Landmarks and Sites

Along the Trails West

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GENERAL INFORMATION: TRAILS WEST

  • Boot Hill Tours Enjoy Deadwood's gold rush history with an open air bus tour
  • CyberRodeo - where the West meets the Web A large collection of Western Links under Riding the Range and Cowboys and Cowgirls that will be of interest to you
  • Forts Lots of information on Historic Forts of the Old West.
  • A tour of Great Platte River Road complete with a listing of attractions and places to stay
  • Landmark Inn State Historical Park, Castroville, TX Along the San Antonio/El Paso Road, this Historic Inn was a store which had its beginnings in 1849, and later a post office and stage stop, according to Kevin R. Young, Historian in the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
  • A concise history of Montana, starting in 1743
  • Nebraska's Mormon Trail
  • Old West Gravesites Final resting places along the Trails
  • Santa Fe Trail: States, towns, forts, and rest stops Nancy Sween's excellent site
  • Trails West From Nebraska Tourism, a clickable map with sites along the Platte River in Western Nebraska
  • Wagons West in '46 A very well written history by 13 and 14 year old school children for the California Sesquicentennial Pioneer Series Back to the top
  • MISSOURI
  • St. Joseph St. Jo -- the way to go! The "jumping off" point of many emigrants
  • St. Joseph: The 1844 gateway to Oregon
  • The National Frontier Trails Center Relive one of the most captivating sagas in American History. Traders and then families left loved ones to cross the hostile plains to fulfill the "American Dream."
  • The Founding of Kansas City, Mo It began as nothing more than a boat-dock providing supplies for those headed further west.

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  • KANSAS
  • What's The Matter With Kansas? Written by William Allen White for The Emporia Gazette August 15, 1896. He concludes with: Kansas is all right. There is absolutely nothing wrong with Kansas. "Every prospect pleases and only man is vile."
  • Alcove Springs, Kansas well-known to early-day traders and "mountain men" as well as to later travelers on the Oregon Trail
  • The Butterfield Overland Dispatch Stations along the trail with distances from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and Section Township Range locations of the stations
  • Barber County, Kansas "We're farmers, ranchers, and business people who love the wide open spaces, who enjoy counting the stars in the night sky, and who cherish a more peaceful way of life."
  • Doniphan County Extinct towns and post offices.
  • Ferries in Kansas-Part I From the Kansas Collection.
  • Forts in Kansas
  • Fort Hays State Historic Site
  • The Fort Hays Home Page Troops from here protected the stage and freight wagons using the Smoky Hill Trail to Denver
  • Historical Markers and Kansas History--a great collection of links from Kansas On The Net
  • Historic Trails going through Kansas, including the Chisholm Cattle Trail, The Lewis and Clark Expedition, The Pony Express, The Oregon Trail, and many, many more...
  • Hit The Trails in Kansas A listing of stops along the Chisholm and Oregon trails
  • The Hollenberg Station State Historic Site Gerat H. Hollenberg's log cabin station which evolved into a thriving business along the trail
  • Hotels, Taverns and Stage Stations Along the trail in Kansas
  • Letters, Diaries, Memoirs, Reminiscences and other writings from the Kansas Collection
  • Louis Vieux Cemetery The cemetery was vandalized October 1998, but the vandals were swiftly caught and ordered to provide restitution. Addtional funds came from donors as far away as Illinois, and from Oregon Trail enthusiasts who want to see all such historical sites preserved.
  • The Mahaffie Farmstead and Stagecoach Stop Historic Site On the Santa Fe Trail, Olathe, Kansas. On March 15, 1863, the first stagecoach stopped at the Mahaffie Farmstead. It was the first eating station for westbound passengers on the Santa Fe Trail.
  • The Oketo Cutoff, a portion of the Overland Trail through Kansas that was created and financed by Ben Holladay.
  • Old Cowtown Museum is a unique, 17 acre open-air history living museum just 5 minutes and 125 years from Witchita, Kansas.
  • Pawnee Indian Village State Historic Site The Pawnee Indian Village features exhibits on the Pawnee culture by using a combination of information from archeological investigation and historical details
  • Pawnee Rock State Historic Site A prominent landmark to travelers on the Santa Fe Trail.
  • Pioneer Trails has great stuff on emigrant graves, hotels and taverns along the trail, fords, ferries, and bridges in Kansas, plus other info you can't do without.
  • The Pony Express Museum The first home station west of St. Joseph, Missouri was at Seneca, Kansas
  • The Santa Fe Trail In Kansas, check out these points of interest.

