Things To Know Before You Come
The National Park Service manages the scenic river primarily through partnerships and agreements with various agencies and organizations, and with the cooperation of private landowners. A ranger station is located in the town of Valentine at 214 West Highway 20 and is open Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The official Niobrara NSR National Park Passport Stamp is available here.
Most of the land along the Niobrara River (including the streambed, banks and islands) is privately owned. Please respect private landowner rights and utilize public restrooms and public river access points when possible. Carry out all trash and properly recycle or dispose of it.
80% of Niobrara visitors come on Saturdays resulting in a more social experience. 10% visit on Sundays and the remaining 10% visit during the rest of the week. If you are seeking a more solitary experience, consider visiting Monday through Friday.
The Niobrara is predominately (>70%) ground-water fed so river levels do not vary as a direct result of rainfall. However, rainfall does have a major indirect effect on the river. Levels fall as upstream demand for water withdrawal for irrigation grows during low-rainfall periods. When rainfall is available for crops, less river water is needed for irrigation and river levels increase.
Check the USGS stream gauge for the most recent flow rates and to observe changes. It's the third chart down on the USGS web page. Tip: Use the back button on your browser to return to the Recreation Quality chart below after checking the current cfs.
Go to Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Did You Know?
Geologists have documented well over 200 waterfalls within the Niobrara River Valley. The tallest known falls is Smith Falls, which cascades 63 feet over a sandstone cliff. Click "More" to visit the Niobrara National Scenic River "Waterfalls & Springs" page. More...