Scotts Bluff Nebraska History
The Scotts Bluff National Monument is home to one of America's greatest treasures, and modern travelers are invited to take the trip to experience the pioneering life on the high cliffs where pioneers traveled in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This National Park Service site protects a high rock and a nature trail to the north that leads to scenic views of the Flathead River, the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains.
Return to Kimball after your mountaineering adventure and head to Gering, where you'll find some of Nebraska's top outdoor attractions. Take Nebraska Highway 71 North to complete the loop through history, then turn around and return to Scotts Bluff National Monument before returning to Kimball.
In 2015, Scott's Bluff nearly doubled the number of visitors, ranking behind the other three national parks in Nebraska that only visit Yellowstone National Park. The Scottsbluff area is also home to Gering, the largest city in the Nebraska Panhandle with 15,000 residents. The facility, home to the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health, serves more than 9,000 patients and more than 35,000 outpatients annually.
Considering that 350,000 immigrants passed through Scott's Bluff in the mid-19th century, this 150-year history adds to the humiliating experience. Half a million people walked the Mormon trail from Oregon to California, which ran through Scott's Bluffs. When the early pioneers reached about a third of the way, they passed the distinctive Chimney Rock in Scotted Bluffed. In 1864, a wagon carrying 80 people known as the Bidwell-Bartleson Party passed the park as they settled on the fertile farmland in the Willamette Valley, Oregon.
Rock outcrops are not common in western Nebraska, but Scott's bluff high north flank is an astonishing exception. A returning fur trader who discovered it in 1812 also noticed that the rock of the courthouse looks like a castle. There are many of the same long geological features, including Chimney Rock in Scotts Bluffs, and geologists are studying them to better show their geology and history than anywhere else in the state. Also on the National Register of Historic Places is Chimneys Rock, the largest rock outcrop in western Nebraska and one of only a handful of rock formations in Nebraska.
When you're on top of Scott's bluff, even the mighty imagination can't fathom the vast amount of land that makes up the surrounding Great Plains, as you can see from a distance of more than 2,500 miles.
It is impressive - inspiring - to imagine your great-grandparents walking past the very iconic walking monuments we visit today. At the end of the trail lies the camp of William Henry Jackson, who worked as a bullwhacker on a wagon in 1866. A covered wagon marks the start of the Oregon Trail Pathway and
In the 1850s, unknown workers improved Mitchell Pass, which is just south of Scott's Bluff. It was one of the first geological landmarks seen as settlers made their way west from Oregon to California. The Oregon Trail passes through the town of Mitchell, a small town on the western edge of South Dakota, and on this stretch became the main road over the hills. Mormon Way, which runs through Scotters Bluffs, was passed by a group of settlers in the late 19th century on their journey from Utah to Idaho.
The European Americans named the most prominent bluff in the north after William Scott, a fur trader who died in 1828. Almost immediately after his death, the cliffs along the North Platte River in Nebraska became known as Scott's Bluff.
For example, on an 1843 map titled "Nebraska City, Cass County and the North Platte River in North Dakota," the feature is referred to as "Scott's Bluff" with an apostrophe. An early military map of Nebraska in the Dakotas, published by G.K. Warren in 1875, simply referred to it as "Scott's Bluffs" and dropped the apostrophes. The people still in the tracks in Nebraska are said to have been near the present-day city of Nebraska in Cass County.
The Indians roamed the area for thousands of years, followed by huge herds of buffalo, and from 1841 onwards a large number of settlers came here. Scott's Bluff was the place where the first Europeans settled in North Dakota at the end of the 19th century.
The pioneers also knew that reaching Scott's bluff meant the impressive Rockies were not far away. Chimney Rock National Historic Site is an easy drive from Scott's Bluffs and features a small visitor center managed by the Nebraska State Historical Society. The best way to explore Scott's cliffs is to hike east, starting east of the National Monument Visitor Center. You can also visit the bluff before leaving home, as it is located just a few miles from the main entrance to the national monument.