Ladd Hill

The Oregon Trail descended into the Grande Ronde Valley from Ladd Canyon Hill near LaGrande. The ruts are harder to find every year. Farm roads and pipeline scars are often misleading. The traces just to the left of the light pole are from the 1868 road which replaced the trail. The Oregon Trail is even further left and virtually invisible today. Consult Powerful Rockey by Jack Evans p. 85.

Six years before the first date on this sign, Narcissa Whitman rode  her sidesaddle through here and wrote:

“We decend a very steep hill in coming into the Grand Round at the foot of which is a beautiful cluster of pine trees…It is a circular plain surrounded  with lofty mountains and has a beautiful stream coursing through it.”

Hot Lake

Hot Lake

Peter Burnett, on that first major migration in 1843 wrote:

“In this region may also be found the most wonderful creations of nature, existent in the world.

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this is a pond, or well, of boiling salt water, hot enough for cooking purposes, and bottomless in its depths. The steam arising from it may be seen at the distance of seferal miles, and resembles the vapor arising from a salt furnace.”

Ladd Hill
OAG = DeLorme’s Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer
MOT
 = Franzwa’s Maps of the Oregon Trail
OTR
 = Franzwa’s Oregon Trail Revisited

Charles Reynolds Rest Area quotes to go here.