Scotts Bluff National Monument


If the names of Scotts Bluff and Chimney Rock sound familiar, it is perhaps because you grew up playing The Oregon Trail computer game on a Macintosh in the early 1990s.  The massive 800-foot tall sandstone cliffs enclosed within Scotts Bluff National Monument were once the unofficial one-third mark along the historic trail, as well as a landmark along the California Trail, the Mormon Pioneer Trail, and the short-lived Pony Express Trail.

Echo at Scotts Bluff


Museum, vistas, historic trail, only road tunnels in Nebraska

Must-Do Activity

While we recommend the hike to the top from the visitor center, you should probably also drive up there, because these are the only three tunnels dug for a road in the entire state of Nebraska.

Best Trail

Saddle Rock Trail leads from the parking lot at the visitor center 1.6-miles up the 800-foot tall bluff through a tunnel carved in the sandstone for great views of distant Chimney Rock National Historic Site (an affiliated NPS unit), another prominent Nebraska landform noted by early emigrants.

Instagram-worthy Photo

Pose with the oxen sculptures pulling a wagon up Mitchell Pass in front of Scotts Bluff.

Where the Oregon Trail went

Peak Season

Summer, but watch for prairie rattlesnakes



$5 per vehicle or America the Beautiful pass

Road Conditions

All roads paved


There is not a campground within the monument, but the adjacent cities of Scottsbluff and Gering have RV parks.

You can also drive to the top (there are three tunnels)
The only road tunnels in Nebraska are in this National Monument.

4-February 2015 341

1-March 2018 079
The trail on top of Scotts Bluff.
5-February 2015 350
Enjoy views of Scottsbluff, Nebraska and the North Platte River from atop the cliffs.
Scott in the tunnel on Saddle Rock Trail.
3-April 2017 025
Drive east to Chimney Rock National Historic Site for another Nebraska landmark on the Oregon Trail.

Explore More – Did the U.S. Army abandon Fort Mitchell before or after completion of the transcontinental railroad?



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