AAA Editor Notes
National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center is along the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway on SR 86, 5 mi. e. of I-84 exit 302. The 509-acre site includes original 1850s wagon ruts from the Oregon Trail, which cross an approximate .75-mile section on the site, as well as 1890s remains of the former Flagstaff Gold Mine. The center features artifacts, theater presentations and life-size dioramas that provide insights into exploration, settlement, Native American culture, mining history, natural history and the development of public lands. Living-history presentations and demonstrations of pioneer skills are offered in a 150-seat theater and at an outdoor wagon encampment.
A replica of a 1920s gold stamp mill is open during summer. A 4.2-mile trail system passes scenic views and historic sites and includes interpretive panels. The Oregon Trail wagon ruts can be reached from a hiking trail starting at the interpretive center or from an easier paved trail that can be accessed from a pullout on SR 86. A stone marker was placed at the site in 1906 by mid-19th century pioneer and Oregon Trail preservation advocate Ezra Meeker.
Picnicking is permitted. Time: Allow 2 hours minimum.