End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center

End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center

End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center
4
Speciality Museums
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9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
TEMPORARILY CLOSED DUE TO CORONAVIRUS MITIGATION. PLANS TO REOPEN IN SEVERAL WEEKS. Official End of the Oregon Trail in Oregon City, Oregon. The visitor center is a state welcome center with free travel information, itineraries, and brochures. Also find the country store gift shop and visitor lounge with complimentary coffee and tea. The interpretive center offers the "Bound for Oregon" featured film, genealogy assistance for descendants of pioneers, and exciting and interactive exhibits that include period games and crafts like candle dipping and making a rag doll or journal. Outside the Interpretive Center, enjoy the heritage garden, a guided walk of one-thousandth of the trail, and Abernethy Green with pioneer lawn games and 24/7 signage implementing smart phone technology.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.0
188 reviews
Excellent
78
Very good
63
Average
29
Poor
12
Terrible
6

TAMAN1951
Liberty Lake, WA5,898 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
While the location itself is significant there is not much to see or do.

Fairly decent grounds well maintained but not as many exhibits as you might hope for.

OK if you are in the area but not a destination location in itself.

Interpretative center is still closed due to Covid.
Written May 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Inspire13706
Rapid City, SD2 contributions
I am a history buff and really enjoyed my visit to the End of the Oregon Trail Center. The visit starts out with a live presentation of how the pioneers would have packed for their trip on the Oregon trail and then continues with a movie that follows the experiences of several different people along the trail. One important thing to know is that you can only go through the center as part of a group and the last group tour begins at 3:30pm. It would be a good idea to call ahead and make sure you know what time the tours begin, so you can plan to arrive on time.
Written May 9, 2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

JonDrury
Vancouver, WA90 contributions
Dec 2014 • Solo
Second visit to the museum in a week, the first was with granddaughters who dressed in pioneer clothes and tried living in a tent. The museum is marked by a large iron structure imitating the shape of the covered wagons that traveled to Oregon.

Though some may find the museum a little pricey, some other sites in the area are free, the museum was worth the senior price for me, as I have a relative who wrote 10+ books on pioneers that traveled the trail. As you enter, register in the book store on the left, and be sure the kids dress up in pioneer clothes provided. Nice bookstore.

As you enter the museum there is a large room where children can think through loading their wagon for a cross-country trip to Oregon, with the figures on what things cost, what they weighed, and the limits of space in the wagon.

As you move toward the theater, notice the candle station on the left. The docent did a great job of enabling the kids to make their first candles.

The twenty-five minute film was effective, narrated by an actor portraying John McLloughlin, who, as Chief Factor of Fort Vancouver, largely rescued stranded wagon trains 1842-1845, before the Barlow Road was built around Mt. Hood. The depiction of the trials of weather, loss of life, hunger, and physical exertion reflected the incredible task the pioneers faced.

The last phase of the museum highlighted some of the amazing stories of these pioneers.

The super, free detailed map of the Oregon Trail was free, done by Oregon Parks.

We will take others to the Museum as it is a unique view of a chapter of American History.
Written December 6, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hello Jon Thank you for your kind response; this is invaluable for the success of promoting our museum and programs, so thank you again. We hope you will continue to visit as we change our exhibits throughout the year and have special events including author visits, films, children's programs and summer concerts. We are interested in learning more about the books you mentioned. Can you please contact our Director Gail Yazzolino at 503-657-9336 x107 to provide more info? Thank you!
Written December 8, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

thunefeld
Borrego Springs, CA619 contributions
I spent three weeks following the Oregon Trail for 2000 miles starting in Independence Missouri. Along the way I visited dozens of museums and interpretative centers. While they varied in quality and interpretive value, this was the most disappointing. "Cheesy" is the description that comes to mind. It is only a shadow of what was when constructed and opened in 1993. Evidently funds were squandered in the 90s and the museum went bankrupt during the recession. It reopened in early 2014 under new management with very limited funds on a wing and a prayer. It shows.
Written August 29, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your comment. The challenges to success are a journey; we believe the most important aspect of the journey is to stay true to the spirit of the pioneers and not get distracted by the challenges, just learn from the past, dream of the future and take action! We have made many business decisions to keep the “End of the Oregon Trail” history and attraction alive. While the majority of our visitors are very supportive and satisfied with the experience, some of you and us included know we can do so much better. We have dreams, some have become reality and some are yet to happen, we are keeping our eyes on the dreams. These dreams are a result of numerous comments, ideas and critiques from supporters, partners, visitors and our community at large. Thank you! The economic downturn did change forever what projects grantors can finance. It is human nature to want sustainability and have it free however; that is never going to balance. Non-profits need to run like a business paying for the costs of doing business to stay sustainable. The commitment to be ethical and responsible for all of our obligations in the past and into the future will continue. We benefit from our strong partnerships with the City of Oregon City, Clackamas County Tourism, Oregon State Tourism and the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde. Unlike corporations, Non-profits benefit by having the opportunity to have some of their projects funded by grantors and we are very grateful! If you have suggestions on how to help make our site better, please contact our Director at 503-657-9336 x107. We hope to see you again as we continue to grow our programs at the official End of the Oregon Trail.
Written September 4, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

bradshawgirl
Jackson, Miss.794 contributions
Jun 2014 • Family
I loved this little museum! It's several adjacent buildings of artifacts and interactive displays, and each one has a big wagon cover frame over the top of it. You start in a spacious gift shop, where you can buy tickets, souvenirs and other items, then head into the first building.

