During the peak of the westward migration, from about 1840 to 1869, more than 300,000 determined emigrants traveled the Oregon Trail to claim their own piece of the West.
The 2,000-mile trail stretched from Missouri to the Oregon Territory, passing 500 miles through Idaho, where travelers faced harsh desert landscapes and hazardous river crossings.
The route largely followed the Bear River Valley and the Snake River in southern Idaho before heading north through what is now the Boise area and into Oregon. Many Idaho locales reflect this time in history: the city of Pocatello is named for the Northwestern Shoshone chief; the town of Fort Hall bears the name of an important trading post, and the town of Glenns Ferry developed around the site of a ferry launch that helped pioneers cross the Snake River.
You can learn about the experiences of Oregon Trail travelers and the area’s native inhabitants at many points throughout the state, from historical markers to interpretive centers. Many sites are along or near U.S. Highway 30. Check out the list below to get your Oregon Trail adventures started.