Page 1

WESTERN NEBRASKA OFFICIAL TRAVEL GUIDE

Free Official Travel Guide

to Western Nebraska

www.WestNebraska.com

Find your next

ADVENTURE.

WestNebraska.com 1-866-684-4066


2 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA


WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 3


4 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA


WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 5


 

Dobby’s Frontier Town

WYOMING

GETTING AROUND WESTERN NEBRASKA

Legacy of the Plains Museum

AJ Dahm

AJ Dahm

Pine Ridge Sandhills & Scenic Rivers Trails West

NEBRASKA Wild West

Alan J. Bartels

6 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA


MOUNTAIN TIME

CENTRAL TIME

Valentine National Wildlife Refuge

NEED TO KNOW INFORMATION ROAD CONDITIONS

For Nebraska winter travel conditions, call (800) 906-9069. To check with the Nebraska Department of Roads, visit www.511nebraska.org, or call 511 (if calling from Nebraska).

Grant County Museum

Thomas County Historical Museum

INFORMATION CENTERS

All major communities have tourist information centers, as do some rest areas along I-80. Pilgrim Holiness Church

TIME ZONES

While North Platte and Valentine are in the Central Time zone, most of Western Nebraska is on Mountain Time, which is an hour earlier. Check the map to be sure of the time at your destination.

AIRPORTS

Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park

Western Nebraska has airports with airline service to and from Denver at Alliance, (308) 762-4512; Chadron, (308) 432-0505; North Platte, (800) 864-8331; and Scottsbluff, (308) 635-4941.

REGIONAL INTERCITY BUS SERVICES MOUNTAIN TIME

CENTRAL TIME

SCENIC BYWAYS (see pg. 8)

WELCOME CENTERS/ REST AREAS

Bridges to Buttes Byway – Hwy 20 Valentine to WY Border 385 Gold Rush Byway – Hwys 385 & 87 Sidney to Chadron Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway – Hwy 2 East from Alliance Western Trails Byway – Hwy 26 Ogallala to WY Border Lincoln Highway – Hwy 30 East of Brady to WY Border

Panhandle Trails Intercity Public Transit is based in Alliance. The bus fleet connects travelers with their desired Western Nebraska destinations. (308) 761-8747. Left photos from top to bottom: River tanking at Dusty Trails Outfitters in North Platte, summertime water park adventures at the swimming pool in Oshkosh, and exploring High Plains Homestead in the Nebraska Badlands north of Crawford. WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 7


SCENIC BYWAYS

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON OUR BYWAYS SEE PAGE 88.

13

WESTERN TRAILS SCENIC & HISTORIC BYWAY

3

16

LINCOLN HIGHWAY SCENIC BYWAY

8 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

BRIDGES TO BUTTES BYWAY

8

SANDHILLS JOURNEY SCENIC BYWAY

Top: AJ Dahm Bottom photos from left: AJ Dahm, Alan J. Bartels, Joshua Hardin


Escape the grind and travel Western Nebraska’s scenic byways. 22

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5 7

10 11

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FOLLOW OUR SCENIC BYWAYS AND VISIT THESE EXCITING ATTRACTIONS ALONG THE WAY:

1 Toadstool Geologic Park

2 High Plains Homestead

8 Carhenge

16 National Pony Express Monument

9 Alliance Historic Main Street

17 Ash Hollow State Historical Park

3 Hudson-Meng Education and Research Center 4 Fort Robinson State Park 5 Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center

10 Alliance Central Park Fountain

18 Lake McConaughy

11 Scotts Bluff National Monument

19 Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park

12 Riverside Discovery Center 13 Chimney Rock

20 Nebraska National Forest Bessey Ranger District

6 Museum of the Fur Trade

14 Courthouse Rock and Jail Rock

21 Niobrara National Scenic River

7 Chadron State Park

15 Cabela’s

22 Bowring Ranch State Historical Park

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 9


WESTERN NEBRASKA TOURISM COALITION President Hal Enevoldsen Vice President Brenda Leisy Secretary Kirsten Parker Treasurer Kristina Harter Membership Chair Mike Kesselring Past Chair Mike Kesselring Support Services Cheyenne County Visitors Center 658 Glover Rd. • Sidney, NE 69162 1-866-684-4066 • www.WestNebraska.com

NEBRASKA LIFE MAGAZINE Publisher and Editor Christopher Amundson Associate Publisher Angela Amundson Writing Alan J. Bartels Design Tannon Asche, Carla Schaffer & Emily Levine Photo Editing AJ Dahm Advertising Brandon Sodenkamp & Beth Foland 206 W. Norfolk Ave. • PO Box 819 Norfolk, NE 68702-0819 1-800-777-6159 www.NebraskaLife.com

Journey to Western Nebraska is the magazine of travel and tourism for the 20 member counties of the Western Nebraska Tourism Coalition – a nonprofit organization of businesses and local government entities dedicated to promoting and developing the tourism industry. The magazine and companion website (www.west nebraska.com) are produced in partnership with Nebraska Life Magazine. To submit editorial content and advertising, please contact Nebraska Life. Thank you to our advertising sponsors for making Journey to Western Nebraska possible. Throughout the magazine advertiser’s directory listings are in yellow. To become a member, contact the Western Nebraska Tourism Coalition. 10 • JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA 2017


COMMUNITIES BY REGION

SANDHILLS AND SCENIC RIVERS

12

Mullen 15 Alliance 17 Hemingford 21 Hyannis 21 Ashby 21 Seneca 21 Thedford 22 Halsey 22 Tryon 25 Arthur 25 Valentine 26 Merriman 26 Nenzel and Cody 26

PINE RIDGE

28

Chadron 30 Crawford 35 Harrison 40 Gordon 41 Hay Springs 42 Rushville 42

Alan J. Bartels

About the cover: Explore Nebraska’s Pine Ridge at Chadron State Park. Photo by AJ Dahm. Inset photos: Hot air balloons over Scottsbluff, photo by Richard Teller, dinner at Ole’s in Paxton, photo by AJ Dahm, and the Niobrara National Scenic River near Valentine, photo by AJ Dahm. At left, a group of adventurers float in a livestock tank east of Mullen on the Middle Loup River.

TRAILS WEST

44

WILD WEST

64

Gering 46 Scottsbluff 51 Henry 52 Minatare 52 Morrill 52 Mitchell 55 Bayard 57 Bridgeport 59 Lisco & Broadwater 60 Lewellen 60 Oshkosh 60

North Platte 66 Maxwell 72 Brady 73 Hershey 75 Sutherland 75 Sidney 76 Potter 80 Lodgepole 80 Dalton 80 Gurley 80 Lemoyne 81 Ogallala 81 Keystone 82 Paxton 82 Brule 82 Big Springs 85 Chappell 85 Kimball 87 Harrisburg 87

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 11


SANDHILLS AND SCENIC RIVERS MULLEN • ALLIANCE HEMINGFORD • HYANNIS ASHBY • SENECA • THEDFORD HALSEY • TRYON ARTHUR • VALENTINE MERRIMAN • NENZEL & CODY

GETTING STARTED

The Nebraska Sandhills is a nearly 20,000-square-mile region of grass-covered sand dunes where the cowboy way of life is lived everyday. The dunes stretch to the horizon and have been compared to endless waves rolling in from the sea. Many believe this to be the most beautiful part of Nebraska. Running through its northern edge is the Niobrara River, a bucket-list float for anyone who has ever put a paddle to water, and recognized as one of the 10 best canoeing rivers in the United States. The Platte River runs along the southern Sandhills, and three branches of the Loup River scroll across the heart of the region where cattle outnumber people. Jaw-dropping natural beauty in the form of immense cattle ranches, natural lakes and waving prairie grasses highlighted by stunning sunrises and sunsets are hallmarks of Sandhills and Scenic Rivers Country. Smith Falls Sate Park downstream of Valentine on the Niobrara River is a natural aquatic playground. The Sandhills is blessed with water, scenery and opportunities for adventure. AJ Dahm


Explore the

Sandhills and Scenic Rivers IMMERSE YOURSELF IN NATURE


14 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA


9 12 14

13

15

17 Snake River

10 9

Valentine National Wildlife Refuge

1 North Loup River

Sallows Military

WELCOME CENTERS/ REST AREAS

Dobby’s Frontier Town

5 6

Middle Loup River

7 Museum 4 2 3

15 16

Dismal River

8

ATTRACTIONS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Mullen For a region known for its striking beauty, it’s appropriate that one of the world’s best golf courses stretches out across the land here in the geographic center of the Nebraska Sandhills. Sand Hills Golf Club is an 18-hole private golf course designed by pro golfer Ben Crenshaw. Golf Digest has ranked the Sand Hills Golf Club number one in its Modern List. To get there, travel 12 miles south of Mullen on Highway 97 to mile marker 55, then go west three miles. Visitors are welcome at the clubhouse, but to golf, players must be members or sponsored guests.

The region is also home to the worldclass Dismal River Golf Club. Designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus, this is links golf: rugged, windblown, hard and fast. The course is located two miles south and 17 miles southwest of Mullen. (308) 546-2900. Mullen also has a fine public nine-hole course called Mullen Golf Club. (308) 546-2446. Experienced canoers and kayakers can test their paddling skills on the Dismal River south of Mullen. It is a fast-flowing, spring-fed prairie river with plenty of twists and challenging submerged debris. People looking for a family-friendly river trip can float the Middle Loup River

10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Box Butte Reservoir Carnegie Arts Center Knight Museum and Sandhills Center Carhenge Dobby’s Frontier Town Nebraska Veterans Cemetery Sallows Military Museum Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge Arthur Bowring Sandhills Ranch State Historical Park Merritt Reservoir Valentine National Wildlife Refuge Niobrara National Scenic River Smith Falls State Park Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge Canoeing, tubing, kayaking Nebraska National Forest – Bessey Ranger District Samuel R. McKelvie National Forest

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 15


just north of Mullen. The Middle Loup’s spring-fed and mostly calm waters meander through sloping Sandhills canyons. Sandhills Motel offers canoe and kayak rental for both rivers, and stock tank rental for the Middle Loup. They take you upstream, then you float down to where your car is parked. This is also headquarters for the annual Polar Bear Tank Race in March. Besides offering lodging, the motel also provides tours to view the spring mating rituals of greater prairie chickens and sharp-tailed grouse. (308) 546-2206. Nebraska National Forest, Bessey Ranger District, lies between the two rivers and campsites are located adjacent to the rivers. Fishing is allowed where forest property touches the rivers. A stocked pond near the forest headquarters provides other aquatic fun. Hunting, hiking and wildlife viewing is allowed. (308) 533-2257. The Dismal River meets the Middle Loup River east of Dunning. For more information on Mullen or the rivers, call (888) 278-6167. Dismal River Outfitters is a big-game hunting ranch with more than 50,000 acres available for bison, elk, whitetail deer, mule deer and turkey hunting. Sporting clay shooting and predator hunting are also available. The lodge offers cozy lodging and a menu heavy in Angus beef. Shuffleboard and billiards keep hunters occupied following the hunt. The ranch is 14 miles south of Mullen. (308) 546-0567.

16 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

Alan J. Bartels

Middle Loup River tanking adventures near Mullen are slow-going, gentle floats. Bring plenty of sunscreen. The Sandhills Motel in Mullen provides tanks, canoes and kayaks for outdoor adventures on this river, and also kayaks for more skilled paddlers on the Dismal River.

MULLEN EVENTS SHARP-TAILED GROUSE AND PRAIRIE CHICKEN VIEWING March and April. Observe the breeding displays of native birds. (308) 546-2206. POLAR BEAR TANK RACE March 2-3. Competitors, some much more serious than others, float the scenic Middle Loup River for the best times, but mostly for bragging rights. (308) 546-2206.


HOTELS & MOTELS Glidden Sandhills Motel, W. Hwy 2, Mullen www.sandhillsmotel.com

UNIQUE LODGING

Phone 308-546-2206 888-278-6167

Phone

Rooms 19

Amenities

Rate Range

Wheelchair accessible, restaurant on premises, outdoor pool, pets allowed

Amenities

Rate Range

Carter Morris House, 102 NW 3rd St. , Mullen

308-546-2288

Fully-furnished 2-bedroom guest house, sleeps 9, laundry facilities

Double R Guest Ranch LLC, 86091 Double R Dr, Mullen www.rrguestranch.com

308-546-2314 866-217-2042

Hunt, fish, hike and relax in furnished cabins w/complete kitchenettes; enjoy abundant wildlife; 3 spring-fed lakes; endless photography; explore the historical sod house, country school on-site and hike the hills

CAMPGROUNDS Glidden Sandhills Campground, 507 S.W. 1st, Mullen (W. Hwy 2) www.sandhillsmotel.com

GOLF COURSES

Phone

Open

308-546-2206 888-278-6167

Year Round

Phone

Amenities

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times.

308-546-2900

18, semi-private

Mullen Golf Course, 102 N. Veteran - W. Hwy 2, Mullen

308-546-2445

9, public

Alliance has grown from a frontier town to a bustling community of 8,500 residents since its beginnings in 1888. The community has a long lineage of railroading and agriculture. Located at the intersection of highways 2 and 385, Alliance is the largest city for 50 miles. One unique attraction has put Alliance on the traveler’s map more than any other over recent decades. Two-and-a-half miles north of Alliance on Highway 87, Carhenge is perhaps the strangest attraction in Nebraska. The replica of England’s famous Stonehenge is built entirely from old cars. Local resident Jim Reinders got the idea in 1982 after his father died. Relatives decided to build a tribute and gathered five years later to build what would become one of the most famous attractions in all of Nebraska. Alliance’s Carhenge is built from 39 cars, each painted gray, some half-buried and others welded together. They jut from the ground just like the real Stonehenge. More recent automobile sculptures include “Spawning Salmon” (a car that looks like giant salmon bursting from the ground) and “The Ford Seasons” (representing the four stages of wheat

grown in the Alliance area). There is no admission charge to view Carhenge, and there’s a small visitor center and gift shop where you can spend 50 cents to smash a penny for your own Carhenge souvenir. The center also displays license plates left or mailed to Alliance by car nuts from around the world. Knight Museum and Sandhills Center includes exhibits showcasing many aspects of western life, including an extensive display of Native American artifacts, railroad memorabilia, military history from the Indian Wars to Alliance’s World War II air base, homestead and ranch life, and the cultures who shaped the area. The museum’s research center houses the largest collection of genealogy

51-75+ 95+

Fees

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 10 trailers Rest Facilities: shower and flush toilets

Dismal River Golf Course, 83040 Dismal River Trl, Mullen

Alliance

1-75

15

Rate Range Over 30 15-30

material in the region. Volunteers are available for one-on-one assistance in digging through the thousands of important records. The museum is at 908 Yellowstone Ave. (308) 762-2384. Carnegie Arts Center is a stately building featuring local and regional artists. This center hosts renowned art shows such as installations of original Rembrandt and Albrecht Durer prints. The downtown art center is housed in a historic 1911 building at 204 W. Fourth St. It is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. TuesdaySaturday and 1-4 p.m. on Sunday. Closed on holidays. (308) 762-4571. Dobby’s Frontier Town, 320 E. 25th St., is a historic village with buildings from the 1890s through Prohibition. Kenneth “Dobby” Lee lamented the decay of early

Downtown Alliance is a trendy place with boutique shopping, live entertainment and friendly residents all with a beautiful backdrop of historic architecture. Museums, parks, restaurants, golf courses and plenty of other attractions make Alliance a destination with plenty of lodging and hospitality. Joshua Hardin

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 17


Alan J. Bartels

Carhenge in Alliance is one of Nebraska’s most quirky and popular attractions.

frontier buildings, so he began hauling them to his Alliance home to save them. His passion for preserving the past fueled his work. The buildings include a general store and meat market, a mortuary, a log cabin built by the area’s first black homesteader, an early gas station, a replica 1880s post office, a saloon, an 1889 one-room school and a cobbler’s shop. Rex’s Burger Shop at Dobby’s is especially popular during special events when the grill is fired up. Dobby’s 26 buildings bring the American frontier to life for visitors from around the world. (308) 762-4321. With 140 acres of public space, Alliance is proud of its park system. Central Park is the city’s oldest, and its Central Park Fountain is on the National Register of Historic Places. Other Alliance parks include Laing Lake, Bower Park and several mini-parks. Central Park Fountain operates Memorial Day weekend through Oct. 1. After dark, it features a lights-and-water display. Nearby, at 11th and Niobrara, Sallows Conservatory and Arboretum features tropical and sub-tropical plants. Paths wind through Sunken Gardens. Laing Lake Park has good fishing from shore or pier. Railroad buffs can stop at the corner of Laing Lake Park and visit Locomotive 719 and a vintage coal car. The park, bordered by 18th Street, Box Butte Avenue, Burnham Drive and Emerson Avenue, has two miles of trails. Wiggly Field Dog Park is especially for man’s best friend. This large, grassy area includes a dog watering station, and even a fire hydrant. 1603 Box Butte Ave. Golfers find 18 holes of fun at Skyview Golf Course southeast of Alliance in the Nebraska Sandhills. (308) 762-1446. 18 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA


ALLIANCE EVENTS THUNDER ON THE PRAIRIE June 1-3. Classic cars cruise to ‘50s and ‘60s music. Poker run, barbecue and dance. Central Park. www.354cruisers.com (308) 762-2761. HERITAGE DAYS July 17-22. Visit Alliance for sidewalk sales, carnival, parade and Sunday in the Park. (308) 762-1520. BOX BUTTE COUNTY FAIR Aug. 5-11. Visit Hemingford for a concert, tractor pull and demolition derby. (308) 487-5223. DOBBY’S FALL FESTIVAL Sept. 15-16. Quick draw contest, live music, storytelling, Dutch oven cooking and church service. www.dobbysfrontiertown.com. (308) 762-4321. TREE & WREATH FESTIVAL Nov. 24-Dec. 2. Enjoy holiday atmosphere with more than 100 decorated trees and wreaths. www.facebook.com/KnightMuseumAndSandhillsCenter.

HOTELS & MOTELS

Phone

Rooms

Amenities

Rate Range

1st Interstate Inn, 1207 W. 3rd St, W. on Hwy 2 & US Hwy 385, Alliance

308-762-4040

42

Pets allowed

1-50

Alliance Hotel and Suites, 117 Cody Ave, 3rd & Cody Sts, Alliance

308-762-8000

60

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast

American Inn, 1419 W. 3rd St., Alliance

308-762-8300

39

Free continental breakfast, pets allowed

Quality Inn, 1420 W. 3rd St, Alliance www.hiexpress.com/alliancene

308-762-7600

60

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast

Rainbow Motel, 614 W. 3rd St, Alliance

308-762-4980

13

Restaurant on premises, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

1-50

Sunset Motel & RV Park, 1210 E. Hwy 2, Alliance www.clicksunset.com

308-762-8660

20

Indoor pool, pets allowed

49-75

UNIQUE LODGING

Phone

1-75

Amenities

308-760-5072

Room for 1 to 13 guests. 6 bedrooms, 8 beds, 3.5 bath, 1 Jacuzzi tub, 2 car garage. Full kitchen appliances, cooking, and dishware. Washer/dryer, enclosed backyard

Grandma Lala’s Bed and Breakfast, 1232 Box Butte Ave, Alliance

308-762-2925

Four rooms with private bath, morning brunch included

Phone

Open

J&C RV Park, 2491 S. US Hwy 385, Alliance

308-762-3860

Year Round

Over the Hill Campground, 2131 CR 59, Alliance

308-762-3763

Sunset RV Park, 1210 E. Hwy 2, Alliance www.clicksunset.com

308-762-8660 800-767-8660

GOLF COURSES Sky View, 2613 Cty Rd 57, Alliance

Phone 308-762-1446

51-75+

Rate Range

Go West Guesthouse, 1023 Toluca Ave., Alliance gowestguesthouse@gmail.com

CAMPGROUNDS

51-75+

Amenities RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 13 trailers

75-110

Fees Call for rates

Electricity, water, sewer, Wi-Fi access. Country atmosphere Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 24 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets, indoor pool

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times. 18, public

18-30

Rate Range 15-30 WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 19


Alan J. Bartels

Dobby’s Frontier Town is a collection of frontier buildings saved from the ravages of time by Mr. Dobby Lee. The attraction of 26 buildings in Alliance is two miles southwest of Carhenge.

Alliance was home to Alliance Air Base during World War II, a site chosen for its proximity to the Sandhills, which were considered excellent for parachute and ammunition training and bombing practice. The 507th Parachute Infantry Regiment trained here before landing in Normandy hours before the D-Day invasion. As a result, a large number of D-Day casualties were known personally to the people of Alliance. Today, the former air base is the Alliance Municipal Airport. Nebraska Veterans Cemetery opened in 2010 at the former Alliance Army Air Field on 20 acres once used as a troop training field. The peaceful parcel dedicated to our gallant heroes is near the airport, which is east of Alliance, south of Highway 2. (877) 402-7990.

