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Scotts Bluff County, NE

Scotts Bluff CountyCenturies ago, the area that would later become the Nebraska Panhandle was home to the Pawnee and the Sioux - nomadic Indian tribes who roamed the Plains, following the great herds of buffalo. Later came the mountain men and fur trappers who established a trade system that provided wares for the pioneers traveling westward and later for the settlers.

The character of the people in the communities of Scotts Bluff County is what makes this area prosperous and prepared for growth. It is a character shaped by a rich heritage in the building of the west. The basis of that heritage is an act of creation, since the area has been gifted with a beautiful natural landmark. When such a landmark exists, it serves as a focal point for human activities, dating back to pre-historic man and extending through today and tomorrow. This landmark is Scotts Bluff which is a natural promontory rising 4649 feet above see level. Scotts Bluff National Monument was incorporated into the national park system in 1919.

Between 1830 and the late 1860s, the North Platte River was the median for the two earliest east-west superhighways: the Oregon-California Trail on the south and the Mormon Trail on the North. The Oregon-California Trail penetrated the bluffs through what today known as Mitchell Pass. After the hundreds of miles of flat prairie to the east, the vision of Scotts Bluff was a welcomed sight to the early pioneers, recorded in diaries and sketches and early photographs.

Still visible are deep ruts gouged by thousands of hooves of oxen, and horses and wheels of Conestoga wagons carrying emigrants and their limited possessions westward, first to Oregon and later to California where gold was discovered in 1848. The coming of the railroads was the contributing factor in establishing the town sites Scottsbluff and Gering. Centrally located within the miles of fertile acres in Western Nebraska, these twin cities are separated by the North Platte River, Scottsbluff on the North side and Gering on the south and the village of Terrytown rests between the two. The two cities serve as a regional center for agriculture and livestock production, food processing, manufacturing, finance, health and human resources, retailing, education, tourism, and recreation.

There's more to Scotts Bluff County than history. You'll find all kinds of fun activities to keep you busy. You can boat, fish, swim, or water ski on Lake Minatare, a 2,000 acre lake, which is home to an inland lighthouse, one of seven in the U.S., built by the CCC in the 1930s.

For entertainment in the evening, the place to be is Five Rocks Amphitheater, south of Gering. Movie nights, children's theater, and music ranging from blues and jazz to rock and Dixieland are all featured throughout the summer. Or visit the West Nebraska Arts Center in Scottsbluff, with a different art exhibit each month, or purchase your tickets for professional theater from Theater West Productions at the Western Nebraska Community College.

These are just a few of the things you'll see on your trip. Golf courses, the Riverside Zoo, Wildlife World, antique shops, swimming pools, tennis courts and more are in store for you as you Visit the Valley in Scotts Bluff County.

Explore Scotts Bluff County

Monument Shadows Golf Course

The City of Gering boasts a fantastic 18-hole course golf course with Bent Grass fairways and Bluegrass greens. The golf course also has a driving range, a clubhouse, and additional cart storage.

Gering, NE Golf Courses

Five Rocks Amphitheater

The Five Rocks Amphitheater and pavilion houses bands and other open-air entertainment in the summer months, as well as Thursday night movies with a "drive-in"-like atmosphere. Tickets for Five Rocks Events are available at the City of Gering offices, 1025 "P" Street.

Gering, NE Theatres

Robidoux Pass Trading Post

Following the Oregon Trail can be quite exciting, imagining the pioneers that must have traveled the path, what they were like, what they were thinking and what they went through to conquer such terrain as is found at Gering's Robidoux Pass, listed on the National Register of Historic Places

Gering, NE Pioneer Life

Farm and Ranch Museum

The Farm And Ranch Museum located by Scotts Bluff National Monument is a volunteer driven agricultural museum and the only one of its kind in the state, dedicated to the preservation of the story of the North Platte Valley's deep-seeded agricultural traditions. You'

Gering, NE Museums

Mitchell Pass

Following the opening or rediscovery of the Platte River route to the west by the fur traders and mountain men of the 1820's and 1830'

Gering, NE Pioneer Life

North Platte Valley Museum

When you think of the days of the old settlers, a picture of horse-drawn carriages, covered wagons, one-room schoolhouses, general stores, sod houses and a simpler way of life enters your mind. That's exactly what you will find at Western Nebraska'

Gering, NE Museums

Scotts Bluff National Monument

Named for fur trapper Hiram Scott, this imposing natural formation was originally called ma-a-pa-te ("hill that is hard to go around") by Indians in the region. Scotts Bluff, rising 800 ft above the surrounding valley floor, and 4649

Gering, NE Landmarks

Garlock Cabin

In early 2001, the North Platte Valley Museum embarked on an ambitious project to move part of a 113 year-old cabin from it's original "home" in Gering, Nebraska several blocks to the inside exhibition area of the Museum. Construction on the cabin began in 1887

Gering, NE Pioneer Life

W.H. Jackson Collection

William Henry Jackson, frontier photographer and artist, was an early photographer of the American West, as well as an accomplished artist. He traveled the Oregon-California Trail in 1866 and 1867

Gering, NE Arts


Wyobraska Natural History Museum - Wildlife World

When you walked into the Wyobraska Natural History Museum, also known as Wildlife World, you could not help but utter an unexpected "Wow!"

Gering, NE Museums

Scotts Bluff County Courthouse

What is presently Scotts Bluff County was carved out of Cheyenne County in an 1888 election. The following year Gering won an election designating it as the county seat. In 1891

Gering, NE Historic Courthouses

Explore Scotts Bluff County