Dates Open: Year round, weather permitting
Hours: Daylight hours
Facilities: Restrooms and groomed trails
Admission: No fee
Handicapped accessible: Partially—further developments in progress
Location: Near Guernsey—from Interstate 25, take Exit 92 and head east on Hwy. 26 toward Guernsey. Register Cliff is three miles south of Hwy. 26 on S. Wyoming Avenue. To get to the Oregon Trail Ruts, head back toward Guernsey and follow the signs.
Oregon Trail Ruts and Register Cliff
The sandstone rocks near Guernsey tell the story of the wagon trains of emigrants headed west in the mid-1800s. While trail ruts carved by thousands of wagons dot the western landscape, most pale in comparison to those found at the Oregon Trail Ruts site in Wyoming. Here, the trail ruts are not to be missed since they are carved into the stone. Some gouges are more than four feet deep! These deep ruts result from years of wagon wear and from intentional cutting by emigrants attempting to ease the steep passage up from the level river bottom to the High Plains. Be sure to take the short walk up to the trail ruts where interpretive signs help tell the saga of western frontier.
A short drive from the trail ruts back through Guernsey takes visitors to Register Cliff, which rises one hundred feet above the North Platte River valley. Following a day’s journey from Fort Laramie, emigrants spent the night at Register Cliff and inscribed their names into the rock face. The earliest signatures date to the late 1820s when trappers and fur traders passed through the area, but most of the names visible today were carved during the 1840s and 1850s when the Oregon Trail was at its height. Today, visitors can walk along the cliff base to view the signatures up close.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
ON THE WEB:
AT THE LIBRARY:
Traveling the Oregon Trail, 2nd edition, by Julie Fanselow (Falcon,
Protect Our Heritage!
Help protect these sites for future generations. Please do not add your signature to the historic carvings on Register Cliff and do not pick up or remove artifacts.
To report vandalism, call:
Guernsey State Park Office