Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area Overlook

An open marsh with dried, brown grass and trees in their fall colors set against a background of rolling hills
View from the Overlook

Quick Facts
exit 268 (Foothill Road) off I-84, five miles south of La Grande
The marsh was a difficult obstacle for emigrants on the Oregon Trail
Wildlife Area

Restroom, Scenic View/Photo Spot, Trailhead

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.

Site Information

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. 

Safety Considerations

More Site Information

Oregon National Historic Trail


Oregon National Historic Trail

Last updated: January 15, 2023