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  • NEBRASKA
  • Ash Hollow
  • Ash Hollow State Historical Park: one can see where the bones of prehistoric ancient mammals that once roamed the Great Plains have been found, and also deep wagon ruts on the Oregon Trail.
  • Ash Hollow State Historic Park From Nebraska Game and Parks
  • Chimney Rock National Historic Site: Chimney Rock was the most famous landmark on the Oregon Trail.
  • Chimney Rock National Historic Site The NPS site
  • Chimney Rock National Historic Site The National Park Foundation Guide
  • Courthouse and Jail Rocks These bizarre geologic features enraptured many pioneers.
  • Courthouse and Jail Rocks First mentioned by Reverend Samuel Parker in 1835 as the old "castle"
  • Fort Kearny
  • Ft. Kearny Road Kansas Heritage Server
  • Fort Kearny A good history Fort Kearny State Recreation Area has good information on activities in and around the area, including the Fort Kearny Hike and Bike Trail following the South Platte.
  • Ft. Kearny State Historic Park NPS
  • Highways to History From the Scotts Bluffs CoC
  • Historical Markers in Nebraska
  • Nebraska Trail Sites along the Oregon Trail, and information about OCTA in Nebraska.
  • Rachel Pattison of Randolph County, Illinois Buried at Ash Hollow
  • Rock Creek Station
  • Rock Creek Station Historical Park: Where on one fateful July afternoon in 1861 James Butler Hickok killed David McCanles and began his bloody career as a gunfighter.
  • Scotts Bluffs
  • Scotts Bluff Images taken from the air
  • Scotts Bluff National Monument and The Oregon Trail Museum which contains selections of historical interpretative literature and exhibits of the westward migration on the Trails West.
  • Scott's Bluff National Monument The monument museum contains exhibits about the human and natural history of the area and also holds a unique collection of watercolor paintings by the frontier photographer and artist William Henry Jackson.
  • Scotts Bluff Regional Attractions

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  • COLORADO
  • Stations, Stops, and Landmarks Along the Overland Trail
  • Adventures Afoot is a woman-owned guide service that leads wilderness backpacking, back-country skiing, and snow-shoeing trips in the Rocky Mountain West.
  • Bent's Old Fort Located on the Santa Fe Trail
  • Berthoud Pass, the site of the first ski area in Colorado
  • Boulder, COA good source for local information, health issues, ski reports, and other miscellany
  • The Cache la Poudre River--and how it got it's name.
  • The Cherokee Trail It started in Oklahoma, went along the Arkansas River Valley into Colorado, followed the South Platte River, then turned north along the Rockies through Virginia Dale, and over the Laramie Plains into Wyoming
  • Colorado Lore, Legend and Fact History, maps, sites, stories, and lots and lots of other links
  • Colorado Outdoors Page, which includes places to go, biking, wildflowers, etc.
  • Colorado Outdoor Recreation Travel and InformationVisit these pages to discover the best fishing, hiking, hunting, camping, skiing and rafting in the nation.
  • The Colorado Trail Meanders through some of the most beautiful terrain in the state! Stretching from Denver to Durango, the Colorado Trail fulfills the dreams one would expect of a high mountain educational and recreational hiking trail which connects 500 miles of Colorado's magnificent mountainsides. It is high and mighty and it is diverse, therefore demanding ! It crosses eight mountain ranges, seven national forests, six wilderness areas and five river systems!
  • Eyes Over Colorado Aerial photography from a project to promote Colorado tourism in conjunction with Eastman Kodak.
  • Visit Estes Park the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park and also Estes Park On-Line
  • Fort Collins Historic Homes Tours
  • Fort Collins: Local History Archives
  • FourteenerNet has great information about things to do among the"14er" country. Visit their Links page too.
  • Graves at Jimmy Camp an historic campground on the eastern edge of Colorado Springs. The name dates back to the early nineteenth century, to a time when the Pikes Peak region was yet unsettled, when the roads were yet trails, and when the Arapahoe and Cheyenne yet roamed the front range of the Rockies. The Cherokee Trail passes through this area.
  • Historic Sites, Monuments, Museums in Colorado from the DesertUSA Magazine. Lots of info here!
  • Jimmy Camp named for an Indian trader called Jimmy, family name unknown. Once a year during the 1830's Jimmy was said to have brought his wagons to this beautiful valley in the shadow of Pikes Peak, on the eastern edge of Colorado Springs.
  • Julesburg, Colorado The Wild West at the "California Crossing" on the South Platte River
  • LaPorte, Colorado Gateway to the Rockies.
  • Larimer County Information about towns, services, even includes a quiz.
  • Living History in Colorado.... lots of links to other Colorado history topics too.
  • Maps of Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park and Estes Park
  • Poudre Landmarks Foundation Preserving and restoring the heritage of the Fort
  • Resources for Roughing It has good information on what to do along the Front Range Collins area.
  • The Roosevelt National Forest includes 1.3 million acres of Federal land in the Rocky Mountains and foothills of northern Colorado.
  • The Samson Memorial Gallery a site devoted to Estes Park's famous elk killed by a poacher, Fall 1995.
  • San Luis Valley Museums and Historical Sites
  • Santa Fe Trail Page prepared by students at Trinidad State Junior College, Trinidad Colorado
  • Scenic Drives around Colorado nicely described with history of the area.
  • Ski Areas in Colorado
  • South Platte River Stage Stations on the Overland Trail
  • Three-D Maps for Mountaineers!
  • Wilderness Areas near Rocky Mt. Park.

