Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge

Bison, Elk, Birdwatching and Canoeing

Five miles east of Valentine on Highway 12, Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge is home to dust-raising herds of bison and elk. A 3.5-mile driving tour provides up close views. The bison are often encountered crossing the refuge road. While near the herds, stay in your car. A bison bull can weigh a ton and moves with astonishing speed. Bison cows are good mothers and very protective of their calves. Plentiful photographic opportunities can be had from your car window. 


Prairie dogs coexist here peacefully amongst the grazing mega-fauna. The entertaining antics of these ground squirrels provide their own photo opportunities, and their burrows provide homes for other prairie species such as badgers, burrowing owls, snakes, box turtles and salamanders. The visitor center is open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day, and Monday through Friday the rest of the year. Admission is free. (402) 376-3789.

For more information about Valentine and area attractions, contact the Valentine Visitor Center at (800) 658-4024 or visit