Hiking Scotts Bluff National Monument

Two hikers walk towards an interesting rock formation.

With nearly 4 miles of hiking trails, Scotts Bluff National Monument is a great place to enjoy the benefits of exercise and fresh air. Monument trails are open from sunrise to sunset, seven days a week, year round. 

Pets are allowed on the trails, but must be kept on a leash at all times, which shall not exceed 6 feet in length. This helps to ensure the safety of your pets, the wildlife that lives here, and other visitors to the monument. Please clean up after your pet.

For your safety, please stay on the trails. The rock along the Summit Trails and Saddle Rock Trail is soft and crumbly; leaving the paved trails can be extremely dangerous.

Prairie rattlesnakes are common in the area. They are generally shy and avoid humans, but will strike if threatened. The snakes can easily be seen from the trail. Off-trail they may be hidden by the vegetation.
Leashed pets are permitted on all trails. Please clean up any pet waste. 
Entrance fees may apply, see Fees & Passes information.
Ice and snow can make hiking trails in winter treacherous, particularly north-facing portions of the Saddle Rock Trail. 
Monument trails and grounds are open sunrise to sunset. 
Accessibility Information

Two accessible parking spaces are located at the summit parking area. From the parking lot, paved trails lead to two summit overlooks.

The South Overlook is approximately 300 yards (274 meters) from the parking lot. Access to the North Overlook is by a 16% uphill path of about 60 yards (55 meters). It will take you to a level looping trail system which is about 150 yard (137 meters) long. Several overlooks from the summit will reveal the North Platte Valley. The remaining 100 yards (91 meters) contains a steep downhill grade of 19% with dropoffs on either side.

Saddle Rock Trail

The paved trail is 1.6 miles long (2.4 km) and leads from the visitor center parking lot to the top of Scotts Bluff. The first 700 yards (630 meters) is accessible for a wheelchair as it crosses prairie grasslands to a juniper ravine near the base of the bluff. Beyond this point is not recommended for wheelchair use as the trail rises steeply for over 1700 yards (1554 meters) with sharp dropoffs .

Oregon Trail Pathway

Following the paved trail west of the museum 50 yards (45 meters) you come to the eroded original Oregon Trail depressions (swales). Along the way you pass three covered wagon replicas. From the east end of the trail depressions, the trail is unpaved for 380 yards. The paved trail then resumes. The next 106 yards (97 meters) is uphill with a 13% grade. The Jackson campsite is approximately 107 yards (98 meters) further.

Last updated: November 6, 2020