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Discover All Trails West in Western Nebraska

Explore the beauty and history of Western Nebraska with Trails West Travel Magazine. This region is where the pioneers blazed the trails to the west, leaving their mark on history and shaping the course of a nation. From the towering bluffs of the Scotts Bluff National Monument to the winding trails of Chimney Rock, there's something for everyone to discover in this legendary region. Join us as we uncover the hidden gems and iconic landmarks that make Western Nebraska unique. Start planning your adventure today with Trails West Travel Magazine.

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Journey through Western Nebraska

If you’re looking for a unique travel destination in the Midwest, Western Nebraska should definitely be on your list! Here are just a few reasons why you should plan a trip to this stunning region:

  1. Natural Wonders: Western Nebraska is home to some of the most unique and awe-inspiring natural wonders in the country, including Chimney Rock, Scotts Bluff National Monument, and the stunning sandhills.
  2. Outdoor Adventure: Whether you’re into hiking, biking, fishing, or wildlife watching, Western Nebraska has plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. With numerous state parks, wildlife refuges, and recreational areas, visitors can explore the rugged terrain of this stunning region.
  3. Rich History: Western Nebraska is steeped in history, with numerous sites that tell the story of the region’s early settlers, Native American tribes, and pioneers. Visit places like Fort Robinson State Park or the Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park to learn more about the area’s past.
  4. Unique Attractions: From quirky roadside attractions like Carhenge to cultural destinations like the Legacy of the Plains Museum, Western Nebraska has plenty of one-of-a-kind attractions that you won’t find anywhere else.
  5. Friendly Communities: Finally, one of the best things about Western Nebraska is the warm and welcoming communities that call the region home. Whether you’re in a small town or a larger city, you’re sure to encounter friendly locals who are eager to share their love of the area with visitors.

So if you’re looking for a travel destination that offers natural wonders, outdoor adventure, rich history, unique attractions, and friendly communities, look no further than Western Nebraska!

Western Nebraska Destinations Map

Exploring the vast and historic landscapes of Western Nebraska can be a challenge, with over 700 miles of dirt roads to navigate. However, this unique region is home to some of the most fascinating destinations in the Midwest. To help visitors make the most of their trip, we’ve created a comprehensive Western Nebraska Destinations Map.

This map includes most of the places we’ve visited and featured in our 48-Hour Trails West Series, making it easy to plan your own unforgettable adventure. With our map, you’ll be able to explore the most interesting and historic sites in the region without getting lost. So, whether you’re a resident or a visitor, our Western Nebraska Destinations Map is an essential tool for anyone looking to experience the best of this incredible region.

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Stories Western Nebraska


Discover Carhenge, one of Nebraska's most iconic and unique attractions! Located in Alliance, Nebraska, Carhenge is a unique replica of Stonehenge made entirely from vintage cars.

Arrival Of The Sandhill Cranes In Western Nebraska 

The largest gathering of Sandhill cranes happens near North Platte, Nebraska, beginning in mid-March and early April.

The Vault Coffee & Community; The Flavors Of Western Nebraska 

The Vault Coffee & Community in Bayard, NE is changing the face of a nearly forgotten town.

Bobbi Jo’s Branding Iron Brings a Little Coyote Ugly to the Panhandle of Nebraska 

Bobbie Jo's Branding Iron is only a few miles off the beaten path from Chimney Rock.

Geology of Scotts Bluff National Monument

Striations of rock expose the history of the Scotts Bluff National Monument. Each layer records the history of the erosion of the land.

The Plight of Nebraska’s Black-tailed Prairie Dogs

The Great Plains encompasses the entirety of Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota and parts of Colorado, Kansas, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming. Each state offers ecoregions and ecosystems unto themselves and each is unique.

Nebraska Panhandle Nature Photography

Nature photography in western Nebraska. "How does anything survive in this open wilderness of rolling grass and majestic buttes?”

North Platte River: Highway to The West

Narrow and shallow, the North Platte River doesn't reach its full strength until the waters reach far eastern Nebraska near Lincoln.

