Physical evidence indicates that the first humans to live in the region around Scotts Bluff arrived 10,000 years ago. These people are thought to have been nomadic hunters who manufactured stone tools and lived in small groups. Traveling by foot, these early visitors to the North Platte River Valley would have been limited in both how far they could travel and what they could take with them.
In Time, a different lifestyle evolved among Native Americans living in the West. Farming seems to have offered a more dependable source of food, and for the next 5,000 years, small groups of farmers lived along the major rivers of the High Plains. Then, around the year 1,400AD, perhaps due to an extended drought, the plains were abandoned. Two hundred years later, eastern tribes, such as the Pawnee, Arikara, Kansa, and Mandan moved out into the prairie and began to develop semi-permanent villages along the major waterways.