Even though Well Spring was a meager source of water, there was enough to make travel across this sagebrush plain possible. It was usually late August or early September when the emigrants came through and intermittent streams were normally dry.
"Monday 18 Traveled 20 miles stopped an hour at noon encamped at night at well springs here are 2 springs about a quarter of a mile apart to the left of the road 1 is good drinking water at the other they watered the cattle by dipping it up no grass near a warm pleasant day our road lay over a rolling prairie very dusty." Susan Amelia Cranston (8/19/1851)
OCTA at Work
Ted Montgomery, Garth Kendig, and Dick Klein doing maintenance work on interpretive signs and panels on the U.S Navy's Boardman Bombing Range at Well Spring.
Today's visitor will notice several changes. OCTA markers delineate the trail and the NPS has installed new interpretive panels Oct 29, 1997. This site are accessible from Cecil on a 14 mile gravel road.
The site includes a five mile hiking segment, but one is cautioned to contact the navy before venturing any further than the interpretive area.
A Rutnut's Dream
Some of the most pristine traces of the Oregon Trail are preserved here. Both the Navy and Boeing (which leases some of the land) have agreed to a 400 foot corridor preserving the trail.
"Saturday Sept 18th Again we push forward slowley, over a soft and loamy soil which cuts up and makes a great smudge. Drove within four miles of the springs and campt, making sixteen miles.
Sunday Sept 19th Drove to the springs, watered our cattle, took in water, then drove to Willow Creek, fifteen miles, making in all nineteen miles today; arrived late in the eve" (Samuel Dexter Francis, 1852)
Take State Highway 74 off of I-84 down to Cecil. Franzwa directs you to Four Mile Canyon, but you can also get to Well Spring, 14 miles east on dusty, gravelly Immigrant Rd. It is worth the trip to see the new NPS interpretive panels at Well Spring itself, and also at the Colonel Gilliam cemetery 1/2 mile to the west.
You are at Well Spring
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