Trails West in Nebraska
The Oregon Trail stretches 2,000 miles, yet since the 19th Century many found the heart of its natural beauty to be here in Western Nebraska. This road of wilderness offered an uncertain fate when fabled frontiersmen like Kit Carson drove those first wagon trains from Missouri in 1842. But no doubt, their favorite treacherous tourist stops had to be in the Platte Valley of Trails West Country.
It was the majestic western region of Nebraska where the Oregon Trail's most famous landmarks were seen at Ash Hollow, Courthouse and Jail rocks, and the Scotts Bluff National Monument. The end of the tragic trail came early for many, as one out of 10 of those emigrants were buried along the way of the 6-month trek. The breathtaking beauty remains, but now it is a journey filled with bliss. You can sail through a 155 mile journey in the Western Trails Historic and Scenic Byway. The drive will take just hours, but a lifetime of memories await.
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
See one of the Plains Richest Fossil Sites in Mitchell
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is home to an important collection of Native American artifacts. Visitors can walk among the fossils of ancient animals. Located 22 miles south of Harrison or 34 miles north of Mitchell on Highway 29.
Lake Minitare & Lighthouse
Photo by Derrald Farnsworth-Livingston
Nebraska Lighthouse is One of Only Seven Inland in USA
Lake Minatare is large, but not so big that it needs a lighthouse. It has one anyway and it offers an impressive 360-degree view. It was built by the Veterans Conservation Corps, a New Deal ag
Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Enjoy Wildlife at Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Oshkosh also is a point of departure for Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge, located deep in the remote and beautiful Sandhills Lakes country. The 46,000-acre refuge is 30 miles north of Oshkosh and includes 21 shallow and scenic natura
Goose Hunting Capital of Nebraska
Goose Hunting Capital of Nebraska
Summer is the peak season for Western Nebraska tourism, but Oshkosh is also popular in fall. It’s the Goose Hunting Capital of Nebraska. Several local hunting outfitters accommodate sportsmen from around the world.
For more information, contact the O
Chimney Rock Guided Pioneers Moving West
Visible to wagon trains from several days away, Chimney Rock’s 120-foot spire was unlike anything Oregon Trail pioneers had ever seen. The landmark’s story is told at the Ethel and Christopher J. Abbott Visitor Center at Chimney Rock National His
Courthouse Rock & Jail Rock Golf Course
Fore! Play Golf in Bridgeport.
Courthouse and Jail Rock Golf Club, a nine-hole public course, is near Bridgeport.
For more information, contact the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce at (308) 262-1825 or visit www.bridgeportneb.com.
Bridgeport State Recreation Area
Waterski, Camp, Fish and Hike Near Bridgeport, Nebraska
Just off Highways 26 and 92 on the west edge of town, Bridgeport State Recreation Area offers primitive camping, hiking, fishing, swimming and waterskiing. It is open year-round. A state park entry permit is required.
For more information,
Art & 17 Ranch Winery
Winery Tour and Art Galleries Near Lake McConaughy
Lewellen, at the west end of Lake McConaughy, features The Most Unlikely Place, a 1908 silent movie theater that is now a cafe. The owner roller skates about the maple floor, serving visitors surrounded by high-end art. On that same Main Street y
Historic Midwest Theater
The historic Midwest Theater is a grand, old movie palace of yesteryear in downtown Scottsbluff.
For more information on Scottsbluff, contact Scotts Bluff County Tourism at 800-788-9475 or visit www.VisitScottsBluff.com.
Robidoux Trading Post
Robidoux Was the First Sign of Civilization
In 1851, Plains Indians brought their furs to Robidoux Trading Post (pronounced ROO-bi-doo). In the early days of the Oregon Trail, it was one of the first signs of civilization after many weeks on the prairie. The sod-roofed building has been reconstruct
Scotts Bluff National Monument
Photo by Steve & Bobbi Olson
Scotts Bluff National Monument is Actually in Gering
Facts are scarce when it comes to knowing anything about Hiram Scott. Legends abound about the fur trapper who died in 1828 near the bluff that came to bear his name, and historians argue over the real story of