- a route used during the U.S. westward migrations, especially in the period from 1840 to 1860, starting in Missouri and ending in Oregon. About 2000 miles (3200 km) long.
- an early pioneering route across the central US, from Independence, W Missouri, to the Columbia River country of N Oregon: used chiefly between 1804 and 1860. Length: about 3220 km (2000 miles)
The route over which settlers traveled to Oregon in the 1840s and 1850s; trails branched off from it toward Utah and California. The Oregon Trail passed through what is now Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Idaho.