Depending on when you grew up and went to school, the computer game “Oregon Trail” is a beloved memory that made history and the adventure of exploration come alive. In the 1800s, approximately half-a-million settlers made the arduous journey from the Midwest to Oregon, with perils, disease, attacks, and starvation along the way. This was a truly epic time in American history, and you can learn about it all when you visit the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City, Oregon.
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If you don’t have the time or energy to travel the over 2,000 miles of the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon or even a comfy SUV, then definitely plan to stop by this interpretive center. Here you can watch living history demonstrations, participate in interpretive programs, watch multi-media presentations, and walk along over four miles of interpretative trails.
This local attraction is about five miles east of the town of Baker City and has so much interesting information to learn about. You’ll read and hear about the stories of pioneers, miners, settlers, and Native Americans who navigated through the wilderness and made homes along the way.
The interpretative center is open daily from 9am to 4pm, but the hours do change seasonally and may be impacted by the weather. Between the months of April and October, the adult admission fee is $8, and that fee is reduced to $5 if you visit between November and March. Youth ages 15 and younger are always free to visit.
The center also posts a calendar of events on its website, so you may be able to see a live traditional folk music performance, see a nature photography exhibit, or attend another type of relevant event here.
More than 40,000 visitors come here each year, and it’s also a popular place for school groups and teachers looking to learn about the trail for classroom lessons. Take some time to explore the hiking trails with well-preserved wagon wheel ruts that date back to the pioneer times. You can download a trail map before your trip or pick one up at the on-site information center to help find your way.
Before you leave, make sure to browse the Oregon Trail Shop for souvenirs, books, jewelry, and themed gift items. And once you’ve been here, it’s always fun to revisit the old “Oregon Trail” computer game and try your luck getting across the trail with your newfound historical knowledge!
National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center Information:
Address: 22267 OR-86, Baker City, Oregon 97814