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Nebraska's Trails West

Welcome to Western Nebraska; America's last great western frontier. Western Nebraska is a unique landscape full of memory, history and the character of the old west. We're ready for you to experience all that it has to offer in your next vacation. Enjoy a culture like no other. Discover Nebraska' trails west!

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Western Nebraska Trails West

Finding your next adventure in western Nebraska is as easy as looking across a distance field, exploring canyons, hiking buttes that rise off the intermediate prairie, or biking the dirt roads and exploring the history of the Oregon-California Trails, Agate Fossil Beds and nearby archeological sites.

Discovering western Nebraska means stepping back in the past and exploring the contemporary simultaneously. Western Nebraska offers vistas of scenic landscapes as well as outdoor adventures that rival those of Yellowstone National Park and Rocky Mountain Park, just in a different setting. Western Nebraska is for everyone. Come and join us on your next vacation adventure.

Roubadeau Pass Trading Post A replica of the trading post set up by Roubadeau in the 1800’s near Gering, Nebraska. Information on the trading post can be found at the Legacy of the Plains Museum. Photography by © 2020 Hawk Buckman

Stories from West Nebraska's Trails West Region


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.

Nebraska Panhandle Nature Photography

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

Wildcat Hills of Western Nebraska 

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

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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...

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...

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.

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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