Sunday, August 18, 2013

Scotts Bluff National Monument, Nebraska

After sighting and passing Chimney Rock, wagon trains would aim for the pass between the bluffs where the Mormon, California, and Oregon trails forked.  It marked a change in terrain and conditions as well.  Scotts Bluff is on the northern side of the pass.  Today it is a national monument to history.

Kids can get junior range packets in the museum.  To fill them out properly, you'll have to venture to more than just the base.


Outside the museum center was a trapper displaying his tools and some of his pelts.


He wasn't adverse to taking scalps, especially unusual red ones.


The museum focused on the pioneer wagon trains.  Below is an odometer so they could measure their progress, especially since the great plains had so few landmarks.  Most made only about 10 miles per day.


Outdoors a path parallel to the road pass had larger displays.  The wagons are a lot narrower than we envisioned, probably due to Hollywood misrepresentations.





Believe it or not, you can go all the way up there.  You can walk a 3 mile trail or drive up.






The view from the top shows a green river plain.  It probably isn't surprising that many travelers chose to stay.


The ribbon in the middle is the walking trail.  Both ways up involve tunnels.


Looking down at one of the tunnels on the road up.


Below you can see the visitors' center and the first leg of the road up.


You can walk along the top for about a half mile on either side of the parking lot.


Several sturdy stone walls will help you feel relaxed with your little ones running around.  Much of it is paved and handicap accessible.


Some of the rock graffiti dates back to pioneer times.


Scottsbluff is big enough for hotels and restaurants of variety and Walmart, etc.  We stayed there overnight.

Nearby attractions: Chimney Rock, Carhenge, Agate Fossil Beds, North Platte National Wildlife Refuge, Miniature Lake, Various Pioneer Trail markers.

Tell 'em we sent ya!

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