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Scotts Bluff Tourism Websites
Things to Do
Places to Eat
Other Relevant Websites
Websites of Places Featured in this Itinerary
Selected Bibliography for Scotts Bluff
Scotts Bluff Tourism Information
City of Scottsbluff
Official government site for the City of Scottsbluff.
City of Gering
Official government site for the City of Gering.
Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce
This site contains information on businesses that are located in the Scotts Bluff area, along with information on promotions and events within the area.
Visit Scotts Bluff County
Created by Scotts Bluff County Tourism, this site provides information on planning trips and local attractions.
Things to Do
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, a unit of the National Park System, preserves fossilized bones in one of the most complete Miocene mammal sites in the world. The park is open 8:00am to 6:00pm in the summer season and 8:00am to 4:00pm in the off season. For additional information, visit the National Park Service Agate Fossil Beds National Monument website or call the Visitor Center with its museum at 308-668-2211. The Cook Collection of American Indian artifacts is on display in the Visitor Center. To learn more, click here.
Farm and Ranch Museum
The Farm and Ranch Museum looks at High Plains agriculture of the past. The museum features information about sugar beets, dry beans, potatoes, ranching, irrigation, dryland farming, and conservation tillage. The museum is located at 2930 Old Oregon Trail in Gering, and is open Monday-Saturday from 10:00am to 5:00pm and on Sunday from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. For more information call 308-435-1989, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Horse Creek Treaty Area
Also known as the Treaty of Fort Laramie, the Horse Creek Treaty took place in 1851. Thousands of Indians from various tribes met to sign the treaty, promising to let the military build forts in and white emigrants travel through their territory. In exchange, the Indians were promised $50,000 a year in trade goods for 50 years. A marker commemorating the site is located one mile west of Morrill on U.S. 26.
Lake Minatare Recreation Area
Located 12 miles northeast of Scottsbluff, the Lake Minatare State Recreation Area covers 2,970 acres, of which 2,158 acres are lake. Lake Minatare boasts Nebraska's only lighthouse and a federal waterfowl refuge, as well as camping facilities. Call the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission at 402-471-0641 for more information.
National Historic Trails
National Historic Trails commemorate historic (and pre-contact) routes of travel that are of significance to the entire Nation. Creation of a trail requires an Act of Congress and compliance with all three criteria listed in Section 5(b)(11) of the National Trails System Act. Four National Historic Trails run through the Scotts Bluff region: the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail, the California National Historic Trail, the Oregon National Historic Trail, and the Pony Express National Historic Trail. The National Park Service shares responsibility for the trails with local organizations. A listing of trails and their partner associations can be found here.
National Scenic Byways
Two National Scenic Byways run through the Scotts Bluff area. One, Western Trails Scenic and Historic Byway, follows the route thousands of men and women took as they headed west through the Platte River Valley in the 19th century. It begins in Ogallala, and includes numerous state and local historic sites, skeletons of pre-contact mammals, and such nationally recognized landmarks as Chimney Rock and Scotts Bluff. The Gold Rush Byway leading up from Colorado to the Black Hills of South Dakota, denotes the gold rush of 1874. It follows one of the most historic and scenic routes through America's heartland, passing lakes, rivers, and forests, as well as communities and cultural centers. It also offers extensive information on Native American, military, westward expansion, and natural history.
North Platte Valley Museum
The North Platte Valley Museum, located at 900 Overland Trails Road in Gering, tells the story of the Indians, trappers and traders, emigrants, pioneers, and early settlers of the North Platte River Valley. The museum is open 9:00am to 4:00pm Monday-Friday year round, and 1:00pm to 4:00pm Saturday & Sunday from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Contact the museum at 308-436-5411 or e-mail email@example.com for more information.
Oregon Trail Days
Oregon Trail Days, a four-day event occurring every July, commemorates the pioneers and early settlers of western Nebraska and eastern Wyoming. The celebration includes parades, an art show, a chili cook-off, live concerts, street dances, a community barbeque, an international food fair, and a five-mile run.
Rebecca Winters Grave
The Rebecca Winters Grave is a symbol of the thousands of emigrants who traveled west on the Overland Trails. Winters died just east of Scotts Bluff in 1852, while on her way to Utah. Today, the grave is located about two miles east of Scottsbluff on U.S. 26.
The Riverside Zoo features over 200 animals representing 73 species, a petting zoo, a playground, and a lake. The Zoo is located at 1600 South Beltline Highway West in Scottsbluff. It is open 9:30am to 4:30pm March-November, and from 10:00am to 4:00 pm December-February (weather permitting).
Places to Eat/Places to Stay
Visit Scotts Bluff County
This site provides a variety of restaurant and lodging options in the Scotts Bluff area.
Other Relevant Websites
Denver Coach offers daily service to and from the Western Nebraska Panhandle.
Western Nebraska Regional Airport
The Western Nebraska Regional Airport is the region’s largest airport, offering flights to and from Scottsbluff, Alliance, and Denver.
Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itineraries
Other travel itineraries in the National Park Service's ongoing series include many historic destinations that you can visit online or in person. Each itinerary spotlights a different geographic region, community, or theme. The Aviation Travel Itinerary: From Sand Dunes to Sonic Booms highlights important places in aviation history, including the Fairmont Army Field and the Second-Generation Norden Bombsight Vault in Nebraska. The Lewis and Clark Expedition Travel Itinerary highlights historic places associated with the expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, which explored parts of Nebraska. We Shall Overcome: Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement Travel Itinerary includes the Malcolm X (Malcolm Little) House, located in Omaha.
