Oregon Trail in Oregon Clickable Map

Echo Meadows

Echo Meadows had no real significance to the emigrants. It was only about four miles into the stretch between the Umatilla River crossing and Well Spring. The intervening camp was a few miles further on at Butter Creek.
      It is significant to modern trail historians because of  the ruts. In 1971, when Gregory Franzwa  first wrote The Oregon Trail Revisited, there were several miles of pristine, untouched ruts. On a trek 10 years laters Franzwa noticed that most of them had been plowed under. This led him to gather a dozen trail friends to form some sort of organization to recognize the significance of these trails and preserve them. that organization is the Oregon - California Trails Association, begun in 1982.

Looking back on the trail we see an irrigation machine which helped to destroy the pristine ruts in this area. BLM maintains about a mile of interpreted and signed ruts here. The signed ruts are still very visible and give the feeling of the dry, dusty, sagebrush plain. They are approached by a 1/2 mile asphalt walkway from a BLM interpretive kiosk.

Echo Meadows Locator Map OAG = DeLorme's  Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer
Franzwa's Maps of the Oregon Trail
Revisited 1997

It is possible to get from Echo Meadows to Well Springs, but quite tricky. It is signed as Oregon Trail Tour Route as of 1993, but I still have gotten lost. It is probably better to believe Gregory Franzwa and go over to Cecil and come back. That way is fourteen miles of dirt road, but you can't miss it. In 1998 it is a worthwhile trip to see the new National Park Service interpretive panels, put up in Oct. 1997.

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