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.