
    Immerse yourself in the history of the Oregon Trail by reading about the experiences of the pioneers and understanding the challenges they faced.
  • Road Conditions:
    Be mindful of road conditions, especially in more remote areas, and plan accordingly.

Embark on this road trip along the Oregon Trail, retracing the steps of pioneers who ventured westward in pursuit of new opportunities and a better life. Enjoy the diverse landscapes and historical richness along the way!