About this Tour
This is an audio driving tour of historic routes through Wyoming. In the 19th century, as many as half a million people may have traveled this corridor in the pursuit of opportunity.
Whether it was Manifest Destiny, itchy feet, religious freedom, conquest, breathing room, riches, adventure, the desire to “see the elephant,” draft-dodging, cheap land or other motivations, 19th-century America looked to the vast expanses of the West to ease its national growing pains. The bold took what most acknowledged as the journey of a lifetime and headed west. Long-used trading and hunting routes blazed by Native Americans and fur traders soon were worn deep and wide by the passage of thousands of pioneers and perhaps millions of animals.
This tour offers engaging stories about trappers, traders, the military and early pioneers who scouted and traveled on the Oregon, California, and Mormon emigrant trails across Wyoming in the 1840s, ‘50s and ‘60s. Learn more of the tragic story of the handcart emigrants on their way to Salt Lake City who died in a series of severe snowstorms, witness where hundreds of thousands of iron-rimmed wagon wheels created large ruts in the ground, and tour back in time to the era of the mountain men.
The route covers portions of Interstate 80, Highway 30, Route 189, Highway 191, Highway 220, and Highway 28.
The Oregon/Mormon Pioneer/California Trails have been studied and assessed according to the National Trails System Act of 1968 and have been designated as National Historic Trails. This Emigrant Trail tour is sponsored by the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office whose mission is to document, preserve and promote Wyoming’s heritage.
This tour was created in partnership with the Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office with contributions from the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, National Park Service, and Wyoming Office of Tourism.
Within the tour, you will find opportunities to support WyoHistory.org
. This organization was instrumental in providing historic images and generating the narrative for this tour. WyoHistory.org encourages exploration of Wyoming and its past by building and maintaining a permanent, interactive encyclopedia of Wyoming history as an ongoing project of the Wyoming State Historical Society.
Find More Tours Near You
If you enjoy this tour, check out Roads through WY: US-287
and GaperGuide: Grand Teton
. In addition, you can find other tours in Wyoming or wherever your travels may take you at TravelStorys.com
. Every place has a story.