I set out to explore as much of the Oregon Trail as I could manage. My goal was to start from the California & OregonTrail Center at the border of Wyoming and Idaho, in Montpelier ID, then check out the Soda Springs area, and Fort Hall. I just couldn't manage all that in our week in Boise, and the California & Oregon Trail Center isn't open til summer anyway. I had a hard time finding out if there is anything about the Oregon Trail at present day Fort Hall, but at last I found some sites that mention it. See below--
California & Oregon Trail Center, Montpelier ID
Photos of sites along the Oregon Trail I have been able to visit:
along the Snake River, the Columbia River, the Barlow Route overland, and the Applegate Trail in Southern OR
Shoshone Falls of the Snake River, Twin Falls ID--has info about the local Native Inhabitants and more;
Twin Falls and area info: https://www.tfid.org/545/Play
Glenns Ferry ID-- https://www.glennsferryidaho.org/visitors/
Three Island Crossing State Park, ID near Glenns Ferry--the museum tells the stories with both sound & visuals
Bonneville Point Interpretive Site, overlooking Boise ID (day area, no services, take water & desert precautions)
Idaho State Museum, Boise ID-- https://history.idaho.gov/location/museum/
Forts Boise, at Boise and Parma ID
There were two Forts Boise, the older on the western border of Idaho kept getting flooded out, destroyed, deteriorated. Another Fort Boise was built in Boise, but it has not survived either. Now in its space is a large park--I didn't see any marker or memorial there.
Old & New Fort Boise
Rest Area at Ontario OR, I-84 (just over the border with ID)
I didn't get the chance to check out the interpretive site of the Snake River Crossing at Nyssa OR, the interpretive site at Keeney Pass or Alkali Springs near Vale OR, or historical sites in Vale OR itself. Perhaps another time. But the rest area at Ontario has much to recommend it--though a welcoming center was closed when we were there (either for COVID or April is too early in the year). This is the beginning of a great series of Oregon Trail pavilions at rest stops and such across Oregon.
Farewell Bend State Recreation Area, OR--26 mi northwest of Ontario OR
At Farewell Bend the Snake River heads north and through Hells Canyon. The Oregon Trail sought the Columbia River to the northwest, as it bends its way west from the north. The Farewell Bend State Rec site says it offers accessible camping, cabins & yurts (pets ok), flush restrooms and showers, trails, fishing; dump station, boat ramp, and picnicking are not marked as accessible.
Weatherby Rest Area, 38 mi northwest of Ontario OR
Durkee OR--50 mi northwest of Ontario OR (exit 327 from I-84, drive Durkee Rd to Hwy 30 and turn south)
Baker City OR--about an hour and a quarter northwest of Ontario OR via I-84
Oregon Trail sites in Baker City (exit 304): Chamber of Commerce, York's Covered Wagon (food & supplies), Gaiser-Pollman Park, Baker Heritage Museum, and the Old Post Office Square Park . . . at least! For more info and photos, see
National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, trail ruts access, and historic markers on the way
--near Baker City OR; closed for COVID Memorial Weekend 2021, limited opening in 2020
Baker Valley rest area, near the 45th Parallel, I-84 ten miles west of Baker City OR
It's time to stop and take a rest--we have traveled roughly 1700 or so miles from Missouri/Iowa. Emigrants started their journey maybe May, when the trail was not so soggy and grass for feed had a good start. They got to Baker Valley maybe about August. Only 300 or so miles left . . . but rough mountains lay ahead, and for those who rafted down the Columbia River--that was also rough going. More to come in Part 2.
I've been in a wheelchair for 30+ years. It poses some challenges for traveling. Maybe others can benefit from my experiences.