Learn About the Park

The Purpose of the Niobrara National Scenic River

is to preserve its free-flowing condition, the significant scenic, geologic, biological, historic, and prehistoric resources of the Niobrara River Valley in concert with local custom and culture, and provide opportunities for resources-based recreational use that is compatible with protection of the significant resources.

Protected rivers in the United States can be classified as:

  • Wild River Areas – Those rivers or sections of rivers that are free of impoundments and generally inaccessible except by trail, with watersheds or shorelines essentially primitive and waters unpolluted. These represent vestiges of primitive America.
  • Scenic River Areas – Those rivers or sections of rivers that are free of impoundments, with shorelines or watersheds still largely primitive and shorelines largely undeveloped, but accessible in places by roads.
  • Recreational River Areas – Those rivers or sections of rivers that are readily accessible by road or railroad, that may have some development along their shorelines, and that may have undergone some impoundment or diversion in the past.

To be a National Wild & Scenic River, the Niobrara National Scenic River must be:

  • Be free-flowing
  • Have a somewhat accessible, but mostly undeveloped, shoreline
  • Clean water or the ability for the water to be cleaned

In addition, the Niobrara River has site-specific outstanding remarkable values--features that make the river unique or special at a regional and national scale.


Outstandingly Remarkable Values

Last updated: December 6, 2020

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

214 W US Highway 20
Valentine, NE 69201


402 376-1901

Contact Us