Wildcat Hills of Western Nebraska 

Wildcat Hills’ beautiful habitat abundantly supports wildlife. Photographers rarely leave disappointed after arriving.

Ghosts of Fort Robinson

From phantom hoof clops to flickering lights to sightings of people long gone, Fort Robinson is full of the remnants of pain, suffering, and joy of those who lived there. Tales of ghost soldiers, wandering Native Americans, and children who have chosen to remain forever at the site. 

The History and Significance of Scotts Bluff National Monument

Scotts Bluff National Monument boasts a captivating history that dates back thousands of years, starting with its Native American heritage. The area surrounding Scotts Bluff was once inhabited by Native American tribes like the Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Pawnee.

Robert ‘Shorty’ Wilson Disappearance

In a follow-up to our story about Robert Wilson and the haunting of the Wheat Growers Hotel in Kimball, Nebraska, further information has come to light about the mysterious circumstances surrounding his disappearance, and the police investigation that followed.

The Wheat Growers Hotel

The true unsolved mystery of the Wheat Growers is the disappearance of 31-year-old Robert “Shorty” Wilson. By the 1950s the hotel rooms were being rented as long-term apartments, and Wilson was a resident,

Scottsbluff’s Midwest Theater

According to eyewitnesses working at the Midwest Theater in Scottsbluff, one entertainer has never left. For several decades, staff and volunteers have experienced a host of otherworldly events,

Courthouse and Jail Rocks

On the far western side of Nebraska, the land that would become the small town of Bridgeport, Nebraska, are two promontories that served as landmarks on the Oregon-California Trail, the Mormon Trail, the Pony Express Trail, and the Sidney-Deadwood Trail.

The Horse Creek Treaty of 1851

The Great Plains were home to many tribes for countless generations. They lived and hunted all along the prairie, and sometimes warred with neighboring tribes. In the mid-1800s, they began witnessing mass migrations of white men through their respective territories.

Nebraska’s Archeological Treasure: Signal Butte

Signal Butte was the first archeological site to be carbon dated, and is a testament to the Woodland Indians who once called western Nebraska their home.

Buffalo Soldiers of Western Nebraska

African American soldiers of the 9th and 10th cavalry regiments, garrisoned at Fort Robinson and Fort Niobrara, played a significant role in the history of WyoBraska.

Scotts Bluff National Monument & the North Platte River Valley

Your windshield is suddenly filled with the breathtaking sight of the North Platte River Valley and the Wildcat Hills, which is dominated by the Scotts Bluff National Monument, rising 4659 feet (1420 meters) above sea level. Welcome to WyoBraska.

Colorado Butterfly Plant: The Great American Desert’s Most Endangered Plant

If you’ve ever hiked through the high plains meadows or along the wandering streams of WyoBraska, you may have been lucky enough to catch sight of the Colorado Butterfly Plant (Oenothera coloradensis), a short-lived perennial herb in the evening primrose family.

The Elusive and Endangered Swift Fox

The elusive swift fox (Vulpes velox) earns its name by reaching speeds of up to 25 mph in pursuit of its prey, which consists of anything that doesn’t eat them first

No Trails to Bead Mountain

Bead Mountain lies in the space between Chimney Rock and the Scotts Bluff National Monument, providing a breathtaking and scenic view of the North Platte Valley below. It is the prominent butte on Bead Mountain Ranch's property.

The Cheyenne Breakout

Fort Robinson is a major feature of Fort Robinson State Park, which comprises more than 22,000 acres of Old West history, lodging, camping, Pine Ridge scenery, and the park’s own bison and longhorn cattle herds.

Bridgeport’s Annual Greek Festival

Upon entering the Prairie Winds Community Center in Bridgeport, attendees breathe deeply as the smell of delicately made Greek sweets wafts up their nostrils as vibrant and lively music sets the tone for the cultural encounter they are about to experience.

Scotty’s Drive-In: A Landmark Food Destination

The immigrant trails, western Nebraska's western heritage, agriculture, and rural culture hold particular interest to most visitors. Still, there's always more to the Nebraska panhandle than meets the eye, and fast food hasn't been excluded from its history. 

