The Oregon Trail

A worthwhile detour from Douglas or Lusk via I-15 and US-26 takes you 40-plus miles south to the town of Guernsey (pop. 1,195) on the North Platte River, where you can visit two of the most evocative Oregon Trail historic sites. The Oregon Trail passed through along the south bank of the river and the well-signed Guernsey State Park. A mile south of town via Wyoming Avenue you’ll find the best surviving set of Oregon Trail wagon ruts, cut shoulder-deep in the soft sandstone. Nearby is a small obelisk marking the grave of an unfortunate pioneer, and three miles to the southeast along the same road, Register Cliff is carved with the names of over a thousand pioneers and explorers, many dating back to 1840-1860, the heyday of the trail. Fort Laramie National Historic Site, another frontier landmark, is 15 miles east of Guernsey via US-26.