20 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

Sallows Military Museum, 1100 Niobrara St., features artifacts from the air base and Box Butte County history from all military branches. It is open 1-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and by appointment. Never been there before? Look for the U.S. Army M60 “Patton” tank parked outside. (308) 762-2385 or (308) 762-2384. Alliance’s brick-lined downtown main street, Box Butte Avenue, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has an associated Historic Main Street organization. There are numerous shops, restaurants and other bustling businesses in the vibrant downtown district. For more information, contact the Alliance Visitors Bureau at (308) 762-3876 or the Alliance Chamber of Commerce at (800) 738-0648. www.VisitAlliance.com.


UNIQUE LODGING

Phone

Amenities

Rate Range

Patriot Inn B&B, 851 Cty Rd 71, Hemingford www.bbc.net/~patriotinn

308-487-1776

Rooms with private bath, continental breakfast

51-75

The Cottage, 405 Shoshone Ave, Hemingford www.visitboxbutte.com

308-487-5272

Private cottage with full kitchen, rooms with shared bath, laundry facilities

51-75

CAMPGROUNDS Box Butte Reservoir SRA, 9 ½ mi. N., Hemingford On the Niobrara River. www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov

GOLF COURSES Hemingford Golf Course, Fremont St, Hemingford

Hemingford

Hemingford is a patriotic town. The community 18 miles northwest of Alliance displays more than 200 American flags along its famous Avenue of Flags during holidays such as July 4th weekend, Flag Day, Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Each flag once draped the casket of a veteran from the area, some of whom served in conflicts dating back to the Civil War. Hemingford is home to the Box Butte County Fair. During the holiday season, Hemingford displays its Christmas Diorama. The drive-thru diorama, depicting scenes painted on wood panels, is nearly three football fields in length. Box Butte Reservoir, a 1,600-acre lake, is part of the 2,212-acre Box Butte Reservoir State Recreation Area. The park 10 miles north of town offers excellent

HOTELS & MOTELS

Phone

Open

308-665-2900

Year Round

Phone 308-487-3639

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 64 trailers Rest Facilities: pit toilets Camping: 60 tents

9, public

Hyannis

Hyannis is home of the Windmill Days celebration each June. To find the event, look for the windmill in the center of Main Street. Grant County Museum in the courthouse, 105 E. Harrison St., displays area history and oddities such as props from John Wayne’s stunt man and a world-class barbed wire collection. Open 1-4 p.m. Tuesday-Wednesday, or by appointment. (308) 458-2371. Golfers can shoot nine holes at Pelican Beach Golf Course. (308) 458-2579.

Rooms

Double JT & Hyannis Hotel, 1025 Main Ave, Hyannis

308-458-2332

11

Ranchland Motel, 305 E Hwy 2, Hyannis

308-458-2264

6

CaLinda’s Pot Shop & Art Gallery showcases owner Linda Lacy’s clay and canvas art in her newly remodeled gallery along Highway 2. Countertop with handmade tiles tells artist’s story. Enjoy specialty coffees and sundaes in the cedar pergola. Open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lacy hosts artists during Follow the Rails Art Trail in October. (308) 458-8051.

Seneca

Northern Plains Studio near Seneca has Native American and Western art for viewing and for sale, by appointment. (308) 639-3227. Stable Productions Exotic Animal Ranch offers views of zebra, emu, exotic sheep, elk and other critters grazing in sand hills meadows. (308) 639-3218.

Amenities Restaurant on premises

Amenities

Pelican Beach Cabin, 43863 E. Hwy 2, 1 ½ mi E. on Hwy 2 Hyannis

308-458-2444

Rooms with shared bath, sleeps 6, full kitchen, laundry facilities, bedroom loft, overlooks lake

Ranchland Motel Campground, 305 E. Hwy 2, Hyannis

308-458-2264

Simpson’s Trailer Court, 316 Morton St, Hyannis

308-458-2354

GOLF COURSES Pelican Beach Golf Club, 2 ¼ mi. E. on Hwy 2, Hyannis

Phone 308-458-2579

51-75

Rate Range

Historic bed and breakfast, rooms with shared bath, full breakfast

Open

Rate Range

51-75

308-458-2300

Phone

Rate Range

Ashby

Whisperin’ Angel Inn, 101 S. Manderson Ave., Hyannis

CAMPGROUNDS

6-12 & NE Park Permit

Under 15

boating, swimming, windsurfing, sailing, picnic areas, hiking and primitive camping. Anglers hope for catches of smallmouth bass, channel catfish and yellow perch. For more information on Hemingford, contact the Hemingford Chamber of Commerce. (308) 487-3300.

Phone

Fees

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times.

Phone

UNIQUE LODGING

Amenities

Amenities

75+

Fees

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 6 trailers Camping: unlimited tents

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times. 9, public

Call for rates

Rate Range Under 15 WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 21


Thedford

Thedford is a crossroads community along Highway 2. Highway 83 leads north to Valentine and south to North Platte. In May of 1891, five miles north of Thedford, sisters Tillie and Retta Haumann became lost. Four-year-old Retta was found alive after three days of searching. Eight-year-old Tillie perished after wandering an estimated 75 miles. A state historical marker near the Thomas County Courthouse in Thedford preserves the memory of the children. Thedford Art Gallery, 509 Court St., sells framed photography, sculptures, pottery, jewelry and other creations made by regional artists. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, May 1-Dec. 30; open the rest of the year 1-5 p.m. or by appointment. (308) 645-2396. There’s also Yellow Calf Studio, which shows and sells sculptures by appointment. (308) 645-2537. One block west of the art gallery, Thomas County Historical Museum depicts Sandhills history by displaying artifacts used by settlers. The volunteerrun museum in the former Paxton home includes antique firearms, historical photos, tools, implements and other curiosities. (308) 645-2477. Thedford Golf Course is a nine-hole public course built by local volunteers in 2009. In addition to challenging tee boxes, one of the most attractive attributes of this course are its scenic overlooks of the Middle Loup River. Walk this scenic course or rent a cart. (308) 645-2233.

Halsey

For the westward traveler, Highway 2, the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway, heads northwest from Grand Island, passes the Nebraska National Forest at Halsey, crosses the lake country of the western Sandhills, then exits the region near Alliance and turns north toward Nebraska’s Pine Ridge. This byway is rated in the top 10 scenic routes in the United States and is listed as one of the highways to drive in the book, 1000 Places to See Before You Die. Bessey Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forest covers more than 90,000 acres of the Nebraska Sandhills, and it is the

22 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

largest hand-planted forest in the world. This scenic place is a favorite for camping, ATV riding, horseback riding, hiking, picnicking, birdwatching, fishing and backpacking. Hunting for mule deer, whitetail deer, turkey and grouse are also allowed. Local volunteers have created a handicapped accessible Discovery Loup walking trail and are continually sprucing-up the arboretum of 59 tree species. A new pedestrian bridge crossing the river near Bessey Fishing Pond offers its own scenic views. And speaking of the

pond, stocked rainbow trout share these waters with largemouth bass, channel catfish and feisty bluegill. The forest’s Scott Lookout Tower offers a panoramic view of the surrounding forest and undulating hills of sand. Forest rangers have watched for wildfires from this very spot since 1944. Visitors are often gifted with views of mule deer and turkey flocks. The tower may not be open to the public at all times. Call (308) 533-2257 for information or to schedule a tour. The forest is open year-round.


WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 23


THOMAS COUNTY EVENTS WILDLIFE VIEWING - HALSEY The Nebraska National Forest is a year-round destination for birders. Grouse viewing blinds available in March and April. (308) 533-2257. THOMAS COUNTY FAIR THEDFORD July 26-29. Thedford’s biggest bash includes a parade, entertainment, games for all and a fishing tournament. (308) 645-2646. LOUP 2 LOUP OPEN RACE HALSEY Aug. 9. Twelve-mile car race between Halsey and Purdum. Car shows and vendors. (308) 533-2328. AJ Dahm

The Nebraska National Forest near Halsey and Thedford is a forest within a grassland sea.

HOTELS & MOTELS

Phone

Rooms

Halsey Frontier Inn, 503 Hwy 2, Halsey www.halseyfrontierinn.com

308-533-2240

11

Free continental breakfast, pets allowed

1-75

Arrowhead Lodge & Café, 39293 Hwy 2, Thedford Jct Hwy 2 & US Hwy 83

308-645-2246

19

Restaurant on premises, pets allowed

1-50

Roadside Inn, 39357 E. Hwy 2, Thedford www.roadsideinn.net

308-645-2284

42

Wheelchair accessible, restaurant on premises, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

51-75

UNIQUE LODGING

Phone

Amenities

Amenities

Rate Range

Middle Loup River Ranch Guest House, 4 mi. W. of Halsey, Hwy 2; Mile Marker 221, www.middleloupriverranch.com

402-450-2268

Two bedroom guest house, rooms with shared bath, sleeps 9, laundry, AC, sat TV, Wi-Fi, gas grill. Next to Nebraska National Forest

Pine Street Cabin, 804 Pine St., Halsey

308-533-2345

Furnished cabin with fully equipped kitchen, on-site laundry

CAMPGROUNDS

Rate Range

Phone

Open

Bessey Recreation Complex, Nebraska National Forest, 2 mi. W., Halsey www.fs.fed.us/rz/nebraska

308-533-2257

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 21 trailers Rest Facilities: shower, pit and flush toilets Camping: 13 tents

Halsey Frontier Inn Campground, 503 Hwy 2, Halsey www.halseyfrontierinn.com

308-533-2240

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 6 trailers Rest Facilities: Shower and flush toilets Camping: 6 tents Cabin Rental

Belle’s Bunkhouse and Campground, 202 Main St, Halsey, Adjacent to Hwy 2, cabin adjacent to campground

308-539-1462

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 9 trailers Camping: available. Cabin Rental: 1 (2 night minimum, $75+)

10-15

Arrowhead Lodge & Cafe, 39293 Hwy 2, Jct Hwy 2 & US Hwy 83, Thedford, www.freewebs.com/arrowheadlodge

308-645-2246

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 8 trailers Camping: 2 tents

13-14

Roadside Inn Campground, 39357 E. Hwy 2, 1 mi. E. on Hwy 2, Thedford, www.roadsideinn.net

308-645-2284 800-373-1648

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 10 trailers Rest Facilities: flush toilets Camping: 3 tents

18.50

GOLF COURSES Thedford Golf Course, 1 mi. S. on US Hwy 83, Thedford

24 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

Phone 308-645-2634

Amenities

75+

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times. 9, public

Fees 8-11

3 vehicle

15

Rate Range Under 15


AJ Dahm

Bison graze at Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge east of Valentine. The 19,131-acre refuge is also home to herds of elk. Prairie dogs are often seen along the self-guided auto tour route.

Tryon

The Tryon area is sparse in human population but grazes huge herds of cattle. The local school mascot is the Longhorn, but Angus and Hereford cattle also graze here. The long history of regional ranching and pioneer history is chronicled in the museum of the McPherson County Historical Society. The facility includes a historic bank, sod house and artifacts collected from the area. The museum is open by appointment. (308) 587-2376.

HOTELS & MOTELS

Arthur

West of Tryon about 40 miles on Highway 2, where cattle, pronghorn and deer roam, Arthur is the only town in Arthur County. The ranching town boasts the world’s smallest courthouse. The 26-by-28-foot white frame building was built after Arthur County seceded from neighboring McPherson County in 1913. The former Pilgrim Holiness Church is one of the few places of worship ever made from baled straw. How is that for a true blessing of Nebraska ingenuity?

Phone

Rooms

Amenities

Rate Range

The Bunkhouse, South end of Main St, Arthur

308-764-2476

4

Pets allowed

1-50

Longhorn Motel, 480 Hwy 92, Tryon. Jct Hwys 92 & 97, Tryon

308-587-2345

5

CAMPGROUNDS Arnold SRA, 1 mi. S. of Jct Hwys 40 & 92, Arnold www.arnoldne.org

GOLF COURSES Augusta Wind, 1 mi. S. on US Hwy 83, Stapleton

Phone

Open

308-848-2228

Year Round

Phone 308-636-2428

1-50

Amenities RV Amenities: electricity, room for 20 trailers Rest Facilities: pit toilets Camping: 100+ tents

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times. 9, public

Fees 15

Rate Range Under 15 WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 25


HOTELS & MOTELS

Phone

Rooms

Comfort Inn, 101 Main St, Valentine www.civalentine.com

402-376-3300

50

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast

75+

Econo Lodge & Suites, 340 E. US Hwy 20, Valentine www.duneslodge.com

402-376-3131

72

Wheelchair accessible, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

1-75+

Merritt Trading Post Resort, 26 mi. S. on Hwy 97, Valentine. www.merritttradingpost.com

402-376-3437

15

Wheelchair accessible, restaurant on premises, pets allowed

75+

Motel Raine, 618 W. US Hwy 20, Valentine www.sleepintheraine.com

402-376-2030 800-999-3066

31

Conference room, wifi, fitness room

1-75

Super 8 Motel, 223 E. US Hwy 20. www.super8.com

402-376-1250

60

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast

51-75+

Trade Winds Motel, 1009 E. US Hwy 20, Valentine www.tradewindslodge.com

402-376-1600

32

Free continental breakfast, pets allowed

51-75+

The Niobrara Lodge, 803 E. US Hwy 20, Valentine www.niobrarariverlodge.com

402-376-3000 877-376-3003

61

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, pets allowed

Valentine

Nebraska’s “Heart City” is near the Niobrara River. Outfitters provide everything for river fun. Five miles east of Valentine on Highway 12, bison and elk roam Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge. Attractions include Smith Falls, Merritt Reservoir, McKelvie National Forest and Valentine NWR. The Prairie Club has golf, a lodge and restaurant. (888) 402-1101. Frederick Peak Golf Club is a public course. For Valentine info call (800) 658-4024.

26 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

Amenities

Merriman

The history of Sandhills ranching lives at Arthur Bowring Ranch State Historical Park. (308) 282-0730.

Nenzel and Cody

Niobrara Valley Vineyards near Nenzel allows visitors to literally taste the Sandhills with wines made from homegrown vines. (402) 823-4131. Cody-Kilgore High School students helped build the strawbale Circle C Market and operate it. (402) 823-4099.

Rate Range

75+


GOLF COURSES

Phone

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times.

Rate Range

The Prairie Club, 109 S. Main St, Valentine

888-402-1101

46 holes, 3 courses, semi-private

Over 30

Frederick Peak Golf Club, 1000 Dowden St, Valentine

402-322-2754

10 holes

Under 30

UNIQUE LODGING

Phone

Amenities

Rate Range

Buer Ranch Lodge, 90296 Berry Bridge Rd buerranch.com

402-322-0314

Air conditioning, full kitchen, charcoal grill, Dish TV

75+

Cody’s Country Cabin, US Hwy 20, Cody

402-823-4182

3-bedroom house, rent to one party at a time

1-50

Cottonwood House

402-376-1109

Kitchen, TV, essentials, heating/ air conditioning

75+

Heartland Elk Guest Ranch, 114 Lake Shore Dr, Valentine 17 mi. E. on Hwy 12, 2 ½ mi. S. www.heartlandelk.com

402-376-1124

Outdoor activities available

75+

Lord Ranch Resort, 17 mi. S. on US Hwy 83 to Mile Marker 9, 1 mi. E. on 16B Spur, Valentine

402-376-5984 800-270-0181

Rooms with private bath. Cabins surround by the Sandhills

75+

Merritt Trading Post, 26 mi. SW on Hwy 97, Valentine www.merritttradingpost.com

402-376-3437

Wheelchair accessible, restaurant on premises, pets allowed

75+

Niobrara River Ranch, 15 mi. E. on Hwy 12, S. 3/4 mi., Valentine

402-890-1245 866-282-8677

Rustic handcrafted log cabins

75+

Schlagel Creek Ranch, 5 mi. S. on US Hwy 20, 1 ½ mi. W., Valentine, www.schlagelcreekranch.com

402-376-2679

Outdoor activities. Fall and spring hunting packages

CAMPGROUNDS

Phone

Open

Amenities

Fees

A&C Outfitters, 18 mi. E. on Hwy 12, 5 mi. S., 1 mi. E., Valentine

402-376-2839

Apr-Sep

RV Amenities: electricity, water. Rest Facilities: shower, pit toilets

Call for rates

Berry Bridge Resort, 13 mi. E. on Hwy 12, 3 mi. S. , Valentine www.niobraracamping.com

402-376-3474

May 15Oct 15

RV Amenities: electricity, room for 8 trailers. Rest Facilities: shower, flush and pit toilets. Camping: 18 tents. Cabin Rentals: 4

7

Cody City Park, One block north of Hwy 20, off Western Nebraska Ave, Cody

402-823-4118

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer

Call for rates

Cottonwood Lake SRA, 1/2 mi. E., 1/2 mi. S., Merriman www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov

308-684-3428

Year Round

RV Amenities: water. Rest Facilities: pit toilets Camping: unlimited tents

4 NE Park Permit

Fishberry Campground, HC 14 Box 1, 4 ½ mi. N. on US Hwy 83., Valentine. www.fishberrycampground.com

402-376-1662 866-376-1662

May 1Nov 1

Fritz’s Island Campground, 7 ½ mi. S.E. of Sparks www.campniobrara.com

402-376-3791 877-700-3791

May-Oct

Graham’s Camp, 5 mi. S. of Sparks www.grahamoutfitters.com

402-376-3708 800-322-3708

Apr 1Nov 1

Merritt Reservoir, 28 mi. SW on Hwy 97, Valentine www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov

402-376-3320

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 215 trailers Rest Facilities: shower, flush and pit toilets Cabin Rentals: available

Merritt Trading Post, 26 mi. SW on Hwy 97, Valentine www.merritttradingpost.com

402-376-3437

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 7 trailers Rest Facilities: shower, flush toilets Cabin Rentals: 15

Rock Barn Outfitters, Sparks, E. on Hwy 12 to Mile Marker 28, 5 mi S., 1 ½ mi E, www.rockbarnoutfitters.com

402-376-1764 800-335-6252

May 15Sep 15

RV Amenities: water, room for 6 trailers Rest Facilities: shower and pit toilets Camping: 40 tents

5

Rocky Ford Camp & Outfitters LLC, 13 mi. S. of Sparks www.rockyfordoutfitters.com

402-376-1124 800-497-3479

Apr 15Sep 15

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 8 trailers Rest Facilities: Shower, flush and pit toilets Camping: 35 tents Cabin Rentals: 5

3

Shady Spot RV Camp, 402 N. Main St, 1 blk N. of Jct US Hwy 20 & Hwy 61, Merriman

308-684-3330

June 1Sep 1

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 6 trailers

10

Smith Falls State Park, 3 mi. W., 4 mi. S. of Sparks www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov

402-376-1306

Year Round

RV Amenities: water, room for 5 Rest Facilities: shower, flush and pit toilets Camping: 25 tents

4 NE Park Permit

Sparks Store & RV Camp, 101 Main St, Sparks, 18 mi. E. of Valentine on NE Hwy 12, ww.drylandaquatics.com

402-376-3119 800-337-3119

Apr-Nov

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 6 trailers Rest Facilities: shower, flush and pit toilets Camping: 30 tents Cabin Rentals: 2

Call for rates

Steer Creek Campground, Samuel R. McKelvie Nat’l Forest, 20 mi. S. of Nenzel

308-533-2257

Year Round

Room for 23 trailers Rest Facilities: Pit toilets Camping: 23 tents

Sunny Brook Camp LLC, 11 mi. S.E. of Sparks www.sunnybrookcamp.com

402-376-1887 877-376-1887

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 3 trailers Rest Facilities: shower, flush and pit toilets Camping: 20 tents Cabin Rentals: 2

Valentine City Park, N. Main St., along Minnechaduza Creek, Valentine

402-376-2323

May-Sep

Rest Facilities: shower, flush toilets Camping: 5 tents

Village Park, 3rd & Main Sts, Wood Lake

402-967-3054

May-Sep

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 2 trailers Rest Facilities: flush toilets

Donation

Wacky West Travel Park, 702 E. C St, Valentine

402-376-1771 866-376-1771

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 31 trailers Rest Facilities: shower, flush toilets Camping: 10 tents

Call for rates

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 22 trailers Rest Facilities: Shower, flush toilets Camping: 10 tents

28

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 20 trailers Rest Facilities: Shower, flush and pit toilets Camping: 60 tents

6-27 6 Youth under 10 Free

Rest Facilities: shower, pit toilets Camping: 50 tents

7-14 NE Park Permit 14-22

5 Call for rates 5

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 27


PINE RIDGE CHADRON • CRAWFORD HARRISON • RUSHVILLE GORDON • HAY SPRINGS

GETTING STARTED

As its name suggests, Nebraska’s Pine Ridge is a rocky and rolling region scattered with pine forests and tree-covered ridges. In many ways this is still an untamed frontier where bighorn sheep watch from high above, and majestic elk bugle from rocky canyons. Narrow streams trickle through draws and valleys where trout live in the clear water. Golden eagles nest on cliff faces overlooking pastures of grazing longhorn cattle and wilderness-wise ponies. There is plenty of room here for humans, too. History embraces this state’s northwest ridge, and the legends live on in this arc of uncommon beauty, 20 miles wide and 100 miles long. It is a giant bedroom for fossils, epic railroad vistas, outdoor experiences and a place where the cowboys still ride off into the sunset. Adventure, scenic beauty, unique culture and memories are abundant here in Nebraska’s precious Pine Ridge Country.