Heritage Documentation Programs in the American Memory: Built in America
Heritage Documentation Programs, National Park Service, administers HABS (Historic American Buildings Survey), the Federal Government’s oldest operating preservation program, and companion programs, HAER (Historic American Engineering Record), HALS (Historic American Landscapes Survey), and CRGIS (Cultural Resources Geographic Information Systems). Drawings, maps, photographs, and historical reports produced through the programs and archived at the Library of Congress constitute the nation’s largest collection of historical architectural, engineering, and landscape documentation.
Heritage Nebraska: Main Street
The Nebraska Main Street program, a division of Heritage Nebraska, gives small communities the opportunity to revitalize their main streets through economic development and historic preservation.
National Historic Landmarks
National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. All National Historic Landmarks are also listed in National Register of Historic Places.
National Park Service
The main National Park Service website is the gateway to national parks, providing information on preserving America’s history and culture in parks and communities, and offering a vast amount of other useful information. The National Park Service oversees several National Monument Sites located within Nebraska: Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in Harrison, Homestead National Monument of America in Beatrice, and Scotts Bluff National Monument in Gering. The National Park Service also oversees the Niobrara National Scenic River with the Niobrara National Scenic River Headquarters office located in Valentine. Apart from the National Monuments and River, several National Historic Trails pass through the state: the California National Historic Trail, the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, the Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail, the Oregon National Historic Trail, and the Pony Express National Historic Trail.
National Park Service Office of Tourism
National Parks have been interwoven with tourism from their earliest days. This website highlights the ways in which the National Park Service promotes and supports sustainable, responsible, informed and managed visitor use through cooperation and coordination with the tourism industry.
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official inventory of historic places worthy of preservation. Districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture are included in the National Register, which is expanded and maintained by the National Park Service. The National Register website is the gateway to information on authentic registered historic places, the benefits of recognition, and how to become involved in identifying, nominating to the National Register, and protecting these irreplaceable reminders of our heritage.
National Trust for Historic Preservation
National Trust for Historic Preservation is a U.S. Congress-chartered nonprofit organization that preserves historic places, publishes information about preservation, and operates preservation initiatives. Learn about the programs and membership in the oldest national nonprofit preservation organization.
Nebraska State Historical Society
The Nebraska State Historical Society is a division of State government under the Department of Tourism and State Development. The Historical Society promotes the historical and cultural heritage of Nebraska by collecting, preserving, researching, and interpreting evidence of the state's irreplaceable past and making it available for the life-long education and enrichment of present and future generations.
Twin Cities Development Association
The Twin Cities Development Association provides economic development services for the communities of Scottsbluff and Gering in the Panhandle of Nebraska.
Teaching with Historic Places
Teaching with Historic Places is a program of the National Park Service that offers a series of online classroom-ready lesson plans on registered historic places and other resources to help teachers and students use historic places in the classroom.
Links to Websites of Places Featured in this Itinerary
Scotts Bluff and Gering Historic Attractions
Scotts Bluff National Monument
Chimney Rock National Historic Site (NPS)
Chimney Rock National Historic Site
California National Historic Trail
Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail
Oregon National Historic Trail
Pony Express National Historic Trail
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Fowler, Loretta. The Columbia Guide to American Indians of the Great Plains. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.
Green, Thomas L, et al. Scottsbluff and the North Platte Valley. Scottsbluff: Scottsbluff Golden Jubilee Celebration Committee, 1949.
Hill, William E. The Mormon Trail: Yesterday and Today. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 1996.
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Scotts Bluff National Monument: Long-Range Interpretive Plan. Prepared by the Department of Interpretive Planning Harpers Ferry Center and Scotts Bluff National Monument. National Park Service, Department of the Interior. June 2008.
Taylor, Colin E. The Plains Indians: A Cultural and Historical View of the North American Plains Tribes of the Pre-Reservation Period. New York: Crescent Books, 1994.
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Wood, Asa Butler. Fifty Years of Yesterdays. Gering, Nebraska: Courier Press, 1945.
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Creigh, James. “Constructing the Interstate Highway System in Nebraska: Routing and Funding Controversies.” Nebraska History: A Quarterly Magazine 72, no. 1 (spring 1991): 44-53.
Green, T.L. “Scotts Bluffs, Fort John.” Nebraska History: A Quarterly Magazine 19, no. 3 (July-September 1938): 175-190.
Guenther, Todd. “The Empire Builders: An African American Odyssey in Nebraska and Wyoming.” Nebraska History: A Quarterly Magazine 89, no. 4 (Winter 2008): 176- 200.
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Mattes, Merrill. “Hiram Scott, Fur Trader.” Nebraska History: A Quarterly Magazine 26, no. 3 (July-September 1945): 127-162.
Oehler, Gottlieb F. and David Z. Smith. “A Visit to the Pawnee.” Nebraska History: A Quarterly Magazine 87, no. 4 (Winter 2006): 142-172.
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Shumway, Grant. “First Settlement of the Scotts Bluff Country.” In Publications of the Nebraska State Historical Society 19, edited by Albert Watkins, 103-113. Lincoln, Nebraska: The Nebraska State Historical Society, 1919.
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