Scotts Bluff National Monument


Pioneers on the Oregon Trail, weary of the flat prairie landscape, were happy to see Scotts Bluff rising 800 feet from the floor of the North Platte Valley. The sandstone bluff, known to the Indians as Me-a-ta-pe ("the hill that is hard to get around"), was an important landmark along the westward journey until the Union Pacific Railroad was completed in 1869 and this legendary overland route lost its importance. The view from the summit of Scotts Bluffis spectacular. What to see and do: A portion of the original Oregon Trail is preserved at the Scotts Bluff National Monument. The ruts cut by thousands of wagon wheels in the sandy soil are surprisingly deep. You can hike the 1.6-mile Saddle Rock Trail to the summit, drive there on a paved road take the free biodiesel summer shuttle. There is a picnic area at the monument, as well as a bike path. The Oregon Trail Museum and Visitor Center has an extensive array of pioneer relics, and two wagons are on outdoor display from approximately May to October: a Conestoga wagon and a smaller Murphy wagon. The museum also features the watercolors and photographs of pioneer photographer William Henry Jackson. There is a bookstore at the visitor center. On summer weekends, volunteers dress in period clothing and present a living history demonstration of cooking along the trail. If you hanker to try hard tack and vinegar pie, you can line up here! The Scotts Bluff National Monument visitor center is open from 8 AM to 8 PM during the summer months, and to 5 PM the remainder of the year. The summit road closes a half-hour before the visitor center. The monument is not open on Christmas Day. Leashed pets are permitted.


190276 Hwy 92 W
Gering, NE 69341


41.82642400, -103.70443000
Visit Website
(308) 436-9700

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