The Bridges to Buttes Scenic Byway cuts a 200 mile long path near the northern border of Western Nebraska, from Valentine to the Wyoming border beyond Harrison. It's wide open country, dotted with world class surprises.
To start with, near Valentine, you'll find the Niobrara National Scenic River and one of the best, least-known paddling trips in the USA. Nearby, the Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge offers birders more than 230 species, flying among the forests and herds of bison and elk.
As you head west and the sandhills transition into forested buttes, stop at the Bowring Ranch State Historical Park to learn the history of sandhills ranch life. The road continues on past a cowboy museum, wildlife management areas and lakes perfect for wildlife viewing and fishing. When you each Chadron, take time to explore the Museum of the Fur Trade and Chadron State Park.
The very northwest corner of Western Nebraska offers a treasure trove of little-known attractions. These include the Toadstool Geologic Park, bison bonebeds, fossil beds, hiking, birdwatching, horse riding, wilderness areas and Native American history.
Take the time to explore the deep experiences along the Bridges to Buttes Scenic Byway. It will give you a whole new feeling for Western Nebraska.
For more information on the Bridges to Buttes Scenic Byway, contact (800) 658-4024 or visit www.nebraskahighway20.org.
Bottom photo by Bobbi & Steve Olson