Visitors at Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, 25 miles southeast of Harrison, follow trails to fossil sites or tour the visitor center complete with fossil skeletons and Native American artifacts. AJ Dahm


Explore the

Pine Ridge DISCOVER THE FRONTIER


 11

3 4 5 8

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10

15

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7

9

14

12

13

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WELCOME CENTERS/ REST AREAS

ATTRACTIONS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Chadron State Park was Nebraska’s first state park. Founded in 1921, it encompasses nearly 1,000 acres of Pine Ridge public land nine miles south of Chadron on Highway 385. The park offers fishing, camping, hiking, mountain biking, bird watching and horseback riding. Cabins are available April 15-Nov. 15. A swimming pool and sand volleyball courts elevate the fun, and mountain bikes and paddle boats are available for rent. The RV campground has 70 electrical hookups, showers, laundromat, dump station and playground. Primitive camping also is available. Please be careful with fire in this wooded area. Hike and bike trails spread in every direction. (308) 432-6167. Pine Ridge Ranger District of the Nebraska National Forest is 52,000 acres of ponderosa pine and mixed grass prairies. Primitive camping is allowed. The Red Cloud Campground has picnic

Agate Fossil Beds Oglala National Grassland Toadstool Geologic Park Hudson-Meng Education & Research Center Fossil hunting Horseback riding Fort Robinson State Park High Plains Homestead Mountain biking Dawes County Historical Museum Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center Museum of the Fur Trade Metcalf Wildlife Management Area Tri-State Old Time Cowboy Museum Trailside Museum of Natural History

Chadron

Chadron is a community of 5,700 residents and 3,000 very well-behaved Chadron State College students. Chadron’s early fur traders, cowboys, ranchers and railroaders were known to get a little rowdy from time to time. The community lies between the Pine Ridge and the High Plains.

30 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

AJ Dahm

Chadron’s Museum of the Fur Trade is the only museum in the world dedicated to the fur trade.


WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 31


tables, fire grates and vault toilets; it is eight miles south of Chadron on Highway 385. Marked trails, about 80 miles-worth, appeal to mountain bikers, hikers and horseback riders. The area’s most popular trailheads include East Ash, West Ash, Soldier Creek, Spotted Tail, Roberts and Outrider. Roberts and Outrider trailheads have horse corrals and a rider ramp. Off-road vehicles must be equipped with spark arrestors to reduce wildfire danger. Maps of the Pine Ridge Trails system and the National Forest/Oglala National Grassland are available at Chadron Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center. Chadron State Park offers the National Forest/ Oglala National Grassland map showing trails. (800) 603-2937. Pine Ridge National Recreation Area is a 6,600-acre parcel limited to non-motorized recreation. There are corrals, a rider ramp, modern toilets and drinkable water. Hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking are allowed. The recreation area and trailhead are connected by the scenic 3 Mile Loop. The best entry point to the Pine Ridge National Recreation Area is from the Roberts trailhead, eight miles west of Chadron on Highway 20 to Eleson Road, then seven miles south to Bethel Road and then 1 1/2 miles east. Museum of the Fur Trade is the only museum dedicated exclusively to the fur trade era. It is three miles east of Chadron on Highway 20 at the site of a trading post operated by the American Fur Co. from 1837 to 1876. The building has been

32 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

AJ Dahm

Virginians Jim and Sandra Elder didn’t ride horses all the way to Fort Robinson State Park, but once they got to the expansive state park near Crawford, they climbed back in the saddle again.

reconstructed on the original foundation. The museum’s three galleries interpret the fur trade from the American Southwest to the Arctic, from early colonial days to the 20th century. Exhibits trace the everyday lives of British, French and Spanish traders, mountain men, buffalo hunters, and plains and woodland Indians. Among the museum’s artifacts are trade goods from the 18th and 19th centuries – such as “Northwest” muskets made for Native Americans (including one that belonged to the famous Shawnee chief, Tecumseh), trade silver, textiles, beads and paints. Open May 1-Oct. 31 or by appointment. (308) 432-3843.

In 1890, after the Wounded Knee Massacre, Gen. Nelson Miles commandeered the Chadron House while investigating the incident. The luxury hotel was the town’s showplace. Today, it is restored to its former glory and operating as Olde Main Street Inn. The inn offers lodging, dining and includes the 77 Longbranch Saloon. 115 Main St. (308) 432-3380. When the Chadron-to-Chicago Horse Race began in 1893, it did so with a shot fired by Chadron’s fire chief using a Colt revolver from the veranda of the Blaine Hotel. The event began as a joke but then came to fruition, garnering attention from around the world and putting


WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 33


Chadron on the map. Characters like horse thief “Doc” Middleton, a race favorite among Chadron residents, and William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody were involved. Dishonesty and cheating were exposed before the winner crossed the finish line 13 days later in Chicago at the World’s Fair. Today’s rail-to-trail converted Cowboy Trail east of Chadron covers part of the 1,000-mile race route. The former Blaine Hotel is an apartment complex today. Pose for a selfie at 159 Bordeaux St.

HOTELS & MOTELS

Dawes County Historical Museum – three miles south of Chadron on Highway 385 – has an original log house and barn, schoolhouse, church, blacksmith shop, large toy collection and innovative inventions of local farmer Marcus Cain. Research is their specialty. Open Memorial Day-Sept. 30. (308) 432-4999. Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center is dedicated to the study of Nebraska and High Plains culture, literature and history. Located at Chadron

State College, the center is named after Mari Sandoz (1896-1966), one of Nebraska’s best-known authors. Sandoz gained national prominence with her 1935 biography of her father, Old Jules. Sandoz wrote powerfully of Plains subjects such as Crazy Horse, the Cheyenne Outbreak and buffalo hunters. (308) 432-6401. For more about Chadron and Northwest Nebraska, contact Chadron Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center at (800) 603-2937.

Phone

Rooms

Best Western West Hills Inn, 1100 W. 10th St, 1/2 mi. S. Jct US Hwys 20 & 385, Chadron www.bestwesternnebraska.com

308-432-3305 877-432-3305

67

Wheelchair accessible, restaurant on premises, indoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

75+

Bunk House Motel, 901 E. 3rd St., Chadron www.bunkhousechadron.com

308-432-5591

21

Pets allowed

1-50

Chadron Inn & Suites, 755 Microtel Dr, S. US Hwy 385 & 8th St Exit, Chadron

308-432-3000 800-297-7410

43

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, pets allowed

51-75

Grand Motel, 1050 W. US Hwy 20, Chadron www.chadron.com

308-432-5595

45

Restaurant on premises, pets allowed

1-50

Holiday Inn Express, 247 Ash Street, Chadron

308-747-2223

Super 8 Motel, 840 W. US Hwy 20, Chadron www.chadron.com

308-432-4471 800-800-8000

45

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

Westerner Motel, 300 Oak St, W. US Hwy 20, Chadron www.chadron.com/business/westerner

308-432-5577 800-947-0847

27

Restaurant on premises, pets allowed

UNIQUE LODGING

Phone

Amenities

Amenities

Rate Range

51-75+ 1-50

Rate Range

Aunt Myrna’s Cabin, 903 Bethel Rd, 5 mi. S. of US Hwy 20 between Chadron and Crawford, aunt-myrnas-cabin.com

308-665-5050

Private cabin w/beds for 2 or 10, single bath w/ shower, full kitchen w/outdoor BBQ, A/C + gas fireplace, Stars, wildlife, hiking, biking, hunting, Photos unlimited

Northwest Nebraska High Country, www.nebraskahighcountry.com

308-665-1580

There are 25 hunting lodges and bed and breakfast operations in this organization. Visit the website to view the list

Olde Main Street Inn, 115 Main St., Chadron www.chadron.com/oldemain

308-432-3380

Rustic country inn on National Register of Historic Places, rooms with private bath, full continental breakfast

R Lazy J Country Hideaway, 1260 Bethel Rd, 7 mi. S. off Hwy 20, between Crawford and Chadron, rlazyj.com

308-665-2377 308-430-0134

Private ranch house, 3 bedroom, 2 full baths, full kitchen, laundry. Great for families or individuals. Wildlife watching, star gazing, exploring encouraged

Rocking Heart Elk Ranch, 1338 Table Rd, Chadron www.elkplanet.com

308-432-4314

2-story log cabin, wheelchair accessible, full breakfast

51-75

Victorian Inn B&B, 307 Shelton St, Chadron www.chadronvictorianinn.com

308-432-5696

Built in 1910. High-speed Internet, grand piano, central AC. Rooms with shared bath, full continental breakfast

1-75

Shared Outdoors Lodge, 130 Old Dunlap Rd, Hemingford. www.sharedoutdoors.com

308-487-3426

Full-equipped lodge with full kitchen, fireplace, laundry facilities, WiFi, phone, satellite TV, 4 bedrooms able to sleep up to 12 people

Call for rates

CAMPGROUNDS

Phone

Open

Amenities

95+

1-75+ 95+

Fees 11-65 NE Park Permit

Chadron State Park, 9 mi. S. on US Hwy 385, Chadron www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov

308-432-6167

Year Round

Eagle’s Rest RV Park, 1/4 mi. W. on US Hwy 20, Chadron

308-432-4349

Elec. only winter

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 48 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets Camping: 20 tents

25

Red Cloud Campground, Nebraska National Forest, 8 mi. S. on US Hwy 385, Chadron. www.fs.fed.us/r2/nebraska

308-432-0300

Year Round

RV Amenities: room for 6 trailers Rest Facilities: Pit toilets, Camping: 7 tents

5 May-Nov

Roberts Trailhead Campground, Nebraska National Forest, 18 mi. S.W., www.fs.fed.us/r2/nebraska

308-432-0300

Year Round

RV Amenities: water Rest Facilities: Pit toilets Horse corrals available

8 vehicle May-Nov

Shared Outdoors, 130 Old Dunlap Rd, Hemingford www.sharedoutdoors.com

308-487-3426

GOLF COURSES Ridgeview Country Club, 16611 US Hwy 385, Chadron

Phone 308-432-4468

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 70 trailers Rest Facilities: Showers, flush and pit toilets. Camping: 18 tents Cabin Rentals: 22

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer Rest Facilities: Showers, pit and flush toilets Camping: available

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times. 9 holes, semi-private

20-40

Rate Range Under 15


Crawford CHADRON EVENTS FESTIVAL OF QUILTS April 20-22. Learn about quilts with lectures, demonstrations, appraisals, featured quilters and a trunk show. (308) 615-9008. FUR TRADE DAYS July 11-15. Join the celebration commemorating America’s fur trade heritage. Events include a buckskinner camp, historic presentations, Traders’ Market and parade. (308) 432-4401. DAWES COUNTY FAIR July 29-Aug. 4. Enjoy livestock shows, 4-H projects, tractor pull, rodeos, Tough Truck contest and concert. (308) 432-3373. BANDS ON BORDEAUX The 100 block of Bordeaux Street is the place to be on Thursday evenings in July when music, food, drink and vendors mix downtown. (308) 432-4401. BAND OF CITIZENS’ OPEN MIC NIGHT Meet at Bean Broker Coffeehouse & Pub every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. for food, drink and singing with a real backup band. This is not karaoke, but it is loads of fun. (308) 432-4500.

Crawford is known as the “Big Game Capital of Nebraska.” Located in the heart of Pine Ridge Country, elk, mule deer and bighorn sheep usually get the goat of hunters with appetites for wild game. But you never know when a shot at a legendary animal will present itself. Legend Buttes Golf Course was once named Nebraska’s top nine-hole course by Nebraska Golfer magazine. Even if your game is over par, the view here is stunning. History abounds at Crawford. The Army scout known as Little Bat was killed on Main Street. Not far away, MJ’s Ranch House is said to be haunted. Crawford’s post office has a mural commissioned by the government during the Great Depression. Crawford Historical Museum chronicles this history and more at 341 Second St. (308) 665-1732. White River Gallery features local artists, and offers art workshops and youth camps in this renovated former bakery. 425 2nd St. (308) 430-5882. Fort Robinson State Park is three miles west of Crawford on Highway 20. It began in 1874 as a military camp at the Red Cloud Indian Agency. Now, the park is Nebraska’s largest state park and one of the state’s most popular attractions. Lakota warrior Crazy Horse surrendered here in 1877. Two years later, the fort was involved with the Cheyenne Outbreak. Northern Cheyenne fled their Oklahoma reservation but were caught and imprisoned at Fort Robinson. One night in January 1879, 130 Northern Cheyenne escaped. Sixty-four Cheyenne and 11 soldiers died in the fighting. The new Northern Cheyenne Breakout Monument stands west of Fort Robinson along Highway 20 near the Cheyenne Buttes. “Fort Rob” was home to AfricanAmerican “Buffalo Soldiers” in the segregated military of the day. In the 20th century, the fort was the world’s largest military remount depot, and during World War II included a K-9 corps training center and a German POW camp. Visitors can enjoy cookouts, trail rides, hiking, and a summer repertory theater at Post Playhouse. There’s lodging in officers’ houses and camping at 100 sites with electricity and 25 non-electrical pads. Fort Robinson is open mid-April through mid-November. A state park permit is required. (308) 665-2900. Fort Robinson History Center WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 35


traces fort history from the Indian Wars through the 1940s. (308) 665-2919. Trailside Museum of Natural History explores the area’s geology and natural history. Don’t miss the “Clash of the Mammoths.” A pair of bull mammoths locked tusks more than 10,000 years ago and died together. Their fossilized skeletons lie in display at the museum. (308) 665-2929. Soldier Creek Wilderness was once part of the fort. Today, the 7,794-acre area has 15 miles of twisting trails. Follow Soldier Creek Road from the entrance to Fort Robinson State Park. Peterson State Wildlife Management Area is nearby, south of Highway 20. From Red Cloud Buttes, you see Crawford to the east, Fort Robinson to the south, and the Red Cloud Agency site to the southeast. Half a mile northwest is the site of the Treaty Tree, where

36 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

in 1875 the U.S. government tried to buy the Black Hills from the Lakota. Sioux and Crow warriors battled in 1849 at what is now known as Crow Butte. For the best view, travel 2 1/2 miles south of Crawford, down Highways 2 and 71, then four miles east to Ponderosa Wildlife Management Area. Songbirds, falcons, mule deer, turkeys and golden eagles are often seen in this scenic area. Take Highway 2 north to the Oglala National Grassland, home of pronghorn, turkey, mule deer, songbirds, porcupine, coyotes, burrowing owls and a few rattlesnakes. See scenic vistas and rugged terrain unlike anything else in Nebraska. (308) 432-0300. Toadstool Geologic Park is a unique landscape within the grassland. Sediment layers have eroded at different rates, leaving sandstone formations perched on clay stems. Early residents referred to the


Fort Robinson State Park is the largest state park in Nebraska. More than 22,000 scenic acres of rugged prairie are available to visitors exploring the park on foot, horseback, Jeeps, wagon rides, kayak, stagecoach and bicycle. Whew! There is a lot to do here. The park’s two museums will fascinate history buffs.

AJ Dahm

formations as toadstools. The park has a hiking trail, picnic tables, camping areas and a reconstructed sod house. Go five miles north from Crawford on Highway 2, then 10 miles northwest on Toadstool Road. Take it slow, these non-hardsurfaced roads can be challenging, especially when wet. (308) 432-0300. People thought rancher Albert Meng had found sheep bones. He and friend Bill Hudson invited scientists to take a closer look. It turned out the bones were the remains of more than 600 ancient bison. (308) 432-0300. Hudson-Meng Education and Research Center is open to the public, and the 10,000-year-old bones are still being studied. After recent wildfires, more than 80 ancient points were found in an already throughly explored location. Because of stone tools discovered here, many scientists believe Paleo-Indians

ambushed and killed the bison. Some bones seem to show cuts from stone blades. Other experts disagree. The Hudson-Meng Education and Research Center is south of Toadstool Park. On Toadstool Road, turn on Sand Creek Road and go six miles. Open mid-May through September. Please allow meandering cattle and rattlesnakes the right of way. (308) 665-3900. You’ll see a dusty frontier town along the way. High Plains Homestead/Drifter Cookshack features “cowboy-sized” meals. Not sure what a Coffee Burger is? The behemoth sandwich is tradition in these parts. Lodging is available, and there’s a blacksmith shop, antique store, historic schoolhouse, Dirty Creek Saloon and a few bison. High Plains Homestead can help with coyote hunting, vacations and your Western wedding dream packages. (308) 665-2592. Our Heritage Guest Ranch offers

CRAWFORD EVENTS RIDE THE RIDGE June 16. See Fort Robinson by horseback during guided trail rides. Morning riders can share donuts and coffee with the Trail Bosses and fellow riders. (308) 469-6289. OLD WEST TRAIL PRCA RODEO July 3-4. The Pine Ridge’s only PRCA rodeo entertains all comers with visions of bucking broncs, bullish bulls, calf roping, vendors and welcoming residents. www.owtrodeo.com. CRAWFORD 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION July 2-4. Celebrate our independence with a rodeo, fireworks display and art show. (308) 665-1817.

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 37


38 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA


lodging in a historic guest cottage. Get closer to the rural way of life by spending a night in the very nice barn loft. The ranch offers fossil hunting, train watching, pioneer family journeys, Lakota vacations and more. (308) 665-2810. The 750-foot-long Belmont Tunnel is no longer used by trains, but railroad enthusiasts watch trains climbing the 10-mile-long Crawford-to-Belmont grade. South of Crawford on Highway 2. For more info, contact the Crawford Chamber of Commerce at (866) 665-1817.

Despite being surrounded by the Oglala National Grassland, the strange landscape of Toadstool Geologic Park is nearly void of plant life. Pronghorn, mule deer and rattlesnakes live here where the fossils of ancient oreodonts, tortoises and other animals are found. Alan J. Bartels

HOTELS & MOTELS

Phone

Rooms

Amenities

Rate Range

Fort Robinson State Park, 3200 Highway 20, Crawford

308-665-2900

Hilltop Motel, 304 McPherson St, Hwy 2 & US Hwy 20, Crawford

308-665-1144 800-504-1444

13

Pets allowed

51-75

Town Line Motel, 3591 US Hwy 20, Hwy 2 & US Hwy 20, Crawford

308-665-1450 800-903-1450

24

Wheelchair accessible, pets allowed

1-75+

UNIQUE LODGING

Phone

Restaurant on premises, indoor pool, pets allowed

50-245+

Amenities

Rate Range

Aunt Myrna’s Cabin, 903 Bethel Rd, 5 mi. S. of US Hwy 20 between Chadron and Crawford, aunt-myrnas-cabin.com

308-665-5050

Private cabin w/beds for 2 or 10, single bath w/ shower, full kitchen w/ outdoor BBQ, A/C + gas fireplace, Stars, wildlife, hiking, biking, hunting, Photos unlimited

Down Home Ranch Guest House, 10 mi. S. of Crawford on Hwy 2/71, www.downhomeranchhouse.com

602-620-5755

2-story house, 4-bedroom, 2-bath near canyons, rolling hills and sleeps 10. Tipi camping available, 18’ tipi, sleeps 4

1-50

High Plains Homestead, 263 Sandcreek Rd, 16 mi. N., Crawford, www.highplainshomestead.com

308-665-2592 888-365-2592

Wheelchair accessible, rooms with private bath, full breakfast, cow town museum, lodging, horse corrals, hunting and fossil collecting, open mid-Apr thru mid-Nov

51-75

Johnson Ranch, 220 Lawrence Rd, Whitney, 5 mi. N. of Crawford on Hwy 2, 2 mi. E. www.onelazyj.com

308-665-3960

Rooms with private bath, continental breakfast. Horse rental and boarding, and hunting

51-75

Our Heritage, 1041 Toadstool Rd, 16 mi. N.W. & 7 mi. N.W., Crawford, www.vacation-ranch.com

308-665-2810

Wheelchair accessible, rooms with private and shared bath, full breakfast. Sleeps 15. Ranch activities, hiking & fossil hunting

1-75

Ponderosa Ranch, 10 mi. southeast of Crawford www.ponderosaranch.net

308-629-7733

Private rustic cabin, full kitchen, BBQ, hunting, bird watching, star gazing. By reservation only.

75+

R Lazy J Country Hideaway, 1260 Bethel Rd, 7 mi. S. off Hwy 20, between Crawford and Chadron, rlazyj.com

308-665-2377 308-430-0134

Private ranch house, 3 bedroom, 2 full baths, full kitchen, laundry. Great for families or individuals. Wildlife watching, star gazing, exploring encouraged

95+

Schoolhouse B&B, 1312 W. Ash Creek Rd., Crawford

308-665-1814

Cozy schoolhouse with private bath, full breakfast, bird watching, star gazing, hunting

Southside Cottage, 1107 Hospital Dr, Crawford

308-665-2309

Rooms with shared bath, 2-bedroom cottage

CAMPGROUNDS

Phone

Open

Crawford City Park, First & Main St., Crawford www.crawfordnebraska.net

308-665-1462

Year Round

Fort Robinson State Park, 3200 W. US Hwy 20, Crawford www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov

308-665-2900

Soldier Creek Wilderness Trailhead, 6 mi. N.W. of Fort Robinson State Park, Crawford

308-432-0300

Year Round

Southside Cottage and RV Park, 1105 Hospital Dr, Crawford, www.southsidecottage.com

308-665-2309

Apr 1Oct 31

Toadstool Geologic Park, Nebraska National Forest, 19 mi. N., www.fs.fed.us/r2/nebraska

308-432-0300

GOLF COURSES Legend Buttes Golf Course, 3440 US Hwy 20, Crawford 1/2 mi. W. on US Hwy 20

Phone 308-665-2431

51-75 75+

Amenities

Fees

RV Amenities: electricity, room for 2 trailers Camping: 2 tents RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 103 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush and pit toilets Cabin rental: 34

12-21 100-cabin

RV Amenities: water Rest Facilities: pit toilets

8/vehicle

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, 4 trailers Cabin Rental: 1 Room for 6 trailers, $5 camping, $3 use fee mid-May thru mid-Nov

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times. 9, public

95+

15-17 3-5, NE Park Permit

Rate Range Under 15

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 39


Harrison

Harrison, south of the Oglala National Grassland, is the only incorporated community in Sioux County and is known as Nebraska’s “Top Town” because it has the highest elevation of any Nebraska community. Sioux County Historical Museum chronicles Sioux County from settlement

HOTELS & MOTELS Sage Motel, 398 E. US Hwy 20, Harrison www.sagemotelharrison.com

UNIQUE LODGING

through the 20th century with a schoolhouse, post office and more. Ask to see the museum’s rare hearse. (308) 668-2110. For a scenic drive head north from town on Sowbelly Road. In 1876, the 5th U.S. Cavalry clashed with Cheyenne at what is known as Warbonnet Battlefield. Buffalo Bill killed Yellow Hand here. Go three miles east of Harrison on Highway 20, then 16 miles north on Pants Butte Road, then four Phone

Rooms

308-665-5300

13

Phone

miles east on Montrose Road to see monuments north of the church. Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is home to important Native American artifacts. Visitors can walk among the fossils of ancient animals. Located 22 miles south of Harrison or 34 miles north of Mitchell on Highway 29. (308) 668-2211. Contact the Harrison Community Club at (308) 668-2466.

Amenities Restaurant on premises, pets allowed

Amenities

308-668-2166

Restored historic hotel located in scenic Sioux County, rooms with shared bath, free continental breakfast

The Nest B&B Inn, 13 mi. N.E. of Harrison on Hat Creek Rd., www.restinthenest.com

308-432-4227

Fully furnished ranch home, sleeps 10, rooms with shared bath

Corral Campground, 410 E. US Hwy 20, Harrison www.visitnorthwestnebraska.com

40 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

Phone

Open

308-668-2441

Year Round

1-50

Rate Range

Harrison House Hotel, 115 Main St., Harrison www.harrisonhousehotel.net.

CAMPGROUNDS

Rate Range

Amenities RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 12 trailers

50-100 75+

Fees


The Mari Sandoz Memorial Drive leads Gordon visitors south to attractions in the Sandhills.

Alan J. Bartels

Gordon

A lone willow tree known as a landmark to pioneers and Native Americans is where the community of Gordon was founded. The tree along Antelope Creek is still alive on the eastern edge of town. Cowboy memorabilia from the late 1800s through the present day is displayed at Tri-State Old Time Cowboys Memorial Museum at the Gordon City Park at Fourth and Oak streets. Cattle brands burned into wood helps explain the area’s ranching history and the unique language of the range. Relics featured here include antique furniture, dental equipment, ranching

tools, barbed wire and clothing including a collection of dirty, soiled and bent cowboy hats from local ranchers. The museum is open 1-5 p.m. daily, June 1-Sept. 15, and by appointment by calling (308) 282-0887. Scamahorn Museum is a restored 1880s Methodist church and houses local history exhibits, military displays, Native American artifacts, pioneer and agricultural tools and genealogical records. The museum is the oldest building in Gordon and is named for the founder of the community, the Rev. John Scamahorn. It is on West Fifth Street in Wayland Park. The museum is open 1-4 p.m. Monday,

Wednesday, Friday, and 7-9 p.m. TuesdayThursday from Memorial Day-Labor Day. (308) 282-1737 or (308) 327-2917. Mari Sandoz Historical Marker is in a valley of natural lakes and sand dunes 30 miles south of Gordon on Highway 27. This is part of Mari Sandoz Memorial Drive that begins at Gordon and leads to Mari’s Grave on the Sandoz homestead near the still-producing fruit orchards planted by her father, “Old Jules” Sandoz, long ago. Her relatives still work cattle and the land in the region today. For more information about Gordon, contact the Gordon Tourist Information Center. (308) 282-0730.

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 41


Hay Springs

Residents of Hay Springs work hard but have never taken themselves too seriously. A story in a 1922 issue of the Hay Springs News reported the sighting of a Loch Ness-style monster at Alkali Lake. Rumors circulated of ranchers losing cattle to the hungry beast, but no physical evidence was ever discovered. We can’t confirm anything larger than good-sized snapping turtles and catfish swimming in the body of water now named Walgren Lake. We do know for sure that Walgren Lake State Recreation Area has camping, fishing and picnic areas. To find the lake, start at the junction of highways 87 and 20. Go south 1.8 miles on Highway 87, then turn east for three miles, then go south one mile. To find the monster ... well, you’re on your own. Wildlife abounds at Metcalf Wildlife

HOTELS & MOTELS

Management Area. Hiking and primitive camping are allowed. Take Highway 20 to the east edge of Hay Springs and follow the county road seven miles north. Two local landmarks have important historical significance. Beaver Wall escarpment is in the middle of the Spotted Tail Agency and old Camp Sheridan. Spotted Tail was a famous Lakota (Sioux) leader. From the top of Beaver Wall, you can see the outline of the Black Hills 75 miles to the northwest. To find it, go 10 miles north of Highway 20 on the county road at the west edge of Hay Springs. Sheridan Gates is the local name for two large buttes through which early settlers and military soldiers passed. For more information on Hay Springs, contact the Hay Springs Chamber of Commerce. (308) 638-7275.

Rushville

Sheridan County Historical Museum showcases the history of Camp Sheridan and Spotted Tail Agency. Highway 20 and Nelson Avenue. In nearby Hay Springs, Heritage Center I and II, are in the 1884 Methodist Church in the 200 block of Baker Street, and in the building at Second and Main. The museums are open 1-4 p.m. MondayFriday, Memorial Day-Labor Day. (308) 327-2374. Smith Lake Wildlife Management Area has fishing, picnic areas and primitive camping. It is 27 miles south of Rushville on Highway 250. For more information on Rushville, contact the Rushville Chamber of Commerce. (308) 327-2221.

Phone

Rooms

Jefco Inn, 308 S. Cornell, W. US Hwy 20, Gordon

308-282-2935

22

Wheelchair accessible, free continental breakfast

1-75+

Western Sands Motel, 107 W. US Hwy 20, Gordon

308-282-1795

20

Wheelchair accessible, pets allowed

1-75

Antler’s Motel, 607 E. 2nd, Rushville

308-327-2444

20

Free continental breakfast, pets allowed

1-75

Nebraskaland Motel, 508 E. 2nd St, Rushville

308-327-2487

15

Pets allowed

1-75

UNIQUE LODGING

Phone

Amenities

Amenities

Rate Range

Rate Range

Horse Thief Cave Ranch, 1711 550th Trail Rd, 15 mi. S.E., Gordon, www.horsethiefcave.com

308-282-1017

Rooms with shared bath, continental breakfast

1-75

Flying Heart Ranch LLC, 6473 440th Ln, Hay Springs www.flyingheartranch.com

308-638-7426

Rooms with shared bath, 3-bedroom, 2-bath cabin. Solitude, wildlife, hiking/biking trails

75+

Hay Springs Rentals, 213, 221 & 230 N. Post St & 339 N. Chambers St., Hay Springs, www.hayspringsrentals.com

308-638-4466

Rooms with private and shared bath. 3-bed-room houses with kitchens and living rooms

CAMPGROUNDS

Phone

Open

Hamilton Park, E. US Hwy 20, Gordon, www.ci.gordon.ne.us

308-282-0837

Apr-Oct

Room for 6 trailers

Tomahawk Park, 200 W. US Hwy 20, Gordon, www.ci.gordon.ne.us.

308-282-0329

Apr-Oct

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 15 trailers

Call for rates

Sunset RV Park, 110 S. Post St, Hay Springs

308-638-7275

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 9 trailers Camping: 9 tents

7-20

Walgren Lake SRA, 4 mi. E. on US Hwy 20, 3 mi. S., Hay Springs

308-665-2900

Year Round

RV Amenities: water, room for 50 trailers Camping: 50 Rest Facilities: Pit toilets

Rushville Service Center, W. US Hwy 20., Rushville

308-327-2375

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 6 trailers Camping: 5 tents

GOLF COURSES

Phone

Amenities

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times.

Gordon Golf and Country Club, 6535 210th Ln - 2nd & Willow Sts, Gordon

308-282-1146

9, semi-private

Sand Ridge, 3rd St & Golf Course Ln, Rushville

308-327-2966

9, public

42 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

Fees

6 & NE Park Permit 10

Rate Range Under 15 15-30


SHERIDAN COUNTY EVENTS FRIENDLY FESTIVAL – HAY SPRINGS Always the last weekend of August. Hay Springs is known far and wide as a friendly town. Residents prove it each year with this friendly event that includes an ice cream social, golf tournament, free swimming, parade, lawn mower races and more. Friendly food vendors will sell Indian tacos, brats and hamburgers, and the local VFW will offer a large menu of meals. Friends you haven’t met invite you to join the friendly scene here in Hay Springs. (308) 638-7132. WESTERN ART SHOW & SALE – GORDON This community event is always the second Friday and Saturday in December. See the works of many local artisans, including paintings and bronze sculptures, at this annual event inside Hinn’s Home Furnishings in Gordon. (308) 282-1609.

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 43


TRAILS WEST GERING • SCOTTSBLUFF HENRY • MINATARE • MORRILL MITCHELL • BAYARD BRIDGEPORT LISCO & BROADWATER LEWELLEN • OSHKOSH

GETTING STARTED

Thousands of pioneer wagons traveled the Oregon Trail beginning in the 1830s. The 2,000-mile-long trail was rough, dusty, dry and often dangerous for those determined pioneers. Even during times of disease and desperation they had an appreciation for the natural beauty of Western Nebraska. Geological formations became important mileposts and took on colorful and imaginative names. Pioneers mentioned places like Ash Hollow, Courthouse and Jail rocks, Chimney Rock and Scotts Bluff often in diaries and journals. Travelers seeking these landmarks on much safer trails today trade handwritten accounts for selfies and social media posts. The thrill of discovery remains here in the Platte Valley of Trail West Country.

The Old Oregon Trail Road retraces the route of early pioneers who used Mitchell Pass near modern day Scottsbluff and Gering between 1836 and 1869 on their way to Oregon, Utah and California. AJ Dahm


Explore the

Trails West MONUMENTAL RIDES


2

1

6

7

3 4 Legacy of the Plains Museum

WELCOME CENTERS/ REST AREAS

5

10 8

1 9 1

ATTRACTIONS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Western Trails Scenic Byway Riverside Discovery Center Scotts Bluff National Monument Robidoux Trading Post Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area Lake Minatare North Platte National Wildlife Refuge Chimney Rock Courthouse Rock & Jail Rock Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge Goose Hunting Capital Ash Hollow State Park

Gering

The story of Gering is the story of the Oregon Trail. Where hopeful pioneers once passed, today a city of more than 8,000 residents thrives south of the North Platte River. Gering, along with neighbor Scottsbluff, form the Nebraska Panhandle’s largest metropolitan area, known locally as Nebraska’s Twin Cities. Hard facts are scarce when it comes to knowing anything about Hiram Scott. Legends and lore abound about the fur trapper who died in 1828 near the bluff that came to bear his name, and historians argue over the real story of his untimely demise. Was he left for dead, and how did his remains end up on the opposite side of the river from where his corpse was

46 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

11

12

supposedly abandoned? Although Scotts Bluff National Monument is in Scotts Bluff County, it is closer to the city of Gering than it is to Scottsbluff. No matter. To simplify things, folks living around here call it “The Monument,” a name as matter-of-fact as its wise Native American moniker, Ma-apa-te, which means “hill that is hard to go around.” Wagon trains from the Missouri River reached Scotts Bluff only after two months of hard travel across what is now the state of Nebraska. More than 350,000 pioneers are estimated to have passed by here between 1836 and 1869. The ruts and swales left by their many possession-laden wagons still can be seen here, carved into clay and stone, a visible testament to the courage and determination of those who were here before us. Rising 800 feet above the floor of the Platte River Valley, Scotts Bluff is sometimes thought to be a small mountain, which it is not. Mountains are pushed up from below; Scotts Bluff is what remains of

the ancient High Plains that were eroded by rivers over millions of years. The uniquely Nebraskan formation is part of a series of rocky escarpments known collectively as the Wildcat Hills. The Scotts Bluff National Monument is near the North Platte River and encompasses nearly 3,000 acres of arid land. Among its badlands of sandstone and siltstone, the fossilized remains of ancient oreodonts, tortoises, rhinoceroses, horses, camels and other prehistoric creatures have been discovered. From atop Scotts Bluff on a clear day, visitors can see Chimney Rock to the southeast. Wyoming’s Laramie Range of the Rocky Mountains can sometimes be viewed when looking to the west. From the top of the bluff, a 2-mile-long Union Pacific train looks like a tiny toy chugging along toward Mitchell. You can drive to the top from the Visitor Center and Oregon Trail Museum by way of Summit Road, Nebraska’s oldest concrete road. The route provides a stunning view and takes vehicles through three tunnels carved through the bluff. If you have the stamina, hiking the Saddle


Scotts Bluff National Monument was named for fur trapper Hiram Scott who died near here in 1828. Summit Road leads to the top. Some visitors prefer to hike to the summit. The view from 800 feet is stunning.

AJ Dahm

Rock Trail from the visitor center to the top is more of an adventure. Rock slides occasionally cause trail closures here. Check in at the visitor center for current information. Seeing the bluff ’s walls up close is spectacular, and at one point the trail passes through a narrow, rocky tunnel carved through part of the bluff itself. The less strenuous Oregon Trail Pathway allows visitors to walk the same ground where pioneers and their wagons passed long ago. The visitor center/museum displays the remains of ancient creatures that once lived here, the paintings of William Henry Jackson and artifacts from the pioneer era. The Monument is three miles west

HOTELS & MOTELS

of Gering on the Old Oregon Trail. It is open daily 8 a.m.-7 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day and closes at 5 p.m. the rest of the year. Admission is $5 per vehicle, and rangers give interpretive programs on many weekends throughout the year. (308) 436-9700. Gering is named for early settler Edson Gering and his investor father, Martin Gering. The town was founded in 1887. The community of Scottsbluff sprung up north of the North Platte River three years later in 1890. Each town retains its own unique identity despite appearing in many ways as one large community. Just east of the Monument on the Old Oregon Trail, Legacy of the Plains

Museum shows visitors the history and development of the North Platte Valley and High Plains region. Their newly renovated Main Exhibit Hall features seven themed zones based on the westward trails, agricultural developments, settlement of the Valley, and an art gallery. Also on the museum’s 80-acre campus is a machine annex, a historic farmstead house, a late 1880s log cabin and a working farm. During the Harvest Festival on the third weekend of September, volunteers demonstrate farming practices of the past. Visitors can harvest potatoes to take home, watch a tractor parade or take part in other activities. Find a list of the

Phone

Rooms

Arcadia Hotel, 3655 N. 10th St, Gering www.thearcadiahotel.com

308-635-3176

39

Refrigerator, mircrowave, coffee maker and DVD player

51-75

Circle S Lodge, 400 M St, Hwys 92 & 71, Gering

308-436-2157

30

Pets allowed

1-75

Cobblestone Hotel & Suites, 960 M Street, Gering www.staycobblestone.com

308-633-7660 888-693-8262

54

24-hour convenience store, complimentary hot breakfast, fitness center, indoor pool and onsite beer and wine bar.

Monument Inn and Suites, 1130 M St, Gering www.monumentinnsuites.com

308-436-1950 866-436-1950

61

Wheelchair accessible, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

CAMPGROUNDS

Phone

Open

Robidoux RV Park, 585 Five Rocks Rd, 1/2 mi. S. of Jct of Hwy 92 & Five Rocks Rd, Gering, www.gering.org

308-436-2046

Wildcat Hills SRA, 4235 Hwy 71, Gering www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov

308-436-3777

GOLF COURSES Monument Shadows Golf Course, 2550 Clubhouse Dr, Gering

Phone 308-635-2277

Amenities

Rate Range

51-75

Amenities

Fees

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 42 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets Camping: unlimited tents

10-28

Year Round

RV Amenities: water, room for 5 trailers Rest Facilities: pit toilets Camping: 5 tents

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times. 18 holes, public

6 & NE Park Permit

Rate Range Under 15 WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 47


Events such as Oregon Trail Days provide summer fun for good friends and children of all ages at Gering. AJ Dahm

museum’s annual events and programs at legacyoftheplains.org. The museum is open Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and 1 p.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays from April 1-Nov. 1. Winter hours are 9 a.m.5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday. (308) 436-1989. Across the road from the museum and overlooking the monument is the City of Gering’s Five Rocks Amphitheater, which shows movies on summer evenings. Concerts, car shows and other community events are also held at this striking, open-air venue unlike anything else in the West. (308) 436-0056. Nearby is Monument Shadows Golf Course, a challenging 18-hole course enhanced by outstanding views in its setting at the base of Scotts Bluff National Monument. The course features include a driving range, clubhouse and cart storage. To get there, go 1 1/2 miles north of the intersection of Five Rocks Road and the Old Oregon Trail in Gering, then turn west on Country Club Road and south on Clubhouse Drive. (308) 635-2277. Ever Green House in Oregon Trail Park has the only producing fig tree in Western Nebraska. (308) 635-3089. The Wildcat Hills are pine-covered 48 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

bluffs rising abruptly from the plains. This is some of Nebraska’s most ruggedly beautiful country. Eight miles south of Gering on Highway 71, Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area and Nature Center offers more than four miles of winding and scenic hiking trails, picnic facilities and cross country skiing on more than 1,000 acres of pine and cedar-covered canyons. The Nature Center was recently renovated and received a 8,720 square-foot expansion. The enlarged facility includes an auditorium, displays and educational opportunities in ecology, biology and geology. Children especially enjoy the fossil dig, and the center’s large windows provide wide, sweeping views of the area, as well as glimpses of wildlife including eagles and other birds, coyotes, bobcats, wild turkey and deer. Step onto one of two observation decks for even more spectacular scenic views. A Nebraska state park entry permit is required to enter the state recreation area. (308) 436-3777. Wildcat Hills Shooting Sports Complex at the state recreation area, offers families opportunities to become proficient with weapons ranging from rifles and pistols to pellet guns, bow and

arrow and shotgun. The archery range has 60-yard bullseye lanes and also 3-D targets. Bowhunter and firearm hunter education classes and other instructional sessions are also available. (308) 436-3777. The adjacent Wildcat Hills Wildlands are open for mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, hunting, camping, outdoor photography and general enjoyment of the outdoors. The property is the exciting result of a cooperative effort between many agencies and provides public access to nearly 30,000 acres of this rugged and beautiful landscape. (888) 632-7004. Buffalo Creek Wildlife Management Area offers hiking, fishing, hunting, horseback riding and abundant wildlife on 4,300 acres. This area is very popular with landscape and nature photographers. From the Gering exit, take Highway 71 south four miles, then go east 2 3/4 miles on County Road W. Access is by foot only. (308) 436-6886. Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area is home to a herd of more than 40 bighorn sheep. The herd was established in 2001 when 22 bighorns were trapped in Colorado and released in Cedar Canyon. To get there, go four miles west of Highway 71 on Carter Canyon Road, then 1 1/2 miles south on County Road


GERING’S EVENTS FATHER’S DAY ROCK-N-ROLL CLASSIC CAR SHOW June 15-16. More than 300 classics from seven states roll into Five Rocks Amphitheater for this day-long show and shine. (308) 436-6886. OREGON TRAIL DAYS July 12-15. Events include parades, food fair, bands, chili cook-off, art show and a Hill Climb bicycle competition to the top of Scotts Bluff National Monument. (308) 436-6886. OLD WEST BALLOON FEST Aug. 17-19. Scotts Bluff County skies fill with bright hues during daybreak launches, balloon glows, food vendors, beer garden and live entertainment. (800) 788-9475. HARVEST FESTIVAL Sept. 15-16. Celebrate historic agriculture of the High Plains at Legacy of the Plains Museum. (308) 436-1989.

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 49


AJ Dahm

Oregon Trail Days in Gering entertains attendees with a quilt show, car show, concerts, fair food, parade, mud volleyball, chili cookoff, art show, horseshoe tournament, wine tasting, carnival and more. Organizers proclaim it the longest continually running celebration in Nebraska.

17, and continue one mile west to the parking area. In 1851, Plains Indians brought their trapped mammal furs to Robidoux Trading Post (pronounced ROO-bidoo). In the early days of the Oregon Trail, it was one of the first signs of civilization after many weeks and months on the prairie. The sod-roofed building has been reconstructed with 100-year-old hand-hewn logs and period furnishings. Robidoux Trading Post is located in beautiful Carter Canyon, on the

50 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

original Oregon Trail route before savvy travelers began using Mitchell Pass, known to settlers as Devil’s Gap, at what is now Scotts Bluff National Monument. The winding, 23-mile Carter Canyon Road takes you through rugged country, past pioneer graves marked and unknown and to the trading post. Brake for huge turkey flocks and herds of mule deer. Golden eagles, bighorn sheep, elk, bobcats, small game, occasional mountain lions and a variety of other wildlife inhabit the area.

Entrance to the road is two miles south of Gering off scenic Highway 71. For travelers seeking entertainment of a faster variety, Hi-Way 92 Raceway Park, two miles east of Gering on Highway 92, has stock car races on Saturday nights all summer and has since 1968. It is one of only two asphalt circle tracks in Nebraska. The track’s new owners have added an exciting farm truck race class. The track also has a fully stocked concession stand so families can enjoy race night without anyone at home having to do the cooking. Enjoy your night out. (308) 436-7223. Bicycle enthusiasts can travel the scenic U Street Pathway from 10th Street in Gering, take in the views of the river and Wildcat Hills and ride all the way to Scotts Bluff National Monument. It is also a popular thoroughfare for walkers and joggers. Family functions, corporate conventions, meetings and community events take place at Gering Civic Center. The facility in the heart of downtown along the Oregon Trail has an on-site caterer and seating for 1,150 guests. (308) 436-6888. Visitors looking to take a dip will find Gering’s public swimming pool south of the civic center on 11th Street in Oregon Trail Park. There are also tennis courts, horseshoe pits, sand volleyball courts, skate park, 16 ball fields and plenty of space for relaxation. (308) 436-5096. For more information on Gering, contact the Gering Convention & Visitors Bureau at (308) 436-6886 or visit www.visitgering.com.


AJ Dahm (both)

Scottsbluff adventures range from close encounters with zoo animals at the Riverside Discovery Center near the North Platte River, to viewing classic shows, modern features and live performances in the historic Midwest Theater downtown. The community is blessed with entertainment, fine dining, shopping destinations, art galleries and natural wonders. Residents invite Scottsbluff visitors to enjoy what their town has to offer.

Scottsbluff

The rugged lands surrounding Scottsbluff are home to mule deer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, elk, bobcats, mountain lions, golden eagles and many other animals. A wild menagerie of chimpanzees, zebras, tigers, cranes and other critters live in town at Riverside Discovery Center. The zoo is home to more than 70 animal species from around the world. They include rare species such as Amur tigers, addax and several different kinds of primates. Other special exhibits include the Big Cat Complex, Chimpanzee Conservation Center and Heritage Barn with a petting zoo. Not a fan of the furry? The Riverside Discovery Center has tortoises, turtles, hedgehogs and boa constrictors, too. When visiting during summer, bring swimsuits and flip-flops to enjoy the Splash-pad, a refreshing zerodepth water feature. The zoo hosts many special events throughout the year and is a popular place for birthday parties. The 23-acre facility with its Dino Dig is located on South Beltline Highway W., half a mile west of Highway 71. (308) 630-6236. www.riversidediscoverycenter .org. Open daily 9:30 am-4:30 pm. The

nearby Riverside Campground is open May through September and includes a playground, disc golf course, fishing ponds and an arboretum. (308) 630-6238. Family-friendly attractions abound in Scottsbluff. Westmoor Pool at Avenue I and 20th Street includes water cannons, swimming pool, slippery slides and a lazy river. (308) 632-8881. West Nebraska Arts Center, located in the Carnegie Library at 106 E. 18th St., is a hub of activity for painting, sculpture, artists-in-residence and the performing arts. (308) 632-2226. Affiliated programs are Theatre West, a summer theater company, and the historic Midwest Theater, a grand, old movie palace of yesteryear in downtown Scottsbluff. (308) 632-4311. Alongside the North Platte River and Scotts Bluff National Monument, walking and biking trails connect Scottsbluff, Gering and Terrytown. Monument Valley Pathways includes 6.3 miles of trails; 26 miles are planned. National Park Service signs along the paths educate visitors of the history that occurred in the area. In 1902, railroad surveyors discovered an old iron wagon tire inscribed with the name of Rebecca Winters and the year

1852. It marked the grave of the Mormon pioneer woman who was stricken with cholera near Fort Kearny and perished near what is now Scottsbluff. Her family continued west. The proximity of the memorial to the railroad tracks led to the woman’s remains being moved in 1995, with more than 100 of Winters’ descendants in attendance. Today, the wagon tire is part of the monument that tells her story. Rebecca Winters Grave is alongside Highway 26, 1 1/2 miles east of Scottsbluff. The area’s frontier history is also commemorated on the Oregon Trail west of Scottsbluff near the intersection of Highway 92 and Hunt Dairy Road. Two markers stand here. One is for Fort Mitchell, a cavalry outpost built in 1864. The fort and a nearby pass of the same name were named for Gen. Robert B. Mitchell, who commanded the military district of Nebraska. All traces of the fort have vanished, but this marker stands as a reminder of the role the men stationed at Fort Mitchell played in the settlement of the region. The marker was erected in 1923. The monument to the left depicts a Pony Express rider and is dedicated to the young men who willingly rode into danger for the brief time that the organization existed (1860-1861). The exact spot of the Scotts WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 51


Vacationers enjoy boating, fishing, wildlife viewing, camping at Lake Minatare State Recreation Area northeast of Scottsbluff. There is even a cool old lighthouse.

Christopher Amundson

Bluff Station is unknown but is believed to have been on Fort Mitchell, or somewhere very nearby. In Western Nebraska, the human population is sparse and people value wide-open spaces. Scottsbluff, with 15,000 residents, is the Panhandle’s largest city. Combined with sister city Gering (pop. 8,000), and with Terrytown (pop. 1,200) sandwiched between, the Scottsbluff/Gering metro area is the largest population center in Western Nebraska. The much younger Terrytown was founded by businessman and politician Terry Carpenter in 1949. Terry’s Lake is a Terrytown landmark and popular fishing, picnic and recreation spot not far from the North Platte River. (308) 632-7212. For more information about Scottsbluff, contact Scottsbluff Area Tourism at www. visitscottsbluff.com or the Scottsbluff/ Gering United Chamber of Commerce at (308) 632-2133.

52 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

Henry

Henry is Nebraska’s westernmost town. One mile south, Stateline Island is part of the North Platte National Wildlife Refuge. The 130-acre refuge is a bird-watching mecca. One mile east of Henry is the place where in 1847 Brigham Young called a special prayer circle on behalf of the westbound Mormon pioneers. Prayer Bluffs is accessible by a service road.

Minatare

Lake Minatare isn’t so large that it needs a lighthouse. It has one anyway, offering a 360-degree lake view. It was built by the Veterans Conservation Corps, a New Deal agency that provided jobs to unemployed veterans. (308) 7832911. Located seven miles north of the community of Minatare, Lake Minatare State Recreation Area offers swimming,

boating, fishing and more. Anglers cast for smallmouth bass, crappie, blue catfish, white bass, wipers, northern pike and yellow perch. There are boat ramps, camp sites and restroom and shower facilities. A state park permit is required. Lake Minatare is part of North Platte National Wildlife Refuge, which also includes nearby Winters Creek Lake and Lake Alice, and Stateline Island near Henry. All are good bird-watching areas. To provide undisturbed wildlife habitat during the autumn and winter migration season, all but Stateline Island are closed to visitors Oct. 15-Jan. 15. (308) 635-7851.

Morrill

In 1851, 10,000 Plains Indians from 10 tribes met government officials near Horse Creek to form a treaty. Never in recorded history had so many gathered at one spot on the Plains. From the government’s perspective, the treaty’s purpose was to ensure safe passage for people using the Oregon Trail and to stop intertribal warfare. The government broke the treaty almost immediately. Horse Creek Treaty Marker is 3 1/2 miles west of Morrill on Highway 26. Every July, Morrill’s Horse Creek Rendezvous commemorates the event.


WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 53


UNIQUE LODGING Barn Anew B&B, on old Oregon Trail Rd, 3 mi. W. of Scottsbluff, www.barnanew.com

GOLF COURSES Riverview Country Club, 100928 Cty Rd 19, Scottsbluff

HOTELS & MOTELS

Phone 308-632-8647

Phone 308-635-1555

Amenities

Rate Range

100-year-old barn in the shadow of Scotts Bluff National Monument, private rooms, full breakfast

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times.

75+

Rate Range

18 holes, public

Phone

Rooms

Candlelight Inn, 1822 E. 20th Pl., Scottsbluff www.candlelightscottsbluff.com

308-635-3751

56

Wheelchair accessible, outdoor pool, free continental breakfast

51-75+

Capri Motel, 2424 Ave I, Scottsbluff

308-635-2057

30

Wheelchair accessible, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

1-50

Comfort Inn, 1902 21st Ave, Scottsbluff www.choicehotels.com

308-632-7510

49

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

75+

Fairfield Inn & Suites Marriott, 902 Winter Creek Dr, Scottsbluff, marriott.com/hotels

308-633-3500

85

Wheelchair accessible, Free Wi-Fi, Free parking, balcony, outdoor fire pit, complimentary hot breakfast, pool & spa

75+

Hampton Inn & Suites Conference Center, 301 W. Hwy 26, Jct of Ave B & Hwy 26, Scottsbluff, www.hampton-inn.com

308-635-5200 800-HAMPTON

81

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast

75+

Holiday Inn Express, 1821 Frontage Rd, Scottsbluff www.hiexpress.com/scottsbluffne

308-632-1000

70

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast

75+

Lamplighter American Inn, 606 E. 27th St, Scottsbluff

308-632-7108

40

Restaurant on premises, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

50

Scottsbluff Days Inn, 1901 21st Ave, Scottsbluff www.daysinn.com

308-635-3111

136

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

75+

Super 8 Motel, 2202 Delta Dr, Scottsbluff www.super8.com

308-635-1600

55

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

51-75

Trails West Camp, 1918 S. Beltline Hwy W., Scottsbluff www.trailswestymca.org

308-632-5705

9

Wheelchair accessible, outdoor pool

CAMPGROUNDS

Amenities

Under $15

Rate Range

75+

Phone

Open

Amenities

Fees

Riverside Campground, 1514 S. Beltline Hwy W. S www.scottsbluff.org

308-632-6342

May 1Sept 30

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 43 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets Camping: 50 tents

7-20

Route 26 Campground, 180454 US Hwy 26. 6 tents, 38 trailers

308-635-3760

Apr-Oct 1

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 38 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets Camping: 6 tents

16-26

HOTELS & MOTELS Oak Tree Inn, 707 E. Webster, US Hwy 26, Morrill

UNIQUE LODGING Cheyenne Ridge Outfitters, 320075 Ankony Pkwy, Minatare, www.cheyenneridgeoutfitters.com

CAMPGROUNDS

Phone

Rooms

308-247-2111

97

Phone 308-783-5739 877-850-5144

Phone

51-75

Rate Range

Rooms with shared bath, full breakfast, lodge with sauna

Open

51-75+

Amenities

Fees

RV Amenities: water, room for 50 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush and pit toilets Camping: 110 tents

7-18, NE Park Permit

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 6 trailers.

15

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 80+ trailers. Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets. 14+ tents. Horse boarding - $10.

10-15

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, room for 4 trailers Rest Facilities: flush toilets

5

308-783-2911

Scenic Knolls Campground, 20548 Hwy 29, Mitchell www.mitchellcity.net

308-623-2468

Mar-Sep

Scotts Bluff County Fairgrounds, 130625 Cty Rd E., Mitchell, www.scottsbluffcountyfair.net

308-623-1828

Zeigler Park, 1280 Center Ave., Mitchell www.mitchellcity.net

308-623-1616

Phone

Rate Range

Wheelchair accessible, restaurant on premises, pets allowed

Amenities

Lake Minatare SRA, 7 mi. N. of Minatare on Stonegate Rd

GOLF COURSES

Amenities

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times.

Rate Range

Scenic Knolls, 20458 Hwy 29, Mitchell

308-623-2468

9 holes, public

Under 15

Rolling Green Golf Course, 520 Rail Rd, Morrill

308-247-2817

9 holes, public

Under 15

54 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA


Mitchell

Mitchell is the usual point of departure for adventurous travelers bound for unique Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, 30 miles north of the community on Highway 29. Hunting, fishing and hiking opportunities abound in this scenic area of varied terrain. Other recreational activities include a motocross track at the old airport, scenic Centennial Park and the historic Nile Theater. Scenic Knolls Golf Course, a public, nine-hole par 36 course, is two miles north of the intersections of highways 26 and 29. Includes a chipping green and driving range. (308) 623-2468. American West Gallery features the original landscape, wildlife and Western paintings of award-winning local artist LB Smith. Creations by other artists are also shown and sold here. This gallery also sells a few high quality antiques and a variety of select home decor items. (308) 672-2628. 1402 Center Ave. For more information on Mitchell, contact the city offices. (308) 623-1523.

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 55


SCOTTSBLUFF EVENTS ROCK SHOW May 25-28. Rocks, gems and fossils for show, swap and sale at Riverside Discovery Center Campground at 1600 S. Beltline Highway. (308) 436-4888. SUGAR VALLEY RALLY June 1-3. The history of the sugar beet industry is honored with this hundreds-of-miles-long, precision driving contest through Western Nebraska. www.visitscottsbluff.com. 18TH STREET FARMERS MARKET Saturday mornings June through September. Backyard produce, farmers’ veggies, locally raised meat and more are for sale from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday mornings downtown between Broadway and First Avenue. www.Facebook.com/ScottsbluffFarmersMarket. RIVERSIDE DISCOVERY CENTER All year. Special events throughout the year create unforgettable family memories at Western Nebraska’s only zoo. Birthday parties, live music concerts, afterhours events and holiday celebrations have visitors, and the zoo’s big cats, roaring loudly with approval. (308) 630-6236.

56 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

Christopher Amundson

Bridgeport State Recreation Area is open for recreation year-round. There are five sandpit lakes at the public area northwest of Bridgeport. Cutthroat and rainbow trout have been stocked in Center Lake.


Bayard

Visible to wagon trains from several days away, Chimney Rock’s 120-foot spire was unlike anything Oregon Trail pioneers had ever seen. This milepost formation was known to them, however, and they knew that once they reached the famed monolith that they were still months away from their ultimate destinations. The landmark’s story is told at Ethel and Christopher J.

Visitors learn pioneer history at the Ethel and Christopher J. Abbott Visitor Center at Chimney Rock National Historic Site. Above: AJ Dahm Illustration below: Shutterstock

Abbott Visitor Center at Chimney Rock National Historic Site. It is 1 1/2 miles south of Highway 92 near Bayard. (308) 5862581. Viewing Chimney Rock from nearby Chimney Rock Cemetery offers a view most travelers never take the time to see. Follow the dirt road south and west of the visitor center a short distance to find this historic cemetery. Bayard Depot Museum is housed in a refurbished railroad depot at the south end of downtown. The museum is open 12 p.m.-4 p.m. daily during the summer and at other times by

appointment. (308) 586-2297. Chimney Rock Pioneer Crossing offers a gift shop, snacks, a stocked fishing hole, teepee sleeping, RV parking and camper hookups. The nine-hole Chimney Rock Golf Course is north of town. (308) 586-1606. Wagon ruts and the remains of original sod houses are visible at the Chimney Rock Pony Express Station. The site is on private land two miles south of town. Call for directions. (308) 586-1850. For more information, contact Bayard Area Development. (308) 586-1234.

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 57


Bridgeport

Westward pioneers named Nebraska’s rocky formations after things familiar to their eastern lives. Courthouse Rock and Jail Rock are prominent in pioneer history and ancient legends. Courthouse Rock got its name because of its blocky shape. Oregon Trail migrants thought it looked like a courthouse; the smaller formation nearby was therefore the jail. They are the easternmost rocky outliers of Nebraska’s Wildcat Hills. The story is told of a band of Skidi Pawnee who fled their Sioux enemies by climbing Courthouse Rock. With cliffs on three sides and only one path to the top, the Pawnee seemed trapped. The Sioux camped at the base of the rock and waited for their enemies to give up from thirst and hunger. But late at night, the Pawnees made a long rope from their pony lariats and escaped down a cliff one by one. The area is five miles south of Bridgeport on Highway 88. The rocks are visible from many miles away. Courthouse and Jail Rock Golf Club, a nine-hole public course, is nearby. Just off highways 26 and 92 on the

HOTELS & MOTELS

west edge of town, Bridgeport State Recreation Area offers primitive camping, hiking, fishing and swimming. Five sandpit lakes are the heart of this recreation area. Trout are stocked in Center Lake and Northwest Lake. This is one of the few destinations in Nebraska where anglers can hook cutthroat trout. Boat ramps help fishermen get to the very best fish habitat, and fish cleaning stations help them prepare their catch. (308) 436-3777. The town of Bridgeport started with a bridge. Camp Clarke was the site of an early bridge across the North Platte River, built to serve gold rush travelers. When the railroad arrived, the original site was abandoned and the new site became Bridgeport. The history of Camp Clarke and the area are displayed at Pioneer Trails Museum. It is open Memorial Day to Labor Day. (308) 262-1117. Travelers are welcome to use the exercise room and shower at Prairie Winds Community Center on North Main Street. For more information, contact the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce. (308) 262-1825.

MORRILL COUNTY EVENTS BROADWATER DAYS BROADWATER Late June. Broadwater residents invite all to enjoy the community parade, potluck brunch, bingo and movie in the park. Good news: the toad races are open to both children and adults. www.facebook.com/broadwaterdays ANNUAL GREEK FESTIVAL – BRIDGEPORT Aug. 11-12. A Greek celebration in cowboy country? Now that’s Western Nebraska. Celebrate Greek heritage with music and dancing, food and games. Be Greek for a day in Bridgeport. (308) 262-0281. CHIMNEY ROCK PIONEERS DAYS BAYARD Sept. 7-9. Join us for food, fun and entertainment for the whole family as we celebrate the Bayard community. (308) 586-1846.

Phone

Rooms

Bridgeport Inn, 517 Main St, Bridgeport www.bridgeport-ne.com

308-262-0290

12

Wheelchair accessible, pets allowed

1-75

Meadow Park Campground & Motel, 2 mi. N.W. on US Hwy 385 to mile marker 77, Bridgeport www.meadowparkmotelandrv.com

308-279-1176

8

Pets allowed

1-75

Meadowlark Motor Inn, N. US Hwy 385, Bridgeport www.meadowlarkmotorinn.com

308-262-0557 800-510-1210

22

Wheelchair accessible, restaurant on premises, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

51-75

UNIQUE LODGING The Farm House, 102 E Guthrie St., Broadwater

CAMPGROUNDS

Phone

Amenities

Rate Range

Amenities

308-279-1024

Rate Range

Hunters, friends and family alike will enjoy a step down memory lane in this historic bed and breakfast with a Homestyle breakfast

50+

Phone

Open

Chimney Rock Pioneer Crossing, 3 mi. S. of Bayard at Jct Cty Rd 75 & Hwy 92, www.chimneyrockpioneercrossing.com

308-631-4478

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 16 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets Camping: 30 tents

20-30

Bridgeport SRA, N.W. on US Hwy 26, Bridgeport www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov

308-436-3777

Year Round

RV Amenities: water, room for 50 trailers Rest Facilities: pit toilets Four sandpit lakes totaling 78 acres Camping: 100 tents

6, NE Park Permit

Meadow Park Annex RV, 2 mi. N. on US Hwy 385, Mile Marker 77, Bridgeport

308-262-0410

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 18 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush and pit toilets Camping: 10 tents

9-18

GOLF COURSES

Phone

Amenities

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times.

Fees

Rate Range

Chimney Rock Golf Course, N. US Hwy 26, Bayard

308-586-1606

9 holes, public

Under 15

Courthouse & Jail Rock Golf Course, 5 mi. S. on Hwy 88, Bridgeport

308-262-9925

9 holes, public

Under 15 WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 59


Lisco & Broadwater

Ancient Bluff Ruins is the most extensive bluff formation on the north side of the North Platte River. The buttes were named by Mormon pioneers who thought they resembled European castles. Riverview Lodge and Event Center, two miles south of Lisco, hosts weddings and other events. They have goose hunting pits for lease, and groups of hunters and other visitors find a comfortable night’s rest in the lodge. (308) 770-0740.

Lewellen

Scars from countless pioneer wagons remain at Windlass Hill at Ash Hollow State Park. The steep descent into the North Platte Valley was just one of many challenges facing the travelers. Abundant water and trees made it a favorite resting place. The park is 1 1/2 miles southeast of Lewellen on Highway 26. Ash Hollow Pageant is on Father’s Day weekend. (308) 778-5548. West of town 1 1/2 miles along Highway 26 is Blue Water Battlefield marker. It marks the site of an Army raid that destroyed a Lakota village. Lewellen, at the west end of Lake

McConaughy, features The Most Unlikely Place, a 1908 silent-movie theater that is now a cafe and art gallery. (308) 778-9557.

Oshkosh

Summer is the peak season for Western Nebraska tourism, but Oshkosh is also popular during the fall and winter months. Oshkosh is known the world over as the Goose Hunting Capital of Nebraska. Several local hunting outfitters accommodate sportsmen from around the world. Oshkosh also is a point of departure for Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge, located deep in the remote and beautiful Sandhills Lakes country. The 46,000-acre refuge is 30 miles north of Oshkosh and includes 21 shallow and scenic natural lakes. It was established primarily as a migratory bird refuge. Canada geese, snow geese, grouse and pheasants, prairie chickens, owls, eagles, American avocets, black-crowned night herons and ducks are among the 200 bird species observed there. Wildlife photographers, bird watchers, hikers, backpackers, wildflower buffs and other outdoor enthusiasts seek

Cool drinking water and wood for fuel were blessings to Oregon Trail pioneers reaching Ash Hollow after months spent along dusty wagon trails. Their wagon ruts remain visible today at Ash Hollow State Historical Park near Lewellen.

AJ Dahm

60 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA


WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 61


out the Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge to spend time in a landscape nearly unchanged from when the first wagon trains tried to skirt the region of sand, wetlands and grass considered as foreboding to those early travelers. Attention hunters: the area is rich with grouse, pheasants and mule deer. Anglers enjoy the lakes’ crappie, yellow perch, largemouth bass, bluegill and carp. Panoramic views of the Nebraska Sandhills here provide a glimpse of what early pioneers must have witnessed before settlements were common. Other local attractions include Oshkosh Swimming Pool, 200 E. First St., which offers swimming in a heated pool. Oshkosh Country Club

HOTELS & MOTELS

is a nine-hole course near the North Platte River, one mile south of town on Highway 27. Known for its wellgroomed fairways, lush greens and natural prairie rough, Oregon Trail ruts cross the second fairway. (308) 772-3881. Garden County Museum includes Silverhill Theatre at 501 W. First St., and Rock School, a century-old stone schoolhouse at 215 W. Avenue G. The museum houses pioneer and Native American artifacts, fossils and an amazing flock of more than 150 taxidermy wild bird specimens stuffed by a local resident who later shot a local lawman. (308) 772-3848. For more information on Oshkosh, contact the Garden County Visitors Committee. www.visitgardencounty.com.

GARDEN COUNTY EVENTS ASH HOLLOW PAGEANT – LEWELLEN June 15-16. Enjoy a chuck wagon supper before this annual outdoor musical of Oregon Trail life at Ash Hollow State Historical Park. (308) 778-5548. GARDEN CO. ART & MURAL TOUR – LEWELLEN, OSHKOSH, LISCO More than 40 murals in three towns form an art scavenger hunt for visitors. The communities are small; you’ll find them all. Lewellen has two art galleries. Blue Water Gallery is at the corner of Main Street and Highway 26. The Most Unlikely Place is a few doors south. Reach both at (308) 778-9557.

Phone

Rooms

Lewellen Lodge & Living, 215 E. Church St, Lewellen www.lewellenlodge.com

308-672-0690

22

Wheelchair accessible, workout room, pets allowed

65-100

Marina Landing, 5051 Albees, Hwy 92, mile marker 124, Lewellen, www.lakemacmarinalanding.com

308-355-3535 888-767-7791

8

Wheelchair accessible, restaurant on premises

51-75

Otter Creek Lodge, 100 Otter Creek Ct, Lewellen, Lake McConaughy, 12 mi. from dam on Hwy 92

308-355-2372

9

Restaurant on premises, pets allowed

1-50

Mesa View Lodge, NE Hwy 92 W., Lewellen, Lake McConaughy, www.homesatlakemac.com

308-355-5000 888-568-7620

10

Pets allowed

1-75

Riverview Lodge & Events Center, 14518 Rd 70, 1 mi. S., 1 mi. W., Lisco, www.riverviewlodgelisco.com

308-772-3839

11

Full bath, Satellite TV, Hair dryer, Broadband Internet, Handi-cap accessible, microwave and refrigerator

Shady Rest, 201 Main St, Oshkosh www.oshkoshshadyrest.com

308-772-4111

12

Wheelchair accessible, pets allowed

UNIQUE LODGING

Phone

Amenities

Amenities

Rate Range

81-119 1-75

Rate Range

Clear Creek Retreat, 2220 Rd. West O North, Lewellen clearcreekretreat.com

308-778-9546

Three bedrooms, full kitchen; cater to hunters and fishermen

Gander Inn B&B, 105 E. Church St, Lewellen www.ganderinn.net

308-778-5616

Small-town peaceful setting. Game room & gift shop. Wheelchair accessible, rooms with private and shared baths, full breakfast., meals arranged around guests

51-75+

Nancy B’s Backyard Bunkhouse, 19150 Rd 44, US Hwy 26 to Rd 44 W, Lewellen, www.visitogallala.com

308-778-5408

3-bedroom guesthouse or tepee, continental breakfast

51-75+

Hunt The Rackett, 9250 Rd 193, Lewellen www.hunttherackett.com

303-680-2462

Private sleeping quarters, clubhouse, dining hall, weather-tight dog kennels

CAMPGROUNDS

Phone

Open

308-778-9552

Oregon Trail Trading Post, E. of Lewellen on US Hwy 26

308-778-5879

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 12 trailers Camping: 12 tents

Pleasant View Lodge at Otter Creek, 1290 NE Hwy 92 W., Lewellen, www.homesatlakemac.com

308-355-5000 888-568-7620

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 8 trailers Rest Facilities: pit toilets. Camping: 8 tents Cabin Rentals: 10

Oregon Trail Campsite, 402 W. Ave A., Oshkosh www.oregontrailcampsite.com

308-778-7395

Apr 1Nov 1

Oshkosh Country Club, South Hwy 27, 2 mi. S. of Oshkosh

62 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

Phone 308-772-3881

200+

Amenities

Highway 26 RV Park and Camping, 311 Home St., Lewellen, www.hwy26rvpark.com

GOLF COURSES

90+

Fees

RV Amenities: electricity, water Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets. Camping: available

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 15 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets Camping: 7 tents

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times. 9 holes, public

Call for rates 5-20 Call for rates

Rate Range 18


The Western Nebraska Pioneers is a wood-bat baseball team with a new stadium in Gering.

Shutterstock

Western Nebraska’s New Pioneers TEAMWORK often made the difference between

survival and failure for early pioneers. Western Nebraska residents still lend a neighborly hand when needed, and a new sports team proudly honors the region’s pioneering spirit. The Western Nebraska Pioneers is a wood-bat, collegiate level baseball team based in Gering. A new stadium with a capacity for 1,200 fans in Oregon Trail Park will be the site of the team’s summer home games beginning in May 2018, and also will serve as overflow space for American Legion baseball games. The team, complete with a bearded mascot sporting a coon skin cap, is a charter member of the new Expedition League. The team’s busy schedule has them on the road often, but also playing 32 games at home each summer season. In typical neighborly Gering fashion, the baseball players will live with local families. Reasonably-priced tickets mean residents and visiting sports fans can cheer on the Gering home team without breaking the bank. Two party decks elevate the sportsminded fun with adult beverages and catered all-you-can-eat meals not far from towering Scotts Bluff. Residents are already calling the summer league a home run. For tickets or information call (308) 633-2255 or visit wnpioneers.pointstreaksites.com. WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 63


WILD WEST NORTH PLATTE • MAXWELL BRADY • HERSHEY • SUTHERLAND SIDNEY • POTTER • LODGEPOLE DALTON • GURLEY • LEMOYNE OGALLALA • KEYSTONE • PAXTON BRULE • BIG SPRINGS • CHAPPELL KIMBALL • HARRISBURG

GETTING STARTED

We do things big in Nebraska’s Wild West. Travelers will find Nebraska’s largest lake here, Lake McConaughy. Its 35,000 acres of water near Ogallala thrills anglers, beachcombers and other adventurers. Parasailing high over the lake is a popular pursuit. William F. Cody dreamed up his Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show in North Platte, where today the Golden Spike Tower climbs eight stories to give visitors a bird’s eye view of Bailey Yard, the world’s largest railroad classification yard. And in 1877, outlaw Sam Bass and his gang made history at Big Springs when they got away with $60,000 in gold and currency heisted from a passing train. Legends abound of a stash of $20 gold pieces still buried nearby. Chappell calls out to Interstate 80 travelers with a massive 52-by100 foot American flag painted on grain silos. From Brady and Sidney, to Kimball, Paxton and beyond, we invite you to live large here where big adventure awaits.

At 35,000 acres, Lake McConaughy near Ogallala is Nebraska’s largest lake. Fishing, water-skiing, boating, and building sand castles are popular activities here. Parasailing provides aerial lake views. AJ Dahm


Explore the

Wild West SAILS AND WESTERN TRAILS


WELCOME CENTERS/ REST AREAS

8

2

3

13 4

7

5 6

1

ATTRACTIONS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Panorama Point & Tri-State Marker Potter Sundry Lincoln Highway National Pony Express Monument Cabela’s Front Street Lake McConaughy Haythorn Ranch Sutherland Reservoir Golden Spike Tower at Bailey Yard Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park Fort McPherson National Cemetery Bird Watching

66 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

North Platte

This community offering all services has long been an oasis for travelers. While approaching North Platte from Interstate 80, one of the first landmarks seen is Fort Cody Trading Post. When viewed from the outside it looks like a frontier log fortress complete with authentically dressed mannequins with toy rifles standing guard. Inside Fort Cody is a combination gift shop and museum, with authentic Buffalo Bill Cody and Wild West memorabilia, and a miniature mechanized Wild West Show. Twenty thousand individual pieces make up the one-of-a-kind machine which comes to life every half hour. A taxidermy two-headed calf is among the curiosities to be seen, and jewelry, moccasins and coon skin caps are among the unique gift items found here. Under the watchful eye of one of the few remaining Muffler Man sculptures, the Fort Cody Music Series takes place each summer in the Fort Cody courtyard. Besides queries about that calf, owner Chuck Henline said the most common question he gets from travelers is, “How do you get to the ranch?”

The ranch, of course, is Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park, which showcases the restored 1880s Victorian home, expansive horse barn and outbuildings of William F. Cody’s famous Scout’s Rest Ranch. The site features authentic Wild West show memorabilia, period household furnishings, shady picnic areas and easy walking trails. A Nebraska park entry permit is required to visit the seasonal park. A small admission fee is charged to tour the Cody home. (308) 535-8035. Buffalo Bill is bigger than ever in North Platte. Cody is memorialized at Cody Park on north U.S. Highway 83. In 1998, a British sculptor donated a life-size bronze statue of Buffalo Bill, whose show was a big hit in Queen Victoria’s time. As the centerpiece of the park’s Wild West Memorial, the statue, valued at $500,000, is surrounded by the flags of every state and nation that Cody’s Wild West show ever visited. At the park’s Railroad Museum, the Union Pacific Railroad displays two of its largest locomotives (one steam, one diesel)


Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park

11

9

10 12

Though they aren’t thundering steeds, Cody Park in North Platte offers horseback carousel adventures of a slightly slower pace. AJ Dahm

CAMPGROUNDS

Phone

Open

A-1 Sunset Mobile Park, 3120 Rodeo Rd, North Platte

308-532-9182

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 22 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets

Buffalo Bill Ranch SRA, 2921 Scouts Rest Ranch Road, US Hwy 83 N. to US Hwy 30, 2 mi. W., 1 mi. N, North Platte

308-535-8035

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 23 trailers Rest Facilities: pit toilets Camping: 12 tents No Reservations Required

Cody Park Campground, 1601 N. Jeffers, N. US Hwy 83 www.ci.north-platte.ne.us/publicservices

308-535-6700

May 1Oct 15

Holiday RV Park & Campground, 601 Halligan Dr, I-80 Exit 177, N.E. quadrant, North Platte www.holidayparkne.com

308-534-2265 800-424-4531

Year Round

Lake Maloney SRA, N. Lake Road, 5 mi. S, North Platte www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov

308-535-8025

CB’s Hideaway, 206 N. Lake Rd, North Platte

308-539-3985

Year Round

I-80 Lakeside Campground, 3800 Hadley Dr, I-80 Exit 179, N.E. quadrant, North Platte

308-534-5077 877-648-2267

May 15Sept 15

GOLF COURSES

Phone

Amenities

Fees

Room for 40 trailers Rest Facilities: Flush toilets

30 7-13 NE Park Permit 5

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 92 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets Camping: 8 tents

Call for rates

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 120 trailers Rest Facilities: Showers, flush and pit toilets Camping: 50 tents

7-14 NE Park Permit

RV Amenities: electricity (year round), water, sewer, room for 30 trailers. Full hookups April-Oct Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets Camping: 15 tents.

6-15 80/week

RV Amenities: Electricity, water, sewer, room for 54 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets Camping: 16 tents

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times.

Call for rates

Rate Range

Indian Meadows Public Golf Course, 2746 W. Walker Rd, North Platte

308-532-6955

9, public

Under 15

Iron Eagle Golf Course, 2401 Halligan Dr, N. of I-80 Exit 179, North Platte

308-535-6730

18, public

15-30

Lake Maloney Golf Club, 608 Birdie Ln., 5 mi. S. of I-80 on US Hwy 83, 2 mi. W., North Platte

308-532-9998

18, semi-private

15-30

Rivers Edge Golf Course, 1008 W. 18th St., North Platte

308-532-7550

18, public WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 67


AJ Dahm

One of the first attractions visitors leaving I-80 see at North Platte is the Fort Cody Trading Post. This combination museum, souvenir shop, book store, clothing store and all-around entertainment venue has been a staple of North Platte tourism for more than a half century.

and houses a railroad museum in the accompanying cars and restored depot. The steam engine is one of two remaining 3900class Challenger locomotives. The park also has a swimming pool and amusement park rides for children, including a carousel and Ferris wheel. A concession stand adds treats to the sweet memories made here. Some of the animals that Cody saw on the frontier can be seen at Cody Park, too. Deer and bison are part of the herd, and the bugling of elk can be heard across North Platte during rutting season. Peacocks and llamas live here, and there are geese, ducks and donkeys. There is an admission for rides; other attractions are free. In 1995, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard as the world’s largest railroad classification yard. It has since grown by 25

UNIQUE LODGING

percent. It covers nearly 3,000 acres. More than 15,000 cars pass through daily. Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center rises eight stories for a bird’s-eye view of massive Bailey Yard. An elevator takes visitors to the seventh floor open-air observation deck, or to the top for an enclosed viewing experience. (308) 532-9920. The area’s geological history is part of the flavor of Feather River Vineyards, where the mineral-rich soil produces distinctive grapes for its new wines. (308) 696-0078. Grain Bin Antique Town offers high quality collectibles and antiques for sale from repurposed grain bins. A boardwalk connects 20 Depression-era grain bins chock-full of vintage signs, glassware, wooden furniture, trinkets and more. (308) 539-7401. The North Platte Canteen is commemorated at the Lincoln County Phone

Historical Museum. The World War II canteen met every train and fed the service men and women who passed through the depot – about 6 million in all. The museum also features a village of historic buildings, including a Pony Express station and the old Fort McPherson headquarters. (308) 534-5640. Located just south of I-80, America’s 20th Century Veterans’ Memorial honors all military men and women of the past century. A brick bas-relief sculpture depicts major wars from World War I to the Persian Gulf. Bronze statues depict the United States armed forces and the ladies of the North Platte Canteen. The memorial is south of I-80 and just east of Highway 83. (308) 532-6579. North Platte Area Children’s Museum offers hands-on learning about science, technology, culture and the arts in the

Amenities

Rate Range

Brauer’s Bed & Breakfast,12900 N Sandhills, North Platte, www.bauersbedandbreakfast.com

308-530-1753

Rooms with private and shared bath, full breakfast. Beautiful view, horse boarding, bird watching

70-100

Knoll’s Country Inn B&B, 6132 S. Range Rd., North Platte, www.knollscountryinn.com

877-378-2521

Rooms with private and shared bath, full breakfast. Outdoor activities and horse boarding

51-75+

Li’l Bit Country Cabin, 2351 West State Farm Road, North Platte, www.lilbitcountrycabin.com

308-539-0687

A peaceful cabin on the edge of town. No pets

68 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA


WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 69


70 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA


former Carnegie Library located at 314 N. Jeffers St. (308) 532-3512. Downtown has unique shops, restaurants and art galleries, including Art & Gift Gallery, 516 N. Dewey St., the largest original art gallery between Omaha and Denver. (308) 534-1946. North Platte’s Prairie Arts Center opened its first exhibition in the renovated 1913 federal building in 2015. The main level, complete with grand entry hall, gift shop and gallery is open Tues.Sat., 11 a.m.-4 p.m., showcasing local artists and traveling exhibits. Whatever outdoor adventure you are looking for, Dusty Trails Outdoor

HOTELS & MOTELS

Grain Bin Antique Town south of North Platte sells collectibles from 20 old grain bins connected by a long wooden boardwalk. AJ Dahm

Phone

Rooms

Americas Best Value Inn Travelers Inn, 602 E. 4th St, I-80 Exit 177, 1 ½ mi. N. on US Hwy 83, 6 blks E., North Platte www.bestvalueinn.com

Amenities

Rate Range

308-534-4020 888-315-2378

32

Outdoor pool, pets allowed

Best Western Plus North Platte Inn & Suites, 3201 S. Jeffers, I-80 & US Hwy 83 S., North Platte

308-534-3120

146

Outdoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

Blue Spruce Motel, 820 S. Dewey St, North Platte

308-534-2600

14

Pets allowed

Comfort Inn, 2901 S. Jeffers St, I-80 Exit 177 S., North Platte, www.comfortinn.com/hotel/ne021

308-532-6144 800-228-5150

90

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

51-75+

Days Inn, 3102 S. Jeffers, I-80 Exit 177, 1 blk S., North Platte, www.daysinn.com

308-532-9321 800-329-7466

48

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

1-75+

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, 319 W. South River Rd, North Platte, www.marriott.com/lbffi

308-532-9900 888-236-2427

82

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool free continental breakfast

75+

Hampton Inn, 200 Platte Oasis Pkwy, I-80 Exit 177 & US Hwy 83, North Platte, www.hampton-inn.com/hi/northplatte

308-534-6000 800-426-7866

110

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast

75+

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites and Convention Center, 300 Holiday Frontage Rd., North Platte, www.hiexpress.com/northplattene

308-532-9500 888-562-9500

152

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

75+

Howard Johnson, 1209 S. Dewey, North Platte www.howardjohnson.com

308-532-0130 800-678-4025

77

Restaurant on premises, indoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

Husker Inn, 721 E. 4th St, North Platte

308-534-6960

20

Wheelchair accessible

1-50

Knights Inn, 501 Halligan Dr, I-80 Exit 177 N., North Platte www.knightsinn.com

308-532-6650 888-532-0151

81

Restaurant on premises, outdoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

1-75

LaQuinta Inn & Suites, 2600 Eagles Wings Pl., I-80 Exit 179, North Platte, www.821.lq.com

308-534-0700 866-534-0700

65

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

75+

Motel 6, 1520 S. Jeffers St., North Platte. www.motel6.com

308-534-6200 800-466-8356

61

Wheelchair accessible, outdoor pool, pets allowed

1-50

Oak Tree Inn, 451 Halligan Dr, I-80 Exit 177, North Platte www.oaktreeinn.com

308-535-9900

124

Wheelchair accessible, restaurant on premises, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

51-75

Park Motel, 1302 N. Jeffers, N. US Hwy 83, North Platte

308-532-6834

27

Quality Inn & Suites Convention Center, 2102 S. Jeffers St., I-80 & US Hwy 83, North Platte, www.sandhillcc.com

308-532-9090 800-760-3333

196

Wheelchair accessible, restaurant on premises, indoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

51-75

83 Motel, 920 N. Jeffers St, North Platte

308-532-2313

38

Outdoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

51-75

Super 8 Motel, 220 Eugene Ave, North Platte I-80 Exit 177. www.super8.com

308-532-4224 800-800-8000

111

Wheelchair accessible, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

51-75

Tru, 2400 Halligan Drive, North Platte

308-532-8700

98

Wheelchair accessible, complimentary breakfast, pets allowed

1-75

51-75+

51-75+

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 71


LINCOLN COUNTY EVENTS

ANNUAL TANKING RACE – NORTH PLATTE March 31. Grab your closest friends and your best costumes and come to North Platte to compete in this unique event! Prizes are awarded to the fastest tankers, best costumes and the race MVP’s. www.VisitNorthPlatte.com. NEBRASKALAND DAYS – NORTH PLATTE June 13-23. NEBRASKAland DAYS returns for its 52nd celebration. It kicks off with four nights of PRCA Buffalo Bill Rodeo (June 13-16), the Junior Rodeo (June 17), Family Night (June 18), and closes with the US Cellular Summer Jam Specialists can create it for you. Horseback riding, tanking, kayaking and canoeing are available. Try their cowboy mounted shooting course for a real taste of the Old West. 2617 N. Buffalo Bill Ave. (308) 530-0048. Flavorful beer and a full restaurant attract travelers to Pals Brewing Co. Brews such as Explosive Apricot Wheat, Jalapeño Cream Ale and Phat Pumpkin impress even experienced beer aficionados. Pals’ pizza oven pleases with a variety of pies, and feel free to check out the large outdoor patio when the weather is nice. 4520 S. Buffalo Bill Ave. (308) 221-6715. Cody Go-Karts near I-80 has water slides, mini golf, bumper boats and go-karts mid-March through September, weather permitting. (308) 534-8277. The North Platte River valley hosts sandhill cranes during spring migration February to April. (308) 532-4729. Five miles south of town, Lake Maloney State Recreation Area provides fishing, boating, camping, picnicking, as well as archery, golf and wildlife watching. North Platte offers three 18-hole golf courses. The Platte River is a scenic natural water hazard at Iron Eagle. (308) 535-6730. The other two are Lake Maloney, (308) 532-9998; and Rivers Edge, (308) 532-7550. Indian Meadows is a nine-hole course. (308) 532-6955. For more information about North Platte, contact the North Platte/Lincoln County Convention and Visitors Bureau at (800) 955-4528.

Maxwell

When Fort Cottonwood was renamed Fort McPherson in 1866, its soldiers were already fetching great-tasting water from the well of John “Mac” McCullough. Soon, other travelers were stopping. As a community formed, it was decided to name it after Mac’s well. Maxwell was born. Peace reigns at Fort McPherson

72 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

Concert Series featuring Florida Georgia Line (June 22) and Alabama (June 23). www.nebraskalanddays.com. BRADY DAYS – BRADY Aug. 3-5. This small town celebrates big with a barbecue meal, car show and parade. www.villageofbrady.org. NORTH PLATTE RAIL DAYS Sept. 14-16. Railroad history in Cody Park with music, model trains and art contest. Events at Lincoln County Historical Museum, Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park, Bailey Yard and other sites. www.nprailfest.com.


AJ Dahm (both)

North Platte has attractions old and new. Pals Brewing Co. opened in 2017. They embody the classic pizza and beer combo. Buffalo Bill’s ranch became a state historical park in 1965.

National Cemetery south of Maxwell. Soldiers from conflicts dating to the Indian Wars, including four Medal of Honor recipients, are interred here. Fort McPherson National Cemetery was founded in 1873. The original Pony Express route and Oregon Trail passed through what is now the cemetery. One mile southeast of the cemetery a stone monument marks the site of the flagstaff of the frontier military post.

Brady

On the eastern end of Wild West Country, Brady is home to several outdoor adventures. Jeffrey Canyon Reservoir, known for its massive catfish, is five miles south and one mile west of Brady. Potter’s Pasture, in the beautiful hills south of Brady, consists of 1,300 acres of privately owned land crisscrossed with 15 miles of mountain biking trails. WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 73


74 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA


AJ Dahm

William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody staged the nation’s first rodeo in North Platte on July 4, 1882. North Platte’s status as a rodeo hub continues today with the annual Buffalo Bill Rodeo during Nebraskaland Days in June, and the Mid-Plains Community College Stampede in September.

Hershey

Stones and Bones Gallery and Emporium offers a unique assemblage of Stone Age artifacts and fossils from Western Nebraska, along with antique firearms and Western and wildlife art. (308) 368-7400. Hershey’s annual Christmas in the Park takes place in December when local homes will be dressed to the nines and visitors can take a holiday ride in an old Hershey fire truck. (308) 368-5840.

HOTELS & MOTELS Park Motel, 1110 First St, I-80 Exit 158, Sutherland

CAMPGROUNDS

Sutherland

Sutherland Reservoir offers swimming, camping, birdwatching and fishing. Bald eagles use it as a winter feeding area. Oregon Trail Golf Course is a nine-hole course on the north shore of Sutherland Reservoir. The course’s grass bunkers challenge even the best golfers. (308) 386-4653. Oregon Trail Mobile Estates is a year-round RV camp with pull-through spaces, internet and cable TV. (308) 386-4379. Phone

Rooms

308-386-4384

19

Phone

Open

308-368-7654

Oregon Trail Mobile Estates, 31599 W. Park Rd, less than 2 mi. from I-80 Exit 158, Sutherland www.oregontrailmobileestates.com

308-386-4379

Year-round

Oregon Trail Park, 25 S. Tower Rd, 1 mi. S. of I-80 Exit 158, Sutherland, www.oregontrailgolfcoursene.org

308-386-4653

Sutherland SRA, 3 mi. S., Sutherland

308-535-8025

Oregon Trail Golf Course, 1 mi. S., 1/4 mi. E. of I-80 Exit 158, 25 S. Tower Rd, Sutherland

Phone 308-386-4653

Rate Range 1-75

Amenities

Fees

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 18 trailers Camping: 5 tents

Hidden Acres Campground, 16501 W. Murray Rd., Hershey

GOLF COURSES

Amenities

12

RV Amenities: shady pull through sites, full hook ups, 30 and 50 amp electric

7-20

Mar-Nov

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 31 trailers Rest Facilities: flush and pit toilets Camping: 10 tents

7-20

Year Round

RV Amenities: water, room for 50 trailers Rest Facilities: Pit toilets Camping: 35 tents

7 & NE Park Permit

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times. 9, semi-private

Rate Range Under 15

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 75


AJ Dahm

Cabela’s in Sidney is more than a store. It is one of the community’s biggest tourist attractions. Conveniently located just off of I-80, motorcoach tours and thousands of cars stop here daily. Known as the “World’s Foremost Outfitter” of outdoor gear, this location offers a restaurant.

Sidney

Outlaws, gamblers and other riffraff made this railroad town one of the toughest places in all of the American West in the 1870s. Stay on the train, lock the doors and you’ll be fine. Unless there’s a train robbery. Sidney began in 1867 as an Army fort guarding Union Pacific Railroad workers from hostile Native Americans. With the discovery of gold in the nearby Black Hills, Sidney became a trailhead for determined gold seekers. The boomtown days brought easy money for some and outlaws that many had to contend with. Legend has it that a single city block in Sidney once held 23 saloons. Gives historic meaning to the idea of bar-hopping. The tales of Sidney’s rowdy past are many. One local favorite now known far and wide is an incident in which a man was shot and killed at a raucous dance. The body was propped up in a corner and the dancing went on. Another man was shot and likewise displayed. The party, so it has long been said, only came to its bloody end after the third shooting. Good times. The community of 6,800 residents is 76 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

the home of Cabela’s, which began on a kitchen table and now bills itself as the “World’s Foremost Outfitter.” The green-and-gold water tower bearing the Cabela’s logo stands at Exit 59. The 72,000-square-foot store sells outdoor equipment for fishing, hunting, backpacking and boating. RV parking and tent camping are available here and there is a restaurant on site. (308) 254-7889. Near the Cabela’s store is Pony Express National Monument. The monument’s flags can be seen from a long distance by travelers motoring on I-80. Sidney Barracks was established in 1867 to protect Union Pacific Railroad track layers. In 1869, the post was relocated to the present site at Sidney. It was renamed Fort Sidney and was active through the Indian wars. The fort had 40 buildings. It closed in 1894. Three buildings remain in what is now a residential neighborhood. The grounds of former Boot Hill Cemetery, established by the military in 1868, has been restored and features interpretive panels with stories of some of the people buried there. The cemetery was used until 1889, and 211 bodies were removed and relocated in 1922.

The Boot Hill Cemetery Committee has restored Camp Lookout. The outpost built by soldiers from Fort Sedgwick, Colorado, later became Sidney Barracks. On the corner of Elm Street and 10th Avenue. At Sixth and Jackson streets, Fort Sidney Museum and Post Commander’s Home consists of the Officers’ Quarters, now a museum of Sidney’s colorful past, and the Post Commander’s Home, which has been restored with original and other period furnishings. The third building is an octagonal stone structure once used as the military fort’s powder magazine. It is at 1047 Fifth Ave. All three buildings are well preserved and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Fort Sidney Complex is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 1-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Memorial Day-Labor Day. (308) 254-2150. Annual Christmas Lamplight tours are popular and take place the Friday after Thanksgiving from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. The building remains open for the holidays Saturdays and Sundays through December from 1-4 p.m. Christ Episcopal Church in Sidney was built in 1866 and was the original church


of Fort Sidney. Worshipers gather today at 1205 10th Ave. in the same building where Native Americans and early settlers once worshiped together. Half a century after Fort Sidney closed, Sidney again became home to a major military facility. Sioux Army Depot, built in 1942, held equipment and ammunition. Located six miles west and two miles north of Sidney, the site once covered 36 square miles. It closed in 1967. Its igloo-shaped ammunition bunkers remain and are accessible through a driving tour. Sidney is the only Western Nebraska city with a “Historic District” designation. Twenty-nine Sidney buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. If you want to see how people lived and worked in the old days, Sidney is a great place to visit to learn this and other early American history. When a local man suggested erecting a flagpole for War Memorial in Legion Park and Memorial Gardens, residents decided to go big to honor the sacrifice of Cheyenne County’s veterans. Volunteers and local companies converted an interstate light pole into a flag pole. At 140 feet, it is the tallest flagpole in Nebraska. The flag is 20 feet tall and 38 feet wide. The park features a railroad monument, pond, docks, playground and a gazebo popular with visitors simply wanting to relax and take in the serenity. Living Memorial Gardens is home of “Nebraska’s First Angel of Hope” (based on the Christmas Box Angel). A trail begins here and winds through the community’s scenic neighborhoods. For visitors seeking more of a workout, Cheyenne County Community Center, 627 Toledo, offers indoor basketball and racquetball courts, running tracks and weight lifting equipment. Visitors to Sidney receive free admission. Open year-round Monday-Friday, 5 a.m.10 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, noon-6 p.m. (308) 254-7000. Aquatic exercise flows from the six-lane competition pool at Sidney Aquatics Center. Water polo, and the aquatic versions of volleyball and basketball, entertain teams while the Tree House Slide and Water Bug spray dome delight younger visitors. Open Memorial

Day-Labor Day. (308) 2545-5851. Located on bluffs overlooking Sidney, Hillside Municipal Golf Course incorporates the area’s rugged Western terrain into its 18-hole adventure. The course twists through a beautiful canyon and offers spectacular views of Sidney and the countryside. (308) 254-2311. Test your marksmanship skills at Sidney Shooting Park with target shooting and sporting clays courses. From I-80 exit 59, go north to U.S. Highway 30, then west to Greenwood Road, then three miles north. Prices and hours are subject to change and availability. From sharpshooters to novice guns, everyone is welcome to visit the range and aim for bullseye greatness. www.sidneyshootingpark.com. In 1874, a military expedition led by George Armstrong Custer discovered gold in the Black Hills in neighboring South Dakota. Though a treaty reserved the Black Hills for the Sioux tribe, the Army

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 77


stopped enforcing it. Interlopers trespassed by the thousands and soon a gold rush was under way. It led to a tragic war between the Sioux and the United States, a war in which Custer himself was famously killed during the Battle of the Little Bighorn. For would-be gold miners, Sidney became a popular jumping-off place, leaving behind the ease of railroad travel and heading overland by horse, oxen, mule and wagon up the 267-mile Sidneyto-Deadwood Trail. Through the early 1880s, the trail carried most of the gold rush traffic, including rich shipments of gold from the Black Hills in South Dakota. On Highway 30 west of town, a marker indicates where trail ruts are visible. Highway 30 is the old Lincoln Highway, which in the 1920s became

HOTELS & MOTELS

AJ Dahm

The military history of Sidney has a long lineage in the community. The gem of the Cheyenne County Museum is the Fort Sidney Museum. Sidney was founded in 1867.

the first paved coast-to-coast auto route. The Nebraska portion of U.S. Highway 385 is designated the Gold Rush Byway. From the Colorado to the South Dakota state lines, the highway connects Sidney

with Bridgeport, Alliance and Chadron. It follows the old trail for much of the way and rolls through some of the most spectacular country in Nebraska. Heading north from Sidney, the highway

Phone

Rooms

Americas Best Value Inn & Suites, 2115 W. Illinois St, W. on US Hwy 30, Sidney

308-254-2081

58

Wheelchair accessible, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

51-75

Best Western Plus Sidney Lodge, 645 Cabela Dr, I-80 Exit 59, www.bestwestern/us/ne/sidney.com, Sidney

308-254-0100

64

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

75+

Blue Iron Oasis, 11552 US Hwy 30, 2 mi. N. of I-80 Exit 59, Jct US Hwys 30 & 385, Sidney

308-250-9911

13

Pets allowed

1-75

Country Inn & Suites, 664 Chase Blvd, Sidney

308-254-2000

85

Wheelchair accessible, restaurant on premises, indoor pool, pets allowed

75+

Comfort Inn and Suites, 825 Hoffies Dr., Sidney

308-254-4423

81

Wheelchair accessible, free continental breakfast, indoor pool, pets allowed

75+

Days Inn, 3042 Silverberg Dr, I-80 Exit 59, Sidney www.daysinn.com

308-254-2121

47

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

75+

Fairfield Inn and Suites, 889 E. Jennifer Lane, Sidney

308-254-9000

75

Wheelchair accessible, free continental breakfast, bar/lounge on premises, indoor pool

75+

Hampton Inn, 635 Cabela Dr, Sidney www.hamptoninn.com

308-254-2111

74

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast

75+

Motel 6, 3040 Silverberg Dr, Sidney www.motel6.com

308-254-5463

47

Wheelchair accessible, pets allowed

Sidney Motor Lodge, 2031 Illinois St, W. US Hwy 30, Sidney

308-254-4581

18

Pets allowed, wheelchair accessible

1-75

Sleep 4 Le$$, 954 E. Elm St, I-80 Exit 59, 2 ½ mi. N. to US Hwys 30 & 385,www.sleepforlessmotel.com

308-254-4009 877-220-0109

11

Pets allowed

51-75

Quality Inn, 730 E. Jennifer Ln, I-80 Exit 59, Sidney www.choicehotels.com

308-254-5011

54

Wheelchair accessible, indoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

CAMPGROUNDS Cabela’s Campground, I-80 Exit 59, Sidney

GOLF COURSES Hillside Golf Course, 2616 Hillside Dr, Sidney

78 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

Phone

Open

308-254-7177

Year Round

Phone 308-254-2311

Amenities

Amenities RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 31trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets Camping: 6 tents

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times. 18, public

Rate Range

75+

Fees Call for rates

Rate Range 15-30


SIDNEY EVENTS passes through Gurley and Dalton before descending dramatically into the North Platte Valley beside Courthouse and Jail rocks near Bridgeport. Northeast of Sidney, visitors find Ricky and Lucy’s Country Gift Shop. Terri and Dan Wolff opened the business in a renovated 1800s era barn. Their organic farm offers herbs and spices, dips and medicinal herbs. They also have a gift shop with Roman-inspired fountains, pottery and a large and changing inventory of gift items. 11732 Road 32. (877) 254-2204. Six miles west of Sidney, I-80 Golden Link marks where the last segment of Interstate 80 was completed in 1974. The link is a 6-inch strip of brass plates embedded in both lanes of the thoroughfare, signifying the joining of Western and Eastern Nebraska. For more information about Sidney, contact the Cheyenne County Visitors Committee. (866) 545-4030.

GOLD RUSH DAYS Second weekend in June. The Old West comes alive with quick-draw competitions, a chuck wagon cookout, pie-baking contest, gold panning demonstration, wagon rides, cannon firing, live music, blacksmithing, quilting, coopering, weaving and fun for all. (866) 545-4030. NEBRASKA CHAUTAUQUA - WORLD WAR I June 14-17. Presented by Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Chautauqua offers opportunities for audiences to come together to develop a fuller understanding of the lasting influences of the “Forgotten War.” Scholars will entertain by portraying key WWI figures. (402) 474-2131. CHEYENNE COUNTY FAIR AND RODEO July 16-21. This county fair reaches to the roots of such events with marksmanship contests and 4-H exhibits, livestock shows and judging, rodeo, dog show and live entertainment. (308) 250-1976. OKTOBERFEST AND CRUISIN’ CLASS CAR SHOW First full weekend in October. Hundreds of classic cars line up, side by side, for inspection by judges and hundreds of enthusiastic gearheads. There will be a show and shine at Legion Park, and a parade, farmer’s market, crafts and entertainment, all helping make this festival funfilled. There will also be ethnic food and a beer garden. (866) 545-4030. LAMPLIGHT TOURS Always the day after Thanksgiving. The Fort Sidney Museum and Post Commander’s Home come alive in this holiday gala. (308) 254-5851.

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 79


Potter

There are many reasons to visit Potter. One of them is dessert. Potter Sundry is an old-fashioned soda fountain serving homemade food and ice cream. This same historic building, long ago, is where resident Pinky Thayer invented the Tin Roof Sundae. One of the few Duckpin Bowling alleys west of the Missouri River is on the second floor of a neighboring building. Some say it is the only one in the nation west of the Mississippi River. Set ’em up by hand in this historically fun game with tiny pins and small, hand-sized balls at 328 Chestnut. (308) 879-4451. Residents and motorists coming in from I-80 unwind at city parks or at the Reading Garden beside the library downtown. A Collective Gathering Flea Market is next door. Nearby is Chestnut Street Memory Station antique store, and the old Lincoln Highway Cafe, now known as Bags’ Bar and Steakhouse. Railroad Museum on Front Street displays Union Pacific Railroad history. Potter Historical Museum on Sherman Street preserves local history. Both museums open by appointment. (308) 879-4356. Prairie Pines Golf Course is a links style seven-hole course. Cart rental is available. (308) 879-4469. Three miles east of Potter on U.S. Highway 30 is the historic Point of Rocks, where railroad crews laying the Union Pacific line clashed with Native Americans. The altercations provided the impetus to establish Fort Sidney. The track here, called Buffalo Bend, is the sharpest curve on the Union Pacific line.

POTTER EVENTS POTTER CAR BOWL June 30. A car show, melodrama, fireworks and other activities benefit local non-profit groups. (308) 879-4451. POTTER DAYS Labor Day weekend. This annual event includes a fun run, duck race, prize drawings, games, food and parade. Enjoy duckpin bowling and tin roof sundaes all weekend long. (308) 879-4332.

80 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

Lodgepole Creek, which parallels the track, is the longest creek in the world. Point of Rocks Motel and Campground located beneath the Point, just south of Highway 30, offers lodging and camping facilities. For more information about Potter, contact the Cheyenne County Visitors Committee. (866) 545-4030.

Lodgepole

This community honors the memory of its founders during Old Settlers’ Days, the biggest event of the year for Lodgepole. A free community barbecue, mud volleyball tournament, parade, tractor pull, car show, flower show, demolition derby and street dance are just a few of many events that taking place during Lodgepole’s annual Labor Day weekend celebration. (308) 483-5353. Sullivan Hills is located north of Lodgepole and features 640 acres of beautiful rolling hills and trees. You will find wildlife running free, ponds for fishing, hiking, paddle boating and kayaking. Campers from all over Nebraska enjoy the peaceful location. Lodgepole Depot Museum, on the corner of McCall Street and Bates Boulevard, displays horse buggies, antique furniture, pony express items, antique farm implements and historical clothing inside the old train depot. Volunteers happily open the doors by appointment. (308) 483-5353.

Dalton

Every direction is covered when it comes to enjoyment in Dalton. At South Park there are picnic areas, playground equipment and a basketball court. North Park has plenty of shade and also Prairie Schooner Museum. An authentic log cabin is part of the history preserved in this community along Highway 385.

Gurley

Dalton and Gurley join for their annual Christmas Lighting Contest in December. Fanny’s Fruit Farm celebrates the bounty of summer with a pick-your-own raspberry harvest, 18 varieties of pumpkins, barrel trains, a corn maze, goat barn, haunted evening tours and more. (308) 249-2266.


Ogallala was a rowdy community in the 1870s and 1880s. Gamblers, hired guns, thieves and other riffraff were once notorious here. The community long ago cleaned up its image, and the town’s Boot Hill Cemetery is now a popular tourist attraction honoring the community’s first hearty inhabitants.

AJ Dahm

Lemoyne

The original community of Lemoyne was flooded when Lake McConaughy filled in 1941. In dry years old foundations of its buildings are sometimes exposed. The relocated community is holding its own today. With sandy beaches, boat docks, recreational facilities, fuel, bait, food, resorts, lodging and storage available nearby, little Lemoyne is a relaxing place to be for a day or lifetime. Vogl’s Lodge & Lure offers lodging, fishing tackle, supplies, fuel, groceries and bait just north of Highway 92. (308) 355-2321. Big Mac Parasailing treats adventurous visitors to stunning aerial views of Lake McConaughy and the surrounding sand hills without even getting wet – unless you want to. (308) 355-5555.

HOTELS & MOTELS Point of Rocks Motel & Campground, 8175 US Hwy 30, 2 1/2 mi. E., Potter

CAMPGROUNDS

Ogallala

In the 1870s and 1880s, Ogallala was the end of the trail as cowboys drove herds of longhorns up from Texas to be shipped east on the Union Pacific Railroad. After several long, hard months in the saddle, cowboys were ready for a rip-roaring good time when they reached town. Visitors to Nebraska’s “Cowboy Capital” can enjoy Wild West entertainment at Front Street. Crystal Palace Revue and Shoot Out is Nebraska’s longest-running summer theater, a musical comedy family show where dance hall girls kick up their heels and shots ring out. Adjacent attractions are Front Street Steakhouse and the Cowboy Museum, a free museum that includes a jail, barbershop, funeral Phone

Rooms

308-879-4400

9

parlor and authentic cowboy and Native American artifacts. (308) 284-6000. The renowned Petrified Wood Gallery is at 418 E. First St. It features the petrified wood art of twin brothers Howard and Harvey Kenfield, as well as fossils, gemstones, geodes, Western sculpture and Native American artifacts collected locally. (308) 284-9996. Mansion on the Hill was Ogallala’s finest home when it was built in 1887. Open Memorial Day through mid-September at the corner of Spruce and 10th streets. Three blocks west of the mansion on 10th Street is the original Ogallala cemetery, long known as Boot Hill for the cowboys who were “buried with their boots on.” Seventeen miles northeast of Ogallala, Haythorn Land & Cattle Co. is a fifth-

Amenities In country setting

1-50

Phone

Open

M&S Campground & Trailer Park, 1325 Front St, Potter I-80 Exit 38

308-879-4224

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 6 trailers

Call for rates

Point of Rocks Motel & Campground, 8175 US Hwy 30, Potter

308-879-4400

May-Nov

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 24 trailers

Call for rates

GOLF COURSES Prairie Pines Golf Course, 402 Prairie Pine Dr, Potter

Phone 308-879-4469

Amenities

Rate Range

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times. 9, public

Fees

Rate Range Under 15

WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 81


AJ Dahm

Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse & Lounge draws thousands of visitors each year to Paxton, pop. 500. Original owner, Ole Herstedt, after hanging above the bar the mounted head of a deer he shot, liked it so much that he embarked on decades of worldwide hunting expeditions. More than 200 of those game animals now decorate the walls in this nationally known must-see destination. No need to hunt any further for good food and drink.

generation ranch offering wagon rides and chuck wagon dinners to visitors wanting a taste of the old ways. (308) 355-4000. What the old-time cowboys needed, but didn’t have, was a really big lake in which to cool off. Eight miles northeast of Ogallala, Lake McConaughy is Nebraska’s largest reservoir. At full capacity, McConaughy is four miles wide, 22 miles long and 142 feet deep at the dam with more than 100 miles of shoreline. When irrigation season is in full swing, miles of white sand beaches provide the perfect perch for a summer vacation. Just below Kingsley Dam is Lake Ogallala. It covers half a square mile and offers excellent fishing for rainbow trout and yellow perch. South of Ogallala, at Meadowlark Hill, one might expect to see birds. What people come here to see, and smell, are lilacs in full bloom. More than 40 years in the making, Max and Darlene Peterson’s passion has grown to fill 14 acres with the flower, and it’s the world’s largest private collection of lilacs. (308) 284-2524. For more information about Ogallala and Lake McConaughy, contact the Ogallala/Keith County Chamber of Commerce. (800) 658-4390. 82 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

Keystone

The community of Keystone is home to a most unique church. Built in 1908, Little Church of Keystone is the result of cooperation and ingenuity. The town was too small for two churches, so this one was built as a combined Catholic/ Protestant church. It has a Catholic altar at one end and a Protestant altar at the other. Reversible pews face either way. (800) 658-4390.

Paxton

Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse began as a bar in downtown Paxton. Through the years, owner Ole Herstedt decorated it with more than 200 big game trophies. Great food and drink accompany the menagerie known to travelers from across the nation and around the world. (308) 239-4500.

Brule

The town of Brule is nine miles west of Ogallala. The annual Brule Day event includes a parade, fun run, egg toss, street dance, flower show, races and food stands (308) 287-2596.


HOTELS & MOTELS

Phone

Rooms

Admiral’s Cove Resort, 999 Lemoyne Rd, Lemoyne. Lake McConaughy Gate 6, www.admiralscoveresort.com

308-355-2102

23

Restaurant on premises, pets allowed

1-75+

North Shore Lodge, 5 North Shore Rd, Lemoyne. Hwy 92 near Lake McConaughy, www.northshorelodge.net

308-355-2222

21

Restaurant on premises, pets allowed

51-75+

Mesa View Lodge, 1290 Hwy 92 W., Lemoyne. Lake McConaughy, www.homesatlakemac.com

308-355-5000 888-568-7620

10

Pets allowed

1-50

Vogl’s Lodge and Lure, 721 Hwy 92 W., Lake McConaughy, www.voglslodgeandlure.com

308-355-2321

12

Pets allowed

51-75+

CAMPGROUNDS

Amenities

Phone

Open

Amenities

Admiral’s Cove Resort, 999 Lemoyne Rd, Lemoyne www.admiralscoveresort.com

308-355-2102

May-Sep 3

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 5 trailers Rest Facilities: Showers, flush toilets Camping: unlimited tents Cabin Rentals: 25

North Shore Lodge, Lake McConaughy Gate 5, Lemoyne www.northshorelodge.net

308-355-2222

May-Oct

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 23 trailers Rest Facilities: Showers, flush and pit toilets Cabin Rentals: 18

Rate Range

Fees 15 Call for rates


KEITH COUNTY EVENTS EAGLE VIEWING – LAKE MCCONAUGHY/LAKE OGALLALA Late December through the February. Water discharged from the Kingsley Hydroplant creates open water on Lake Ogallala, attracting bald eagles and other birds. View from the heated facility below the dam. (800) 658-4390. HOTELS & MOTELS

AJ Dahm

The Petrified Wood Gallery in Ogallala displays Western art, Native American artifacts and the petrified wood creations of twin brothers Howard and Harvey Kenfield. Phone

Rooms

Days Inn, 601 Stagecoach Trail, Ogallala www.daysinn.com

308-284-6365

31

Elms Motel, 717 W. First St, Ogallala

308-284-3404

12

Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 206 Pony Express Ln, Ogallala

308-284-6080

Kingsley Lodge, 1510 N. Hwy 61, Ogallala

308-284-2775

17

Pets allowed

1-75

Lazy K Motel, 1501 E. 1st St, Ogallala N. of I-80 Exit 126

308-284-4056

19

Air conditioning, free local calls, refrigerator, microwave oven, TV with cable channels, private bathroom, hair dryer & flat iron

1-50

Lonesome Dove Lodge, 501 Stagecoach Trl, Ogallala www.lonesomedovelodgene.com

308-284-2266

Free Wi-Fi, pet friendly, non-smoking property, spacious rooms, conference suites, complimentary breakfast bar, rec center

75+

Pump & Pantry Motel, 730 E. 1st, Ogallala Turn right at the overpass, 5 blks

308-284-6119

15

Pets allowed

1-75

Quality Inn, 201 Chuckwagon Rd, Ogallala I-80 Exit 126 N., www.choicehotels.com

308-284-3623

101

Wheelchair accessible, restaurant on premises, outdoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

75+

Rodeway Inn, 108 Prospector Dr, I-80 Exit 126, Ogallala www.rodewayinn.com

308-284-2056

40

Free continental breakfast, pets allowed

1-50

Super 8 Motel, 500 E. A St S., I-80 Exit 126, Ogallala www.super8.com

308-284-2076

90

Wheelchair accessible, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

1-75

Travelodge Stagecoach Inn, 201 Stagecoach Trail, Ogallala www.bestwesternnebraska.com

308-284-3656

100

Wheelchair accessible, restaurant on premises, outdoor & indoor pool, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

51-75

CAMPGROUNDS

Amenities

Rate Range

Wheelchair accessible, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

1-75+ 1-75 90+

Phone

Open

Amenities

Fees

Cottonwood Grove, 1045 Keystone Roscoe Rd, Ogallala

308-284-2282

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 10 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets Camping: 6 tents

20-30

Country View Campground, 120 Rd E. 80, Ogallala I-80 Exit 126, S. 1/2 mi., left at John Deere www.cvcampground.com

308-284-2415

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 50 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets Camping: 12 tents

27-30

Eagle Canyon Hideaway, 1086 Lakeview W. Rd, Brule www.eagle-canyon.com

308-287-2673 866-866-5253

Feb 28Dec 30

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 21 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets Camping: 16 tents Cabin Rentals: 17

Call for rates

Lake McConaughy SRA, 1475 NE Hwy 61 N., 9 mi. N.E., Ogallala, www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov

308-284-8800

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 242 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush and pit toilets Camping: Unlimited tents

Call for rates

Lake Ogallala SRA, 1475 NE Hwy 61 N., Ogallala.10 mi. N., E. side of dam, www.outdoornebraska.ne.gov

308-284-8800

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 82 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush and pit toilets Camping: Unlimited tents

Call for rates

Sleepy Sunflower RV Park, 221 Rd E. 85, Ogallala. I-80 Exit 126 S. www.sleepysunflower.com

308-284-1300

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 48 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets Camping: 10 tents

23-26

Van’s Lake View Fishing Camp, Brule, 13 mi. N.W. of I-80 on US Hwy 26, #1 Lake View, www.vanslakeview.com

308-284-4965

May 1 -Nov 1

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 100 trailers Rest Facilities: Showers, flush and pit toilets Camping: 15 tents Cabin Rentals: 2

12-28

GOLF COURSES West Wind Golf Club, 359 Rd E. 85, Ogallala, 1 1/2 mi. E. of I-80 Exit 126

HOTELS & MOTELS Days Inn, 851 Paxton Elsie Rd, 1-80 Exit 145, Paxton

84 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

Phone

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times.

308-284-4358

18, public

Phone

Rooms

308-239-4510

34

Rate Range Over 30

Amenities Wheelchair accessible, restaurant on premises, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

Rate Range 1-75


Big Springs

The first and largest robbery of a Union Pacific train happened here in 1877. Texas outlaw Sam Bass and his gang made off with $60,000 in gold and currency. Some say the loot remains hidden in the maze of nearby hills. A marker at Eiker Park tells the story. The town is named for a natural spring. From the town’s founding through 1950, it supplied water for Union Pacific locomotives. Today, walking trails at Eiker Park provide visitors with an easy stroll to the natural spring. UNIQUE LODGING Bayside Golf Club, 865 Lakeview West Rd, Brule baysidegolf.net The Beach House, Lake McConaughy, Keystone www.lakemacbeachhouse.com

CAMPGROUNDS

Phelps Hotel was built in 1885 to house railroad workers. It is open for tours by appointment. (308) 889-3625. Waterman Sod House still stands five miles north of Big Springs on Day Road. Contact the Big Springs Chamber of Commerce. (308) 889-3681.

Chappell

Travelers see lots of grain elevators along I-80, but none like the Farmers Elevator in Chappell. An American flag 52 feet by 100 feet is painted on its south side. Phone

The nine-hole Chappell Golf Course, (308) 874-2729, is right next to Chappell Lake at I-80. The sandpit offers fishing, native grasses, wildflowers and restrooms. Sudman-Neumann Heritage House at Fifth and Vincent streets is restored to its 1911 glory. (308) 874-3441. The reproduction paintings at Chappell Memorial Art Gallery are so good that they were long thought to be Rembrandt originals. The gallery is part of Chappell Public Library. For more information contact Chappell Tourist Information at (308) 874-2401.

Amenities

Rate Range

308-287-4653

Open Mar 1-Oct30. Remodeled cabins, bedroom suites, full mini kitchens, full baths, patios/decks, laundry, WiFi and satellite TV

75+

308-762-2892

Luxury townhomes with lake views, rooms with shared and private bath

75+

Phone

Open

Amenities

Fees

RV Amenities: electric, water and sewer Rest Facilities: Wi-Fi, showers, flush toilets, rec room, swimming pool, playground and general store.

25+

Eagle Canyon Hideaway, 1086 Lakeview West Rd, Brule eagle-canyon.com

866-866-5253

April - Sept

Riverside Campground, 1000 S. State St, I-80 Exit 117, Brule

308-287-2474 800-809-2921

Apr 1Oct 30

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 45 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets

15+

The Lodge, 851 Paxton Elise Rd, I-80 Exit 145, Paxton

308-239-4510

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 12 trailers Camping: 12 tents

20

GOLF COURSES Bayside Golf Club, 865 Lakeview W. Rd. Brule

Phone 308-284-4358

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times. 18, public

Rate Range 15-30


DEUEL, KIMBALL AND BANNER COUNTY EVENTS KIMBALL RANCH RODEO – KIMBALL June 9. Competitors from surrounding states ride broncs, milk wild cows, load trailers and brand cattle. Vendors will keep everyone fed and a beer garden will flow, too. Real cowboys show the skills they use everyday. (308) 241-1760. FLAG DAYS – CHAPPELL June. Celebrate Nebraska and national pride with a car show, kids’ fishing derby, city-wide garage sales, special deals from merchants and more. (308) 974-9912. FARMER’S DAY – KIMBALL Sept. 28-30. Kimball honors those who grow our food with this flavorful smorgasbord of fun. Last year’s Hamburger Feed had 2,000 burgers grilling. Events include a demolition derby, gun raffle, horseshoe tournament, train rides, air show, beer garden, dance and pancake feed. www.kimballbannercountychamber.com.

86 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA


HOTELS & MOTELS Motel 6, 111 Circle Rd, I-80 Exit 107, Big Springs

UNIQUE LODGING Phelps Hotel, 401 Pine St, Big Springs The Bunkhouse B&B and Stables, 30914 Cty Rd 2, Big Springs, www.cowboybunkhouse.com

CAMPGROUNDS Creekside RV Park, N. of I-80 Exit 85, Chappell HQH Stables & Campground, 1625 Rd 203, Big Springs www.a-chordpublishing.com

Phone

Rooms

308-889-3671

62

Phone

Amenities

Rate Range

Indoor pool, pets allowed

1-75

Amenities

Rate Range

308-889-3580

Historic hotel built in 1885, rooms with shared and private bath

51-75+

308-464-1224

Rooms with private and shared bath, full breakfast, full kitchen, 2 full RV hookups & horse stables

51-75

Phone

Open

308-874-2267 888-871-2267

Year Round

877-241-8653

Amenities

Fees

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 28 trailers Rest Facilities: shower, flush toilets Camping: Unlimited tents

12-25

RV Amenities: electricity, water, room for 6 trailers Riding area available

10-20

McGreer Camper Park, 693 Rd 209, Big Springs www.mcgreercamperpark.com

308-889-5093

AprOct 31

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 28 trailers Rest Facilities: showers, flush toilets Camping: 8 tents

25-30

The Bunkhouse RV Park & Stables, 30914 Rd 2, 3 mi. S. of I-80 Exit 107, 1/2 mi. E., Big Springs

308-464-1224

Year Round

RV Amenities: electricity, water, sewer, room for 2 trailers Cabin Rentals: 1

Call for rates

GOLF COURSES Chappell Golf Course, US Hwy 385, Chappell

Kimball

Kimball is the Oil Capital of Nebraska. It began as a railroad construction camp. Because of large herds of pronghorn in the area, the railroad called the new station Antelope, and the new village, Antelopeville. In 1885, the settlement was renamed for railroad executive Thomas Kimball. Kimball’s history is displayed downtown at Plains Historical Museum. (308) 235-2001. The community has also been known as “Missile Center, U.S.A.” The area’s first Atlas missile site was completed in 1961.

HOTELS & MOTELS

Phone 308-874-2729

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times.

Rate Range

9, public

Under 15

Kimball bills itself as the “High Point of Nebraska.” The elevation of Panorama Point is 5,424 feet. It is easily walked to. Kimball Area Tourism offers tongue-incheek certificates to those who reach the summit. Call (308) 241-0573. Nearby, Tri-State Marker shows the spot where Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado meet. Oliver Reservoir Recreation Area has a 270-acre lake for fishing and boating, and sandy beaches. (308) 254-2377. Four Winds Golf Course is two miles east of town. The 18-hole greens fee is good for as many holes you can play in a day. (308) 235-4241.

For more information on Kimball, contact Kimball Area Tourism. High Point Welcome Center of Western Nebraska has all the brochures and personal Kimball-area travel advice needed for a fulfilling visit. 204 Kimball Blvd. (308) 241-0573.

Harrisburg

Turning north from Kimball, State Highway 71 will take you to Harrisburg. Banner County Museum is an 11-building complex with a 19th-century log schoolhouse, sod house, log cabin, 1910 barn, pioneer church and the old Banner County Bank. (308) 575-0808.

Phone

Rooms

1st Interstate Inn, 1704 S. County Rd. 41, Kimball www.1stinns.com

308-235-4601

29

Restaurant on premises, pets allowed

Days Inn, 611 E. 3rd St., Kimball, www.daysinn.com

308-235-4671

30

Wheelchair accessible, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

Motel Kimball, 1017 E. 3rd St, E. US Hwy 30, Kimball

308-235-4606

16

Wheelchair accessible, pets allowed

1-50

Sleep 4 Less, 600 W. US Hwy 30, US Hwy 30, Kimball

308-235-4878

25

Pets allowed

1-75

Super 8 Motel, 1701 S. County Rd. 41, I-80 Exit 20 , Kimball

308-235-4888

57

Wheelchair accessible, free continental breakfast, pets allowed

1-75+

CAMPGROUNDS Oliver Reservoir Recreation Area, 8 mi. W. on US Hwy 30, Kimball. 270 acres of water and 917 acres of land

GOLF COURSES Four Winds, E. US Hwy 30, Kimball

Phone

Open

308-254-2377

Year Round

Phone 308-235-4241

Amenities

Rate Range 1-50 51-75+

Amenities

Fees

RV Amenities: water, room for 75 trailers Rest Facilities: pit toilets Camping: 100 tents

No fee

Holes & Type Call for hours and tee times. 18 holes, public

Rate Range 15-30 WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 87


TOURISM CONTACT INFORMATION TRAVELING NEBRASKA’S WESTERN FRONTIER can be the adventure of a lifetime. All year-long, quality merchants, entertaining attractions and exciting events await those seeking to explore the West. If you need a little help planning your trail, the helpful folks below would be delighted to throw you a rope, or proudly tell you all about what makes their communities and the region such a special place to live, work and play in. Christopher Amundson

Alliance Alliance Visitors Bureau (308) 762-3876 visitalliance.com

Kimball Kimball Area Tourism (308) 241-0573 visitkimball.com

Sidney Cheyenne County Visitors Center (866) 545-4030 sidneycheyennecountytourism.com

Bayard Bayard City Office (308) 586-1121 cityofbayard.net

Mitchell Mitchell Chamber of Commerce (308) 623-1523 mitchellcity.net

Sutherland Sutherland Chamber of Commerce (308) 386-4617 villageofsutherland.com

Big Springs Big Springs Chamber of Commerce (308) 889-3212 ci.big-springs.ne.us

Morrill Morrill Community Development Group (308) 247-3132 villageofmorrill.com

Thedford Thomas County Tourism (308) 645-2715 tourthomascountynebraska.com

Bridgeport Morrill County Visitors Committee (308) 262-1825 morrillcounty.net

Mullen Hooker County Visitors Committee (308) 546-0636 mullennebraska.org

Valentine Valentine Chamber of Commerce (800) 658-4024 visitvalentine.com

Chadron Chadron Chamber & Visitors Center (308) 432-4401 discovernwnebraska.com

North Platte North Platte/Lincoln County Visitors Bureau (800) 955-4528 visitnorthplatte.com

Chappell Deuel County Tourism (308) 464-0983 visitdeuelcounty.com

Ogallala Keith County Visitors Committee (800) 658-4390 ilovelakemac.com

Crawford Crawford Chamber of Commerce (308) 665-1817 crawfordnebraska.info

Oshkosh Garden County Visitors Committee (308) 778-9557 visitgardencounty.com

Gering Gering Convention & Visitors Bureau (800) 245-0717 visitgering.com

Potter Potter Community Improvement Group (308) 879-4451 potterne.com

Gordon Gordon Chamber of Commerce (308) 282-0730 gordonchamber.com

Rushville Sheridan County Tourism (308) 282-0730 visitsheridancounty.com

Hemingford Village of Hemingford (308) 487-3465 ci.hemingford.ne.us

Scottsbluff Scotts Bluff Area Visitors Bureau (800) 788-9475 visitscottsbluff.com

88 • 2018 JOURNEY TO WESTERN NEBRASKA

BYWAYS CONTACTS Hwy 2- Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway (308) 645-2715 sandhillsjourney.com Hwy 20- Bridges to Buttes Byway (800) 658-4024 bridgestobuttes.com Hwy NE 26/US 92- Western Trails Historic & Scenic Byway (308) 284-4066 (Ogallala) (308) 436-6886 (Gering) Hwy 385- Gold Rush Byway (308) 254-4030 sidneycheyennecountytourism.com Hwy 30- Nebraska Lincoln Highway Historic Byway (800) 955-4528 lincolnhighwaynebraskabyway.com


WESTNEBRASKA.COM • 89


Journey 2018  
Journey 2018  
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