Experience the Oregon Trail

What was life really like in the plains and on the Oregon Trail? This section of the PPT explores some of the real challenges and hardships faced by American pioneers as they journeyed westward. It will use the Oregon Trail game as an example, reference, and model to help better understand the Oregon Trail in a fun and educational way.

The Oregon Trail game is perhaps the most famous educational computer software game ever created. Even today, references to the game can be found throughout popular culture.

Learn more about the game, explore the lead designer’s website, or play the original game (multiple versions) online.

Oregon Trail Game Landmarks

The following 18 landmarks were included in the original version of the Oregon Trail game. These are not the only major landmarks on the historic Oregon Trail (notice the infamous Platte River is missing), but they are a good starting point to learn about the realities of life on the trail. Therefore, the same landmarks are included in the Oregon Trail PPT game that’s available at the end of this presentation.

  1. Independence, Missouri (starting point)
  2. Kansas River (102 mi)
  3. Big Blue River (82 mi)
  4. Fort Kearney (118 mi)
  5. Chimney Rock (250 mi)
  6. Fort Laramie (86 mi)
  7. Independence Rock (190)
  8. South Pass (102 mi)
  9. a) Green River (57 mi) (leads to Soda Springs)
  10. b) Fort Bridger (125 mi) (leads to Soda Springs)
  11. Soda Springs (143, 162 mi)
  12. Fort Hall (57 mi)
  13. Snake River (182 mi)
  14. Fort Boise (113 mi)
  15. Blue Mountains (160 mi)
  16. a) Ft. Walla Walla (55 mi) (detour before The Dalles)
  17. The Dalles (125 mi, 120 mi)
    1. Columbia River (5 + 95 mi)
    2. Barlow Road (100 mi)
  18. Willamette Valley, OR!! (final destination)

Independence, Missouri (starting point)

Kansas River (102 mi)

Big Blue River (82 mi)

Fort Kearney (118 mi)

Chimney Rock (250 mi)

Fort Laramie (86 mi)

Independence Rock (190)

South Pass (102 mi)

a) Green River (57 mi) (leads to Soda Springs)

b) Fort Bridger (125 mi) (leads to Soda Springs)

Soda Springs (143, 162 mi)

Fort Hall (57 mi)

Snake River (182 mi)

Fort Boise (113 mi)

Blue Mountains (160 mi)

a) Ft. Walla Walla (55 mi) (detour before The Dalles)

The Dalles (125 mi, 120 mi)

Columbia River (5 + 95 mi)

Barlow Road (100 mi)

Willamette Valley, OR!! (final destination)

Play the Oregon Trail Game

Author: Aaron

Aaron Snowberger is an experienced web developer, graphic designer, and educator in ESL and computer technology. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science, Master's degree in Media Design, and professional certifications for React (JavaScript) development, and as a Google Certified Educator and Trainer. Aaron is passionate about helping new learners discover the joys of technology, and has presented across the country at multiple local, national, and international conferences in both the ESL and web development fields. His most recent talk was given at the 2019 JSConf (JavaScript Conference) in Seoul on September 3, 2019. (https://2019.jsconfkorea.com/en/tutorials)

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