Scottsbluff Nebraska

This is predominantly a prairie state. At one time the flat, almost featureless prairie that stretched across the Midwest from Canada to Texas was so extensive that it was referred to as the Great American Desert. But, Scottsbluff Nebraska is different. It is set in a valley along the North Platte River, near Scotts Bluff National Monument, which encompasses more than 3,000 acres of unusual and magnificent land formations towering over the otherwise flat prairie below. These formations played a significant role in the history of the great westward migrations of the mid 1800s. The most significant feature of the formations is Scotts Bluff, soaring 800 feet above the river. It was named for Hiram Scott, a fur trapper who died at its base in 1828. It served as the path marker for the hundreds of thousands of pioneers as they trekked along the Oregon, California, Mormon, and Pony Express Trails. It was called “ma-a-pa-te,” meaning “hill that is hard to go around,” by the Native Americans who lived here before the pioneers came.

Today these formations are the destination for many Scottsbluff vacations and they provide incredible scenic beauty and many outdoor recreational things to do in Scottsbluff including, most significantly, hiking the hundreds of miles of trails. Visitors can also relive the pioneer wagon train days during living history events that occur every weekend during the summer. The Scotts Bluff National Monument is undoubtedly one of the premier tourist attractions in the entire state.

Like many towns along the North Platte River, Scottsbluff Nebraska was created as a result of the extension of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad through the valley. Agriculture and livestock ranching became important when a canal system was built in 1887 and became the lifeblood of the community. Today, the town is one of the largest in the state, and it boasts one of the state’s busiest airports, with daily flights to and from Denver. The things to do in Scottsbluff also occur in the adjacent communities of Gering, Terrytown, Bayard, Mitchell, and Bridgeport.

In addition to hiking in the bluffs, other outdoor recreation available for Scottsbluff vacations are boating and swimming in the 2,000 acres of Lake Minatare, golfing at four public courses, and hunting and fishing for brown and rainbow trout in the rivers and streams. There is also plenty of camping up in the hills. You can go on a wilderness wildlife safari looking for the abundant bird life, including bald eagles and prairie falcons. There are also deer, coyote, and prairie dogs. Or you can visit the 22-acre Riverside Zoo, with both exotic and indigenous species, and the Wildcat Hills Nature Center.

Other things to do in Scottsbluff include visiting the several museums. The North Platte Valley Museum contains an authentic sod house, a log house with period furniture, Indian and fur trade exhibits, pioneer farm and ranch equipment, and much more. There is also the West Nevada Arts Center, with a collection of works and exhibits by local artists.

Scottsbluff vacations benefit from a number of Scottsbluff hotels and motels as well as several unique bed and breakfast inns. These include a renovated barn from the turn of the nineteenth century, a historic home built in 1920, and a hunting lodge. There are numerous restaurants and dining venues, and one of the state’s wineries is located here. Scottsbluff Nebraska has town taxi and limousine serve, but your best mode of transportation will be your own vehicle or car rentals. Scottsbluff Nebraska is truly a rich vacation destination.

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