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