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  • WYOMING
  • America's Trails: Wyoming Old West and Modern Trails in Wyoming
  • Bridger Valley Historical information of the area
  • Bridger Wilderness Good information: Geology, trails, hiking, history, wildlife, etc.
  • Buffalo Wyoming one of the first settlements in northern Wyoming
  • Cheyenne Frontier Days, "Grandaddy Of 'Em All"-- the world's largest rodeo
  • Cheyenne,Wyoming "Where the pavement ends and the west begins."
  • Cody, Wyoming: A great town which offers unique experiences about the western way of life!
  • Emigrant Signatures On Independence Rock
  • The Encampment River Wilderness covers over 10,400 acres of forested land south and west of Laramie, Wyoming. At an average elevation of 7,800 feet, this is a rugged area in which to hike and camp.
  • Fort Bridger One of the main hubs of westward expansion: from mountain men and Indians to emigrants and pioneers, to the U.S. Army, the Pony Express, the Overland Stage and the Union Pacific Railroad.
  • Fort Bridger from the Overland Trail site
  • Fort Bridger History
  • Fort Laramie A good history, with emphasis on interaction with Plains Indians
  • Fort Laramie Facts Characters who passed through: The NPS web site
  • Fort Laramie, Wyoming: This military post on the Oregon Trail marked the gateway to the Rocky Mountains.
  • Fort Laramie What to see and do in the area
  • Green River: The Lombard Ferry Crossing rivers was the most dangerous activity emigrants faced on their journey west
  • Historic Sites in Wyoming
  • Independence Rock State Historic Site One of the most important landmarks along the trail west
  • Independence Rock It's history
  • Johnson County Here many of the great Indian Wars were fought, the famous Bozeman Trail runs through its midst and is the foundation for many of the major roads today (and the reason Main Street, Buffalo, WY is crooked to this day as it wanders through town), the Basque sheepherders fought it out with the Cattle Ranchers, and the Cattlemen fought it out with each other!
  • Lander Cut-Off Hiking Along the Oregon Trail
  • Medicine Bow National Forest: great recreational areas to the west and east of Laramie.
  • The Museum of the Mountain Man In Pinedale, WY.... a great place to visit! My 10-year old grand-daughter loved it.
  • Laramie, Wyoming The city: with a map of surrounding area.
  • Name Derivations of Wyoming Counties Why the counties have the names they have.
  • National Historic Trails Interpretive Center Planned for Casper, Wyoming
  • Old West Museum Located in Cheyenne, it houses one of the nation's largest carriage collections--more that 125 horse drawn vehicles ranging from carts to freight wagons.
  • The Oregon Trail in Wyoming
  • The Parting of the Ways A historical monument about 15 miles northeast of Farson, Wyoming.
  • South Pass City State Historic Site State of Wyoming's site
  • South Pass: The Cultural Landscape
  • South Pass: The most important landmark on the Oregon Trail
  • Sublette County WY: Historical Points of Interest
  • Tie Siding, Wyoming--a spot on the map between Fort Collins and Laramie, near Willow Springs, first stage station north of Virginia Dale.
  • Timeline of the Oregon Trail from the crossing of South Pass by white fur traders in 1812 to the completion of the Transcontinental railroad in 1869
  • The Turtle Shaped Mound: Independence Rock, Wyoming
  • Wyoming General information including sightseeing, a bit of history, historic sites, recreational areas.
  • The Wyoming Companion Wyoming's Premier Magazine and Journal of the West & Western Travel Celebrating the scenic beauty, history, arts, and events of Wyoming and the West. Be sure to check out their "Best of the West" Sites!
  • Wyoming OCTA Treks Page
  • Wyoming Roundup: Places of interest in Wyoming - the Cowboy State! A great resource for school reports and for planning trips.
  • Wyoming Screen Savers, Wildflowers, etc Visit this page for some very nice free screen savers of areas in Southern Wyoming, images of Wyoming wildflowers, and much more in the way of software, and services.
  • Wyoming Tales and Trails Photographs and History of Old Wyoming. This site is devoted almost exclusively to the history of Wyoming as told through photographs. Lots of nice historic photos, and the history about them.
  • Wyoming Territorial Prison and Old West Park The romance of the Old West comes alive at our Frontier Town in Laramie, WY
  • Yellowstone National Park. Visit this web site for everything you'll ever need to know about the park. It's an index for over 1100 sites, broken down into 22 categories, from Biology, Ecology, Lodging, Hunting, Fine Art...too many to name.

