Scotts Bluff National Monument – Gering, Nebraska

 

How ironic that we were afforded decent health, great weather and modern hiking paths yet….

 

….in 1828, a fur trapper by the name of Hiram Scott was wounded and deserted by his companions. He gained a certain immortality by making his way to a magnificent formation of bluffs along the North Platte River before succumbing to his wounds. It was for Hiram Scott that Scotts Bluff National Monument, Scotts Bluff County, and the city of Scottsbluff have been named.

 

Towering 800 feet above the North Platte River, Scotts Bluff has served as a landmark for peoples from Native Americans to emigrants on the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails to modern travelers. Rich with geological and paleontological history as well as human history, there is much to discover while exploring the 3,000 acres of Scotts Bluff National Monument.

After breakfast of our first day in Gering, Nebraska at a campground that backed up to the gorgeous view of Scotts Bluff, we talked of hiking up to the top.

While both of us weren’t in stellar physical condition, we looked up the trails we would be hiking and they were deemed ‘strenuous’; meaning, we could do it if we took our time and stayed hydrated.

 

So, the next morning, we put on our hiking clothes, laced up our shoes, packed our day pack with healthy vittles and about 8 bottles of water and made our way to Scotts Bluff National Monument.

 

 

First, we took a small tour of the facility inside and to get our National Park Passport stamped, were given a map of the hiking trail and then we made our way to the hiking trail.

 

 

The first trail we hiked was Saddle Rock Trail; a 1.6 mile trail up to the top.  At first, approximately the one third mile was ground level and just a comfortable speed walk.

The second one-third of the trail climbs to the foot tunnel.

 

 

 

 
The halfway point of our hike was the path tunnel that lead to a wonderful view of the Town of Gering and her fertile farmland.

 

 

 
Coming down the trail was a bit more tedious, especially on Lisa’s knees.  She paid for it for a few days after forcing her to wear a knee brace and mind it.  But the hike was worth the pain.  We certainly got to feel the impression of what the travelers went through during their journeys west.

If you’re wanting a good lunch spot after your hike…

The Mixing Bowl Cafe – Gering, Nebraska

More things to do in the area…

Chimney Rock National Historic Site and Oregon Trail

A LIGHTHOUSE in Nebraska???

If you enjoyed reading this blog, you may want to check out these links:

Hiking Tips and Advice for Beginners

32 Tips for an Amazing National Park Experience

 

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