It was a major route people took when traveling to the western part of the United States in 1841 & 1869. Hundreds of thousands of people took this trail, many used large wagons trains.
They traveled in covered wagons pulled by oxen or mules. They took food, clothes, candles, rifles, tents, etc. Traveling on the trail was a dangerous journey, cholera killed many settlers, & it was very dangerous when bad weather hit or when the settlers were on the Rocky Mountains.
They wanted land & they wanted to build new homes. They wanted to set up farms to become wealthier & more independent. The first group went for furs but the second group went for land & to set up farms.