Nebraska’s Bighorn Sheep

The ram looked up from eating his grass and met my gaze. He had been aware of me since I got out of my car in the parking lot at the Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area in southern Scotts Bluff County.

Japanese History in Western Nebraska

The Japanese Hall has gathered stories from people with ties to Nebraska from eight of the ten internment camps the U.S. government...

Good-bye U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship!

The U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship has infused over 2 million dollars into the infrastructure of Scotts Bluff County...

Mud Springs Station

Mud Springs Station is a location full of history and horror in western Nebraska. Visitors have feelings of dread, and anxiety, from the moment they arrive until they depart.

Adventure with High Plains Hot Air Balloon Company

Flying with High Plains Hot Air Balloon Company, I expected to die by noon. I was surprised at how easily the balloon lifted off...

Nebraska’s Highest Point

The highest point in the state is Panorama Point.  At an elevation of 5424 feet, this unique destination should undoubtedly be on any hikers

Blowout Penstemon – Western Nebraska’s Most Endangered Plant Species

Blowout Penstemon ( Penstemon haydenii ) is a sturdy plant that only grows in sand dune blowouts, and grows in western Nebraska, Northern Colorado and Wyoming.

Montz Ranch is Not an Outdoor Adventure

Montz Ranch could be a better hiking experience. But, unfortunately, it's not an area you want to try and visit

Chimney Rock: Landmark of Generations 

During the 1800s, Chimney Rock was one of the most noted landmarks along the immigrant trails. As travelers passed close to Chimney Rock,

Pony Express Trail

Shouts will be heard across the Pony Express Historic Trail on June 08, 2022, beginning at around 4:00 pm at the Scotts Bluff National Monument in Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska.

Scotts Bluff National Monument

Dominating the landscape around it, The Scotts Bluff National Monument served as an important landmark for people for hundreds of years. It is a sacred place for Native Americans and a marker for emigrants during the great migration.

Nebraska’s Sheep Creek Cemetery

At the turn of the 20th Century, newspapers rarely commented on the Black community in western Nebraska unless it was related to crime. They were among many Black people who decided to move west for freedom and a better life.

Discovery of the Bisterfeldt Potato Cellar Site

In 1933 an archeological find of a lifetime was discovered in Gering, Nebraska containing the skeletons of 32 adults and five infants of Woodland Plains Indian hunter-gatherers located in four separate pits.

Rock Hunting in Western Nebraska

Rock clubs are dynamic groups scattered throughout the world that unite people who have a passion for treasures that nature provides with exceptional diversity. WyoBraska is a rich and vast geographical area that provides plenty of opportunities to gather spectacular rocks and minerals.

Historic Sandford Hall

West Nebraska's Historic Sandford Hall is a one-story wood frame building 148’ long and 80’ wide in Mitchell, NE. Entertainers who've played at Sandford Hall over the years included Louis Armstrong, Lawrence Welk, Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and many other famous swing big band acts.

Ballooning in the Nebraska Panhandle

Kelli Cook began packing her hot air balloon after landing in field in western Nebraska. She soon noticed a five-year old boy running across the field. She looked around to see where he came from and spotted his grandmother parked on the side of the road.

2020 National Hot Air Ballooning Championships

Looking upward on an early August morning, a single balloon can be seen in the distance. A careful glance reveals another and then another until the sky is filled with a cornucopia of colors, shapes and sizes. Spectators marvel at another exclusive joy that only western Nebraska can deliver.

Legacy of the Plains Farm and Tractor Museum

Legacy of the Plains museum is the culmination of two former museums, the North Platte Valley Museum and the Farm and Ranch Museum.

Mary Murray Murdoch

Mary “Wee Granny” Murray Murdoch was born in Glencairn, Dumfries, Scotland, on Oct. 13, 1782. She died near Chimney Rock Nebraska.

Lake Minatare Lighthouse

Most visitors to Scottsbluff, Nebraska arrive looking for history and the experience of walking along the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails following the footsteps of their ancestors, and other immigrants, to the west coast and a new life in the late 1800s. Little consideration is given to one of seven land-locked lighthouses in the United States that they can only see in Wyobraska.
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