Oregon Trail in Nebraska

August 13, 2016 - August 18, 2016
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Between 1842 and 1860 an estimated 250,000 emigrants traveled the Oregon Trail to new homes in the West.  Some of the most iconic landmarks on the trail remain on the arid plains of Nebraska.  We’ll pick up the trail in Omaha and follow the Platte River as the pioneers did, to learn about this pivotal American event.    Tour Mormon Trail sites, visit Fort Kearney, Fort Laramie, enjoy a special pioneer dinner in the shadow of Scotts Bluff, and walk in actual wagon ruts which have survived more than a century of sun, wind, and weather.  Tour begins in Omaha and ends in Denver.  Airfare not included.

$1287 double occupancy | $1509 single occupancy

Tour highlights:

  • Fort Omaha
  • Florence Mill
  • Mormon Trail Center
  • Great Platte River Road
  • Fort Kearney
  • Scotts Bluff National Monument
  • Chimney Rock
  • Fort Laramie
  • Oregon Trail Ruts

Tour Itinerary:

Arrivals

Passengers will be met at Omaha’s Eppley Airfield and transported to our hotel in Omaha. We’ll enjoy a get-acquainted dinner at Fort Omaha and learn about the adventure ahead before turning in for the night. Overnight: Regency Lodge, Omaha, NE. (D)

Mormon Trail Interpretive Center / Florence Mill

The Mormon Pioneers traveled westward during the same time period, and their trail paralleled that of the Oregon Trail – but at a cautious distance – on the opposite bank of the Platte River. Today we’ll tour Mormon Trail Sites including the excellent Mormon Trail interpretive Center and Florence Mill, a preservation project including the Mill Museum, the only structural remains from the Mormon Winter Quarters dating from 1846. Other Oregon Trail sites in the area will complete our day. Overnight again in Omaha, NE. (B, L)

Great Platte River Road / Fort Kearney

Today we’ll set out on the trail along the Platte River. In present-day Kearney we’ll visit the extraordinary Great Platte River Road Archway Monument, an interactive adventure that pays tribute to the pioneers who passed through this region of Nebraska on their way West. You will witness the thrills of news coming into a distant outpost, a buffalo stampede, the words and faces of those that lived and died on the route, the building of the railroad, the creation of the first transcontinental road (the Lincoln Highway), and today’s modern transportation system that still brings adventurers like you! In the 18 months preceding an 1849 War Department report, an estimated 30,000 emigrants passed through Fort Kearney, built in 1848 solely for the protection of emigrants. We’ll tour the fort and hear the reminiscences of a ’52 pioneer before overnighting in the nearby town of Kearney. (B, L)

Scotts Bluff / Legacy of the Plains

Sweet spring water made Ash Hollow a major stopover on the Oregon Trail a welcome respite after negotiating the treacherous Windlass Hill where wagon ruts remain to tell the story of the arduous lowering of wagons down the steep incline. Further west, we’ll visit Scotts Bluff National Monument and Chimney Rock – perhaps the most famous landmark along the trail. Each served as a gauge of the distance already covered and as a sign of the mountainous terrain to come. Tonight’s special dinner is a farm-to-table experience, served in the shadow of Scotts Bluff – at the Legacy of the Plains Museum. We’ll reflect on the spirit of the pioneers who passed this way on their westward journey. We’ll overnight in Scottsbluff, NE. (B, D)

Fort Laramie / Oregon Trail Ruts

This morning we’ll move on to Wyoming and Fort Laramie (we’re one-third of the way!) Established in 1834 by fur trappers, Fort Laramie became a major military post along the Oregon Trail. The living history exhibits and interpretive tour of the fort provide a deeper understanding of both the westward expansion movement and the Native Americans who staked their lives on preventing it. Wagon wheel ruts are still visible at nearby Guernsey State Park; and Register Cliff, which rises 100 feet above the prairie, reflects names and hometowns of thousands of pioneers who passed by in the 1850’s and 1860’s. We’ll end the day in Denver with a very special Farewell Dinner in keeping with the spirit of the Oregon Trail. (B,L, D)

Deaprtures

Airport transfers are provided to Denver International Airport. (B)

Participant Comments

  • I’ve learned a lot & have a greater appreciation of everything along the Old West Trail.

    - 2011 Old West Trail participant
  • Our tour director and our driver were wonderful.  They were so helpful, courteous and knowledgeable of history of the west.  It was a great trip and I am so glad I went.

    - 2011 Old West Trail Participant
  • Your love of the West showed through in the ways you share your knowledge… the little unexpected extras made the many miles of our Old West Trail memories that will not be soon forgotten.

    - 2011 Old West Trail participant

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Happy Trails!