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Oregon, Mormon Pioneer, California, and Pony Express National Historic Trail Auto Tour
Scenic Drives > Oregon, Mormon Pioneer, California, and Pony Express National Historic Trail Auto Tour (WY) 
Location
Central and southwestern Wyoming.
 
Description
The Historic Trails Corridor includes the Oregon, Mormon Pioneer, California, and Pony Express National Historic Trails. These historic trails generally parallel highways throughout central and southwestern Wyoming. The trail corridor in Wyoming is marked and contains many important sites that are emblematic of the courage and hope of the people who traveled the trail. This scenic drive offers many interpretive sites right off the road,including Bessemer Bend, Devil’s Gate, Split Rock, Ice Slough, South Pass, False Parting of the Ways, Simpson’s Hollow, and Lombard Ferry. There are hiking, picnic and photography spots along the way.
 
Directions
Take State Highway 220 west out of Casper for about 74 miles to Muddy Gap. Take State Highway 287 north to Lander. From Lander, travel west along State Highway 28, which goes all the way to the Green River. These highways parallel the main trail corridor encompassing the four emigrant trails.
 
Visitor Activities
Scenic drives, historic site, interpretive sites, picnicking, and hiking.
 
Special Features
This corridor of overland routes was utilized by more than 500,000 emigrants as they traveled west from 1840–1870. Of those who started the journey, one in 10 did not complete it. Thousands died along the way, mostly from accidents, cholera, and other diseases. The historic landscape that the trails traverse remains virtually unchanged from what it was during the emigration period. South Pass is the most important landmark on the historic trails and the geological feature that unlocked the Pacific Northwest to overland immigration. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark as a lasting tribute to its historical importance and significance to the settlement of the West. Devil’s Gate, another important landmark along the trails, is a spectacular canyon cut through the Rattlesnake Mountains by the Sweetwater River.
 
Permits, Fees, Limitations
None.
 
Accessibility
Devil’s Gate, Split Rock, and South Pass interpretive sites have wheelchair-accessible paths. Devil’s Gate and Split Rock also have accessible vault toilets.
 
Camping and Lodging
BLM’s Atlantic City and Big Atlantic Gulch Campgrounds are located near South Pass, 28 miles south of Lander. In addition, BLM campgrounds are located on the Sweetwater River and Fontenelle Reservoir. Camping and lodging are available in Casper, Lander, Rock Springs, and Green River. Most of these cities are located on Interstate 25 and Interstate 80.
 
Food and Supplies
Gas and groceries are available in Alcova, Muddy Gap, Lander, and Farson located on State Highways 220, 287 and 28.
 
First Aid
Emergency services are available through local law enforcement. Hospitals are located in Casper, Lander, and Rock Springs.
 
Additional Information
Federal, State, and private lands are intermingled along the various trail routes. Wyoming’s weather can affect highway travel, particularly in the winter. The best season of use is May–October. Visitors are encouraged to contact BLM for detailed information prior to traveling the historic trail corridor.
 
Contact Information
National Historic Trails Interpretive Center
1501 North Poplar St.
Casper, WY 82601
Tel: (307) 261-7700
Fax: (307) 261-7798
 
BLM - Casper Field Office
2987 Prospector Ave.
Casper, WY 82604
Tel: (307) 261-7600
Fax: (307) 234-1525
 
BLM - Lander Field Office
1335 Main Street
P.O. Box 589
Lander, WY 82520
Tel: (307) 332-8400
Fax: (307) 332-8447
 
BLM - Rock Springs Field Office
Highway 191 North
P.O. Box 1869
Rock Springs, WY 82903-1869
Tel: (307) 352-0256

Historic Trails Map


Oregon Trail Marker

A trail marker designates one of the many miles of historic trails that cross Wyoming. (Jerry Sintz, BLM Utah State Office (retired))

 
Last updated: 10-23-2009