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.
Museum, vistas, historic trail, only road tunnels in Nebraska
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.
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.
Pose with the oxen sculptures pulling a wagon up Mitchell Pass in front of Scotts Bluff.
Summer, but watch for prairie rattlesnakes
$5 per vehicle or America the Beautiful pass
All roads paved
There is not a campground within the monument, but the adjacent cities of Scottsbluff and Gering have RV parks.
Explore More – Did the U.S. Army abandon Fort Mitchell before or after completion of the transcontinental railroad?