Gering in Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Emigrants reached Scotts Bluff after a long journey across the plains
Scotts Bluff, the dramatic series of clay and sandstone highlands surrounding you, is known chiefly as a landmark on the old Oregon Trail. Emigrants heading west encountered the bluffs after a six to eight-week trek across the monotonously flat grasslands.
Through the 1840's, deep ravines near here forced early wagon trains to bypass this area. But in 1851 a wagon route was opened, and for more than a decade the Oregon Trail pioneers drove their teams and wagons through Mitchell Pass in front of you.
This path leads to traces of the old Oregon Trail. Take a 15-minute walk through Mitchell Pass and follow in the tracks of pioneers, gold seekers, freighters, cavalry troops, soldiers, and Pony Express riders.
Scotts Bluff made a lasting impression on thousands of overland travelers in the 1840’s and 50’s. Emigrants on the Oregon Trail approached the bluffs on this side of the North Platte River, while those on the Moron Trail viewed the bluffs from the opposite bank. The Forty-niners of the California Gold Rush also passed this way, but branched off west of the Rockies onto the California Trail.
Large Conestoga wagons drawn by 6-10 yoke of oxen hauled freight to military posts over this route during the 1850’s and 60’s.
The replica wagons on display here seasonally are typical of those used on the Oregon Trail.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1851.
Location. Marker has been reported permanently removed. It was located near 41° 49.716′ N, 103° 42.492′ W. Marker was in Gering, Nebraska, in Scotts Bluff County. Marker was on Old Oregon Trail, on the right when traveling west. The marker was located in Scotts Bluff National Monument, at the start of the Mitchell Pass Trail. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Gering NE 69341, United States of America.
We have been informed that this sign or monument is no longer there and will not be replaced. This page is an archival view of what was.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other Choices (here, next to this marker); Scott's Bluff Pony Express Station (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Transportation Corridor (approx. 0.2 miles away); History Lives on in Art (approx. 0.3 miles away); Assistance on the Trail (approx. 0.3 miles away); a different marker also named Oregon Trail (approx. 0.3 miles away); A Sea of Grass (approx. half a mile away); A Landscape Changed Forever (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gering.
More about this marker. A map in the center of the marker shows the routes of the Oregon, California and Mormon trails from their start in Nauvoo and St. Louis to Fort Vancouver, Sacramento and Salt Lake City. Pictures of ox drawn wagons on the trail appear on the right side of the marker.
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker. This marker has been replaced with the linked marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 4, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 16, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 584 times since then and 180 times this year. Last updated on May 30, 2021, by Connor Olson of Kewaskum, Wisconsin. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on August 16, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.