Sioux County offers three interesting and educational circle tours. Maps are available at various Harrison businesses.
Monument Tour - Drive north from Harrison and picnic in the Gilbert-Baker Recreation Area at the bottom of Monroe Canyon. This beautiful campground is a bird watcher's paradise, and the little creek flowing through the grounds is one of the few creeks in Nebraska where trout reproduce naturally. From the campground, travel ten miles north and eight miles east to Montrose to view the Yellowhand and Col. Merritt monuments. You will pass through a section of the Oglala National Grasslands where deer, grouse, ducks, geese, and wild flowers abound. Then return south to Harrison through the lovely Sowbelly Canyon. This tour is 44 miles long.
Canyon Tour - The Sowbelly Canyon-Pants Butte tour is a brief 12 miles filled with scenic beauty which can be negotiated in an hour. Sowbelly Canyon reportedly gets its name from soldiers who were trapped there by Indians. The soldiers spent three days in this canyon with nothing to eat but slat pork, thus the name sowbelly. Be sure to stop at Inspiration Point at the top of Pants Butte. The canyons and buttes on this tour make it a camera buff's delight.
Agate Tour - This tour goes south from Harrison and through the Agate National monument with its treasure trove of fossils. Follow the Niobrara River east to Highway 2, then back north through Cochran Park to Crawford. On the way back to Harrison stop at Fort Robinson State Park and Historical Museum. This fort is rich in history and was an important military outpost during the settling of the west. Much of the fort is located within Sioux County. This tour is 75 miles round trip, but well worth the time.
Come visit us in Harrison, Nebraska