• Martin's Cove at Devil's Gate in Wyoming

    Mormon Pioneer

    National Historic Trail IL,IA,NE,UT,WY

Ancient Bluff Ruins

Ancient Bluff Ruins - Broadwater, Nebraska

This frequently mentioned landmark is the most dramatic and extensive bluff formation along the north side of the North Platte River. These three erosional remnant buttes were named by English Mormon converts who thought they resembled ancient towers, castles and ruins seen in their homeland.

On Sunday, May 23, 1847, Mormon leaders climbed the highest bluff, wrote their names on a buffalo skull, and placed it at the southwest corner. Thomas Bullock, "found that all of the Twelve had started on an exploring excursion to the mountains. At 9:24 they visited several of the Bluffs. . . . Professor Pratt took an observation by which he found it was 235 Feet higher than the River. . . . [They] rolled down some large stones from the top, and returned to Camp at 11:05."

Trail ruts are found nearby.
 
Map image of the auto tour route driving directions for the Mormon Pioneer NHT across Nebraska.
Map image of the auto tour route driving directions for the Mormon Pioneer NHT across Nebraska.
NPS Image
 

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Did You Know?

Elkhorn River Crossing near Fremont, Nebraska.

The Elkhorn River, a few days from the Mormon Winter Quarters at Council Bluffs, was one of the first major water crossings encountered by the Mormons. In April 1847, several days were spent building rafts to ferry the first 72 wagons across the flooded river. More...