By Kerri Rempp
Discover Northwest Nebraska
Turn your expectations about Nebraska upside down. When you set your compass for Northwest Nebraska, you’ll do exactly that.
Here are five ways Northwest Nebraska will exceed your expectations.
- Landscape: Northwest Nebraska isn’t the flat, cornfield-ridden landscape you envision. It’s towering buttes that provided an escape route for Cheyenne Indians breaking out of Fort Robinson in 1879. It’s the lunar-like surface of Toadstool Geologic Park, where you can turn back the clock 30 million years and view in-situ fossils of miniature horses, humpless camels, gigantic tortoises and more among toadstool-shaped rocks. It’s Sowbelly Canyon, cut through the buttes and hiding the perfect picnic, fishing and birdwatching spot at Coffee Park. It’s the soaring Ponderosa pine tree stands of the Nebraska National Forest and the sweeping expanse of the Oglala National Grasslands, all under a vast night sky filled with stars. Learn more about our Parks and Wildlands at http://discovernwnebraska.com/parks-and-wildlands/
- Prehistoric Stops: Along what Northwest Nebraska dubs the Fossil Freeway (Highways 29, 20, 71), you’ll view fossils unlike any you’ve ever seen. At Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, the Devil’s Corkscrew fossils are rare spiral burrows that the Smithsonian Magazine has called “one of the most unusual fossils ever found.” Further along the Fossil Freeway, Trailside Museum is home to the premier Clash of the Mammoths exhibit, a display featuring bull mammoths that died with their tusks interlocked in combat. Hudson-Meng Bison Bone Bed and Toadstool Geologic Park are located in the far reaches of Northwest Nebraska. Hudson-Meng houses a mystery yet to be solved at one of the most important paleo-archeological discoveries in North America. Nearby is Toadstool Geologic Park with its 30 million years of fossil and geological history and unusual rock formations. Learn more about these and other attractions at http://discovernwnebraska.com/attractions/.
- Arts and Culture: Northwest Nebraska’s newest attraction is nestled inside an old cistern south of Chadron State College. The Earth art Labyrinth was completed by area residents and college students in the midst of the pandemic and provides a quiet place for reflection. Chadron State College also offers a variety of musical and theater performances, as well as guest lectures throughout the academic year. And don’t forget a stop at Art Alley nestled in the heart of Chadron’s downtown, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. At Fort Robinson State Park, Post Playhouse is the region’s favorite live theater venue, showcasing five shows a season with actors from across the nation. Two art galleries in Crawford and Harrison give you the chance to take a piece of Northwest Nebraska home with you. Learn more about these and other attractions at http://discovernwnebraska.com/attractions/.
- Wildlife: This might be where the buffalo roam and the deer and antelope play, but Northwest Nebraska is also home to elk, bighorn sheep, mountain lion, turkey and hundreds of species of birds, from bald eagles to Swainson’s thrushes and Cordilleran flycatchers. The region’s lakes and streams offer a plethora of fish, including five types of trout, northern pike, walleye, largemouth and rock bass, channel catfish and more. Learn more about the region’s parks, wildlands and wildlife management areas at http://discovernwnebraska.com/parks-and-wildlands/.
- Unique Businesses: Northwest Nebraska also has several unique shopping opportunities to take advantage of during your stop. Take home authentic western wear, antiques, and locally-sourced honey. Enjoy coffee and atmosphere in our local coffee shops and stop for a nightcap at the local tap room or one of our bars. Explore our business partners at http://discovernwnebraska.com/shop-nw-nebraska/
Start planning your trip to Northwest Nebraska today. Learn about our museums, monuments and historical markers at http://discovernwnebraska.com/museums-and-markers/. Discover unique events to attend at http://discovernwnebraska.com/events/, and follow our calendar of events at http://discovernwnebraska.com/calendar-of-events-2/. View our lodging, dining and transportation options at http://discovernwnebraska.com/plan-your-trip/. Explore our 2022 travel guide online or request a copy at http://discovernwnebraska.com/plan-your-trip/nw-nebraska-travel-guide/. You can also download the Discover Northwest Nebraska app at https://northwest-ne.yo.city/app/download and have all the information at your fingertips.
This is Northwest Nebraska, and there’s No Better Direction.