As you move through the exhibits, you do so in sequential order as travelers on the Oregon trail. First, you go to a mercantile and pack your wagon. There, you also learn about the types of lives the pioneers would have been leaving behind - more developed social networks, better schools, less cholera. You see some of the promotional materials that would have enticed travelers to hit the trail. You also watch a very moving video that tells the story of several trail riders in their own words, dramatized from actual accounts.

Then, you trace your path along the trail, learning more about the flora and fauna of the region and finding out how many of the travelers fared on their journey. (The answer? Touch and go. It was unimaginably difficult to survive such a trek. Sickness, injury, accidents, bitter weather - all contributed to kill you off before you finally made it to Oregon City.) Finally, you end at another general store, where you basically thank God that you survived and stock up for making your life in a new place.

This was a really interesting place to learn about the kind of moxie it took to head for Oregon and the kind of physical toughness required to survive the trip. They have some outdoor exhibit space, too. I'm very glad we got the chance to stop by!
Written September 7, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you very much for your positive response! We are glad you enjoyed our site and felt engaged by the programs and exhibit layouts offered. We hope you will come back to see us again soon. Again, thank you for taking the time to comment - It really helps spread the word about our mission and the significance of our historic site. Have a good day!
Written September 9, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

kcjanae
Portland, OR40 contributions
Aug 2014 • Family
I know they need funds to keep things like this going, but it wasn't really worth $9. The first room is set up to show what people lived like and what they brought with them on the trail with several plaques of info. The next room is all about roses, then you watch a cheesy film, which I thought could've been more informational, finished by a room set to look like a store. The garden was quite small, and I was expecting much more of the "country store" they speak of online. Speaking of online, their site is hacked so expect to read about viagra!
Written September 3, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your comment. The challenges to success are a journey; we believe the most important aspect of the journey is to stay true to the spirit of the pioneers and not get distracted by the challenges, just learn from the past, dream of the future and take action! We have made many business decisions to keep the “End of the Oregon Trail” history and attraction alive. While the majority of our visitors are very supportive and satisfied with the experience, some of you and us included know we can do so much better. We have dreams, some have become reality and some are yet to happen, we are keeping our eyes on the dreams. These dreams are a result of numerous comments, ideas and critiques from supporters, partners, visitors and our community at large. Thank you! The economic downturn did change forever what projects grantors can finance. It is human nature to want sustainability and have it free however; that is never going to balance. Non-profits need to run like a business paying for the costs of doing business to stay sustainable. The commitment to be ethical and responsible for all of our obligations in the past and into the future will continue. We benefit from our strong partnerships with the City of Oregon City, Clackamas County Tourism, Oregon State Tourism and the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde. Unlike corporations, Non-profits benefit by having the opportunity to have some of their projects funded by grantors and we are very grateful! If you have suggestions on how to help make our site better, please contact our Director at 503-657-9336 x107. We hope to see you again as we continue to grow our programs at the official End of the Oregon Trail.
Written September 4, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Carolyn S
Portland, OR69 contributions
Jul 2016 • Couples
Kids would love this museum! There are creative learning areas throughout the museum, sharing early Oregon immigration history. The 20 minute video is informative and the theater is comfortable. Even though much of the museum is targeted to children, it is also an informative museum for adults. There are educational signs outside as well as in. A special attraction is the historical garden of flowers and herbs. We went at opening time on a Saturday in summer and it was not crowded, so it was very pleasant to wander at a leisurely pace.
Written July 17, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for reviewing us! We try our best to be entertaining and informative for kids and adults, inside and outside our buildings. We are currently developing a new interpretive trail outside, so be sure to visit us again later for a whole new experience!
Written July 19, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

EmilyDawnBooth
Langley, Canada10 contributions
Oct 2014 • Couples
We had a lot of fun in this little interactive interpretive centre. It is full of cute touches and personal details. The movie was a nice touch
Written October 21, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your wonderful response; We are very glad you enjoyed your visit. Please spread the word to family and friends visiting our area and we hope to see you again soon! Stay connected with us on Facebook "End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive & Visitor Information Center"
Written October 24, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Becky0210
Hereford, England85 contributions
Jul 2014 • Family
This is a sad example of a well-intentioned museum which simply fails to do what it should. For a start, it is very difficult to find. Oregon City in general is a terrible place for directions, unusually for America. On arrival, the entrance is invisible, the system for buying tickets impenetrable. Then we were ushered into a large 'cinema' where a film is shown. It is well made, but concentrates on one tiny aspect of the whole migration of the 1840s and 50s. On leaving, one is directed along a one-way system to the outside, having missed half the displays. Determinedly, we fought our way back, but it was hardly worth it. The only good thing was the documents concerning allocation of land to the new migrants.
Written August 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us as we are always finding ways to improve. Signage is a goal for us; we have applied for grants and are waiting for funding. If you have time please come back as our guests, free of charge. Please contact me directly at 503-657-9336 x107 to discuss your visit and help us achieve a better experience for you and others to our site. Best regards, Gail Yazzolino, Director End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive & Visitor Information Center
Written August 7, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Gleda M
Camas, WA81 contributions
Jan 2014 • Friends
I went with a group last Monday and we planned to spend 2 hours but we could have spent much more time to really stopped and read more signs and exhibits. As it was we enjoyed the terrific and informative guide, Jeff. He led us from the initiation of the trip in Missouri, with many stories and personal accounts, to the entertaining short film of crossing the continent, and joined us again for our arrival in Oregon City. Unfortunately that is when we ran out of time and had to hurry off to our lunch reservation. I plan to go back on my own (and eat lunch first) so I can stay as long as I like and read all the signs and plaques. This would be great for all ages with a followup trip to the McLaughlin and Barclay houses.
Written January 22, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center (Oregon City) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center

End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center is open:
  • Sun - Sun 10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Mon - Sat 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM