Planning a Visit
There's plenty to do at the Frontier Trails Museum. Watch a film in our theater,
tour the exhibits, see real wagon ruts, or enjoy a wagon ride. Check our calendar of events for other activities.
The museum is located at
318 W. Pacific Ave.
Independence, MO 64050
Seniors (62 and older) $5.00
Youth (6-17) $3.00
Children 5 and younger are free.
For group fees, contact
9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Saturday
12:30 - 4:30 p.m. Sunday
Merrill J. Mattes Research Library Hours
9 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Monday - Friday, by appointment only
The museum is located south of the Historic Independence Square, 3.3 miles North
Personalize your directions using Mapquest.
The museum welcomes your group tour. For group tour information and bookings, contact
the Independence Tourism Department.
Film and Exhibits
Begin your visit by viewing the museum's award winning film, "West." This 17-minute
film gives an overview of America's westward expansion.
The museum's exhibit gallery recreates the story of those who traveled the trails
by using quotes from journals and diaries, original illustrations, and artifacts
they left behind. The exhibits also include the explorations of Lewis and Clark,
the vital role of fur trappers and traders, the unique story of Mormons looking
for religious freedom, and the transcontinental railroad which brought the overland
wagon trails to an end.
Most visitors take about 1 to 1½ hours to tour the exhibits.
During the trails period, thousands of wagons rolled down the hill from the Courthouse
Square and passed over the property where the museum now sits. Evidence of the migration
can still be seen today in the form of swales, or wagon ruts, left in the field
directly across the street from the museum campus. 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.
Covered Wagon Tour
Add to your museum experience by taking a covered wagon tour! The museum offers
combination tickets that include museum admission and covered wagon tour through
part of Historic Independence. Wagon tours are provided by Pioneer Trails Adventures. Wagon tours are seasonal and
subject to weather conditions.
Combination Ticket Prices:
Ages 6-12 $10.00
Age 12 and older $16.00
Chicago and Alton Depot
This two-story train depot, built in 1879, has been restored on the grounds of the
museum. The Depot is operated by the Friends of the Chicago and Alton Depot. For
information about hours and tours, call 816-325-7955.