National Frontier Trails Museum

Located in Independence, Missouri, the National Frontier Trails museum is the perfect place to learn about the history of life on trails and trail pioneers themselves. The museum offers exhibitions detailing the exploration and settlement of the west, as well as notable artifacts such as authentic covered wagons, original diaries, and letters. Also housed within the museum is the Merrill J. Mattes Research Library, which boasts the nation’s largest public collection of writing about the trails. Admission rates are modest, and there is something for visitors of all ages to enjoy! 

Located just across the street from this museum are part of the historic trails used by the emigrants as they made their way westward. Evidence of these trails can still be seen in the form of swales, which are used to mark the path being travelled on. Visitors can make their way to this location to walk on the trail for themselves, which are accompanied by interpretive signs that detail the story behind the long journey. Both the museum and this interactive trail section provide great opportunities for people to learn about the Lewis and Clark Expedition! 

For more information about the museum, visit!


Contact Information

National Frontier Trails Museum
Reservations and Information:

318 West Pacific Avenue, Independence, Missouri 64050, United States

Visit Website >


Other Information

  • Hours Open

    Monday – Saturday 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday 12:30 - 4:30 p.m.
  • Seasons Open

    Open all seasons
  • Prices and Fees

    $3 - $6. (Children 5 & younger are free)
  • Accessibility

    A 1/4-mile long asphalt pathway circles around the swales. Interpretive signs give information about the swales and what it was like to begin the long trail journey. Handicapped accessible.