The North Overlook trail provides an amazing view of the North Platte River valley, the badlands, and the cities of Scottsbluff and Gering.
Length: 0.5 miles (0.8 kilometers) if all the loops are made.
Access: The North Overlook Trailhead can be found at the north end of the summit parking lot. This trail also connects to the 1.6 mile Saddle Rock Trail which leads to the Visitor Center.
The North Platte River valley is six miles wide at this location. Before reservoirs were built, the flow of the river was much more variable and its channel was much wider than it is now. The stark, barren and deep ravines of the badlands was the reason why the wagon trains went through Mitchell Pass and did not follow between the bluff and river. The badlands were formed from rapid erosion of a sedimentary layer known as the Brule formation. The Brule layer is quite soft and erodes easily, but, retains enough lime so that once the water leaves the surrounding sediment, it compacts and hardens leaving the moonscape.