We are lucky enough to live very close to many historical and beautiful places. One of those destinations we often travel to is Eastern Wyoming. Just north of Cheyenne and Interstate 80 (1.5 hours). And east of Interstate 25 is Guernsey, Wyoming. A quaint little town where you can catch up with the eastern Wyoming section of the Oregon Trail, Pony Express, Mormon Trial, and the California Trail.
Just out of Guernsey at the Oregon Trail Ruts State Historic Site, you will find some of the best-preserved wagon train ruts. Over the heavy usage years, which was between 1841 to 1869, wagon trains wore down the trail into a sandstone ridge about two to six feet.
Not only is the site a Wyoming State Park. But it was also declared a National Historic Landmark and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.
► Locate Oregon Trial Rut State Park on the map: Click here
Fort Laramie, which we will feature in its own Colorado Martini video and blog post, was a major hub for the trails, the Cheyenne – Deadwood Stage, and Pony Express. Fort Laramie National Historic Site (U.S. National Park Service) still stands to this day. And is a must see when in the area. We will have more on Fort Laramie to come.
Many wonderful ruins and restored buildings dart the area. I was surprised how much there was there. This place is rich in Western history. Famous treaties were made here. Oregon, Mormon, and California trail pioneers stopped here. Pony Express had a stop at the fort. Miners and fortune hunters started or drove through to get supplies before heading to the Deadwood gold fields. People such as Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. Fort Laramie is where they met.
You are remote. And there isn’t much in the town Fort Laramie as far as food. So bring plenty of water and food. The Fort itself has a wonderful picnic area. Make sure your vehicle is gassed up before making your way out there. Wear good walking shoes. There is a lot of walking. During the summer months bring a water bottle and a brimmed hat.
Effective January 1, 2015 admission to Fort Laramie National Historic Site is FREE!
►Oregon Trail: Journey to Willamette Valley Board Game: Click Here
On the side of the road across from the Oregon Trail State Park in Wyoming, you can find a wonderful memorial to the Oregon Trail pioneer Lucindy Rollins. The road is even named after her, “Lucida Rollins Road.” Lucindy was born in 1825 and died June 11, 1849 at the aged 23–24. Her cause of death has never been determined. Or weather her family made it to Oregon. But they believe she started her journey from Dayton, Ohio. See was buried next to the Platte River, in Guernsey, Wyoming.
The original headstone was placed behind glass in a niche in the present day white obelisk. Unfortunately, many years ago, the monument was vandalized and the headstone was removed. It is said it was found in the river. The improved white obelisk monument and gravesite was built in 1934.
Her plaque reads: “Grave of Lucindy Rollins 1849-1934 Dedicated to the pioneer women of Wyoming. Erected by the Historical Landmark Commission of Wyoming.”
Note 1849 is the year of her death. And 1934 is the year the monument was erected. It is very misleading.
You can find the monument to her grave at:
There is a wonderful paved bike trail that runs along the Platte River. This bike trail runs right by Lucinda.
►Click to find Lucindy Rollins grave:
Lucinda Rollins Rd. Hartville, WY 82215. GPS: 42.260388, -104.753008
Not far from the “Guernsey Ruts” you will find Register Cliff. A beautiful trail camp area that bears the signature cravings of Oregon Trail names and years. A sort of accommodations register. This area was also home to a Pony Express station.
Register Cliff is over 100 feet above the North Platte River Valley. You can find it just south of Guernsey, Wyoming. The emigrants camped here after leaving Fort Laramie. During this stopover they would carve their names and the dates of the stop. Many of the inscriptions on the Cliff are from the peak years of Oregon Trail travel. Which was from the 1840s and 1850s. Several states are represented. But especially Ohio seems to be the prevailing cravings.
Unfortunately, over the year’s visitors to the cliff found it necessary to carve their own names into the sandstone face. The most treasured names from the Oregon Trial have been fenced off. But it is still cool to see someone’s name dated 1917.
We highly recommend you plan a trip to Guernsey and Wyoming. Between national parks like Yellowstone, Devil’s Tower and more, you will not be disappointed. The state of Wyoming is a diamond in historical rough as far as we are concerned. Make sure to check out all our Wyoming video: Click to start our Wyoming Travel playlist
Directions: can be determined from our Colorado Martini’s map of Wyoming. Each red marker on the map has a marker description and pictures.
Click for Recommended book: Oregon Trail Road Trip Book
Do not miss watching our video:
5 Things To Do On The Oregon Trail in Eastern Wyoming
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- Photo/video credit Oregon National Historic Trail Topographical Map, https://www.nps.gov/oreg/planyourvisit/maps.htm, Retrieved June 24, 2020.
- Oxley, W. T. (ca. 1921) Westward Bound. , ca. 1921. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2013648092/. , Retrieved June 24, 2020.
- Jenks, D. A. (1859) North Platte. California North Platte River United States Wyoming, 1859. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/2004661637/. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
- Elva Ingram grave, by Randy Brown, https://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/emigrant-hill-and-grave-elva-ingram, Retrieved June 24, 2020.
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