An Idaho wildfire destroyed 20 homes last month, but it also uncovered previously unknown remnants of the Oregon Trail. After the Aug. 25 fire, the Oregon-California Trails Association decided to mark the portion now visible.
Before the fire, sagebrush and cheatgrass covered two parallel paths that stretched for half-a-mile. The paths were discovered when satellite photos were taken after the fire. It’s believed the last wagon crossed this portion of the trail in 1890.
The Oregon Trail was used by settlers in the mid-1800’s. It stretched through Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. In the late 1800’s, the railroads replaced the need for the Oregon Trail.