Oregon Trail in Oregon Clickable Map

Well Spring
(photos copyright Dick Ackerman 1989)

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) 

Well Spring Locator Map OAG = DeLorme's  Oregon Atlas & Gazetteer
MOT =
Franzwa's Maps of the Oregon Trail
OTR =
Franzwa's
Oregon
Trail
Revisited 1997

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.

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