Santiam Wagon Road Trail: An Oregon Historic Trail

The Santiam Wagon Road holds an interesting and unique place in Oregon’s history. Unlike other wagon roads that were built to bring settlers to the Willamette Valley, this road was designed to lead settlers and their livestock eastward to the rich pasture lands of Central Oregon and to markets throughout eastern Oregon and Idaho.

It was a distance of almost 400 miles and served as the primary means of transportation across the central Cascade Mountains for most of the 74 years (1865-1939) it was in use. The road served as a livestock, freight and stage route facilitating trade, commerce, and communication, which significantly contributed to the economic enhancement and settlement of both regions. Remnants of the Santiam Wagon Road have been preserved in the Willamette and Deschutes National Forests and provide the longest stretches (with very high integrity) of any historic wagon road in western Oregon.

Today the Santiam Wagon Road is a valued treasure listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Along the route you can explore what early travelers experienced on their journey through the central Cascades. Many access points can be found along Highways 20 and 126, which follow the original route of the wagon road.

Enjoy your journey on the Santiam Wagon Road: View and download a map and guide here

At a Glance

Restrictions: Please help preserve this important resource:
  • leave historic relics in place
  • avoid altering the roadbed
  • minimize disturbance to vegetation
  • pack out your garbage
  • report theft or vandalism to your local Forest Service office
Closest Towns: Sweet Home, OR
Lebanon, OR
Sisters, OR
Information Center: Sweet Home Ranger District
4431 Highway 20
Sweet Home, OR 97386

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


River and Stream Fishing

Recreation areas with activity River and Stream Fishing:

Horse Camping

Recreation areas with activity Horse Camping:

Horse Riding

Recreation areas with activity Horse Riding:

Viewing Scenery

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Scenery:

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities



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  Elevation : 
1400 feet - 4200 feet