Last updated: January 15, 2023
A map of Passport and Places to Go locations for National Historic Trails.
For emigrants on the Oregon Trail, Ladd Marsh was another obstacle they had to overcome in order to reach the fertile lands of the Willamette Valley. After traveling through Ladd Canyon and descending Ladd Hill, the flat lands of Grande Ronde Valley at first were a welcome reprieve from hard travel. But that changed upon entering the marsh. The narrow-wheeled wagons become mired in the wet, muddy ground, exhausting already weary travelers. It was not until 1868, 25 years after the first wagons rolled through the marsh, that a new route was established that avoided the wet ground.
Location (exit 268 (Foothill Road) off I-84, five miles south of La Grande)
Today, Ladd Marsh is part of the 6000 acre Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area. Things to do include viewing the marsh's scenery, birds, and animals at several overlooks and hiking a one mile nature trail.