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  • TEXAS
  • Butterfield Trail through Texas
  • Links to Cattle Trails
  • Links to the Chisholm Trail
  • Ferries in Texas As early as 1824, ferries were maintained at most points where roads crossed Texas streams or rivers that were not fordable.
  • Forts in Texas
  • Links to The Goodnight-Loving Trail
  • Horsehead Crossing of the Pecos River. First mapped by Captain Marcy in 1849, it was a major landmark on the trail west, as it provided the first water for about 75 miles on the route from the east. Page includes "Terraserver" image.
  • Hueco Tanks State Historic Park This 860 acre park is named for the large natural rock basins or "huecos" that have furnished a supply of trapped rain water to dwellers and travelers in this arid region of west Texas for millennia.
  • Palo Duro Canyon State Park Although Coronado may have visited here in 1541, Captain R.B. Marcy officially discovered the canyon in 1852. The canyon was the scene of a decisive battle in 1874 between Comanche and Kiowa Indians and the U.S. Army troops under General Ranald Mackenzie. It was also the scene of an early ranch started by Charles Goodnight in 1876.
  • San Antonio, Texas This area was first explored by Spanish expeditions in 1691. By 1718, five Spanish missions were located along the San Antonio River.
  • Sherman, Texas By 1852 400 people lived in Sherman, which "consisted of a row of clapboard business buildings along the east side of the public square." By the end of the decade the town had incorporated and was a stop on the Butterfield Overland Mail route through Texas.
  • Young County Spanish explorers in the mid 1700's, Randolph B. Marcy, and the Butterfield Stage route all crossed through Young County. Historical Timeline for Young County.

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  • NEW MEXICO
  • Apache Trails a consortium of Southern New Mexico visitor attractions, was organized in 1989 to invite visitors to follow the trails of the ancient Apaches.
  • Fort Union and the Santa Fe Trail Did one of the early settlers just for a moment think that someone would be standing where he stood, thinking about him thinking about them?
  • Fort Union A good comprehensive summary from the University of Kansas web site
  • Fort Union National Monument from the NPS's site
  • The Gila Cliff Dwellings Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument offers a glimpse of the homes and lives of the people of the Mogollon culture who lived there from the 1280s through the early 1300s. The surroundings probably look today very much like they did when the cliff dwellings were inhabited.
  • Harding County, NM Only 946 souls reside in Harding County, but they are happily at home on this range, where deer and antelope truly play. Also here is the Kiowa National Grassland: 12 miles along the Canadian River Canyon. And the night sky is so clear the stars practically reach down and touch a gazer's heart and soul.
  • The Jemez Mountain Trail Just north of Albuquerque, at the junction of N.M. 44 and State Highway 4, quietly begins one of New Mexico's most spectacular scenic drives The Jemez Mountain Trail, declared a National Scenic Byway in recognition of its fantastic natural and cultural resources.
  • Las Golondrinas--The Ranch of the Swallows was an historic paraje or stopping place on El Camino Real, the Royal Road to Mexico City.
  • Las Vegas, New Mexico A city with more than 900 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A database of these buildings is searchable from this site.
  • New Mexico Culture Net This site has a lot of information about culture in New Mexico including a statewide calendar of events, artist and business listing, links and so much more... come on in and see for yourself.
  • Wagon Mound After crossing the Raton Pass, Santa Fe Trail travelers observed in the distance a giant volcanic rock which resembled a Conestoga wagon.

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  • ARIZONA
  • Charleston Arizona The town that was tougher than Tombstone! Charleston is now part of the San Pedro Riperian National Conservation Area, protected by the BLM.
  • Fort Huachuca Museum The fascinating history of the U. S. Army in the Southwest, as well as the history of the Southwest itself, unfolds at the museum.
  • Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park A "must see" if you're visiting in Tombstone. Lots of history here!
  • A Tombstone Online Tour Back to the top
  • IDAHO
  • Fort Hall The OCTA page on this trading post along the Oregon Trail which was named Fort Hall, established in 1834. Although Fort Hall continued to be used by independent fur traders after the establishment of Fort Boise, the post fell into disrepair and in 1864 the Holladay Stage Lines constructed a stage station a short distance southeast of Fort Hall, using much of the material from the old fort.
  • Massacre Rocks State Park The site of Register Rock, where pioneers carved their names and dates in rocks as they passed through
  • The National Oregon California Trail Center In Montpelier, Idaho This web site celebrates the Oregon/California Trail as it traverses the great state of Idaho and the Idaho county of Bear Lake.
  • Old Fort Boise Built by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1834 at the Snake River
  • The Three Island Crossing--in Idaho, which reenacts this dangerous crossing of the Snake River every 2nd weekend in August; also includes excerpts of trail diaries.

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  • UTAH
  • Earth Treks: Hiking Escalante Canyons
  • Everett Ruess: A Vagabond For Beauty by W. L. Rusho
  • Everett Ruess: Wandering Soul
  • Looking for Everett Ruess: A poet's quest in search of self
  • Explorers and Vagabonds: The Lore of the Escalante Canyons
  • From BLM: Visiting the Grand Staircase
  • Grand Staircase Wilderness SUWA's web site
  • The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument: A Painted Land, Colorful People
  • Ghost Riders and Rest Stops is a series of "letters" from various stops on the overland route through Utah
  • The Hastings Trail A very complete history of this trail, also includes a gallery of photos, biographies, diaries and journals
  • Hiking Guide to The Canyons of the Escalante NPS site
  • Historic and Scientific Objects of Interest and also a Bibliography of Resources on Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument provided by BLM
  • John Wesley Powell River History Museum: History of the river, the Spanish, the explorers, the Mountain Men, the geography of the area, and more
  • Mountain Meadows A regular stop on the Old Spanish Trail where a massacre took place in 1857 killing 120 emigrants
  • The Mountain Meadows Massacre Association The Mountain Meadows Association was organized in 1989 as a joint effort by the descendants of both sides of this tragedy.
  • The Mountain Meadows Massacre Association Links Page The Association has erected a suitable memorial to honor the memory of those who lost their lives in the massacre in September of 1857.
  • The Mountain Meadows Massacre A virtual pictorial tour of the site by Terry Fancher, a descendant of wagon master, Captain Alexander Fancher. This wagon trail traveled from Arkansas to Utah in 1857
  • Trapper's Rendezvous at Bear Lake, Utah.
  • Utah Collections Multimedia Encyclopedia
  • Utah Remote: a collection of memorable adventures within a day's drive from Salt Lake City--little known, mostly secret, absolutely out of the ordinary!

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  • WASHINGTON
  • The Meeker Mansion A 17-room Victorian house that was the home of Ezra Meeker, an entrepreneur and Puyallup's first mayor.

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  • NEVADA
  • Trail of the ‘49ers Interpretive Center Come back to 1849 and learn what it was like to be a part of the greatest peacetime migration in the history of the world. Hundreds of thousands made it, many with no real hardships; while thousands suffered and died in the effort.
  • The 1st Annual Northern Nevada Living History Festival August 11th - 15th.... will include Rodeos, 7 Living History Reenactment Encampments , An Arts & Crafts Faire, and the arrival of "The Official California Trail Gold Rush Wagon Train of the 49'rs."
  • Lovelock Nevada This attractive community along the Humboldt Trail has been a comfortable stopping place for travelers since the days of the wagon trains.

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  • CALIFORNIA
  • California Emigrant Trail images along the trail
  • Links to The Beckwourth Trail The Black mountain man who established a route over the Sierra Nevada Mountains
  • 1994--The 150th Anniversary of the California Trail Over Donner Summit
  • The Donner Memorial State Park Located in the beautiful Sierra Nevada, Donner Memorial State Park offers the summer vacationer opportunities for camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, waterskiing, and hiking.
  • Sutter's Fort State Historic Park Sacramento’s earliest settlement established in 1839 by John Sutter, a Swiss immigrant who received a 48,000-acre land grant from the Mexican government.
  • History of Sacramento And the discovery of gold
  • California Emigrant Trail images along the trail

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