J. Dawg Journeys

Taking a Break at Scotts Bluff National Monument

I found a great place to spend a couple of days recharging at Robidoux RV Park in Gering, NE.  I had made it to the high plains at the far western end of Nebraska.  So far, I had traveled about 625 along the Oregon Trail and it was time to take a break.  At this beautiful RV park, I had a nice western facing paved spot, plenty of green grass, full hookups, super fast wi-fi, and a great view of Scotts Bluff National Monument.  All for $27 a night.

Scotts Bluff is a dramatic landmark towering over 500 ft at its highest point at Eagle Rock.  It dominates the landscape for miles.  The bluff, named for fur trapper Hiram Scott who died nearby in 1828, was major landmark for the pioneers as they made their way into Wyoming. To continue on their journey along the North Platte they had to pass close to the foot of Eagle Rock and make their way across Mitchell Pass.

Scotts Bluff

Scotts Bluff National Monument

I spent a few hours visiting the National Monument.  It was designated as a National Monument in 1919 by Woodrow Wilson.  Many of the buildings were constructed in the 1930s.  A road was built to the top of the bluff by the CCC during the Great Depression.  Three tunnels were made for the road to reach the top.

There’s a small museum that covers some trail history and the geology of the bluff.  Nearby is a hiking trail where you can walk on the actual Oregon Trail.  There’s also a trail to the top of the bluff.

Cars can drive to the top, but the Park Service has a free shuttle that will take you up and wait so you can enjoy the summit.  My RV was a little to big for the road so I took the shuttle up and got a nice briefing by the ranger as he drove up.

The views were nice from the top.  I could see Chimney Rock to the south over 20 miles away and envision the Oregon Trail route to the bluff.

Scotts Bluff

From the top of Scotts Bluff looking down at the Visitor Center

Scottsbluff

The towns of Gering and Scottsbluff from atop Scotts Bluff

Here’s a video I made of my visit to Scotts Bluff National Monument.

It’s a dramatic place to visit.  The highlight was hiking along the Oregon Trail.  I went out and back for about 1/2 mile.  A short distance but it gave me some to time to reflect about what it was like to walk the terrain.

Mitchell Pass

J. Dawg on the Oregon Trail.

After a couple of days, it was time for me and Hondo to get back on the trail heading west to Wyoming.

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4 thoughts on “Taking a Break at Scotts Bluff National Monument

  1. Doug Wright

    Hi J,
    I’m enjoying our posts as you head west. You have had some interesting stops and I enjoying your travels vicariously.

    As you make your way across the the country from Florida, do you plan and reserve all or most of your stops, or do you just find a nice place to stay and spend a few nights? Do you have problems finding places to spend the night? I hear horror stories about full RV parks.

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Hey Doug,
      On this trip, I made no advance reservations. I wasn’t really visiting busy areas. While on the road, I did make a couple of reservations on weekends near popular places. I also did a few truck stops for overnight stays. If you visit popular national parkz, reservations are definitely needed.
      J. Dawg

  2. LLOYD MILLER

    J.
    I’m a new subscriber to your adventures. My wife and I are waiting for our 4X4 Mercedes sprinter Van chassis to arrive from Germany. We understand the wait is now 8-9 months. The was an error with what we thought was a 4X4 chassis delivered in november for us but in January discovered it was a 2X chassis. We are assuming that delivery and build out will hopefully be complete by the holidays and then we are headed out full time. It will be quite a change for us. We are in our late 70’s. Boondocking is a desire. Have you done much of that and where? We look forward to your posts.
    Thanks,
    Lloyd

    1. J. Dawg Post author

      Lloyd,
      Thanks for subscribing. I do a little boondocking. When I travel cross country trying to get to a destination, I will stay at truck stops, casinos, and town parks. These type of stops are mostly one night stays. A great resource to find these spots is overnightrvparking.com. It costs about $24 per year but it pays for itself the first time you use it. These stops work as long as it’s not too hot. On my current trip, I’ve done about 6-7 of these stops. I wanted to do one today, but it’s 90 degrees out and I need the AC. I also boondock for a week at a time when go to music festivals or my favorite beach side camping spot. I have a portable solar setup (2 100W panels) that I use if I know I’m going to stay somewhere without power. I don’t really go out and find remote spots on BLM land or in National Forests. My MB owners manual says to avoid dirt roads. For me, it’s not worth trying to save $30 on a camping fee and get stuck or hung up. I’ve found that the key thing with boondocking is not the electrical for your RV. It’s how to recharge all your electronic devices. That’s where solar and the inverter are a real necessity. Good luck with your rig and new lifestyle.
      J. Dawg

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