Enjoy a trip back to a time when dinosaurs roamed the Plains. The Prehistoric Ventures tour is full of stops that’ll pique your curiosity and imagination. From the distant past to western Nebraska’s thriving present, you’ll get a chance to see it all. Scenery along this tour boasts towering geological formations, pine-studded bluffs and buttes, remote sandhills, wagon wheel ruts, Old West storefronts, and lush river valleys.
View wagon ruts at Scotts Bluff National Monument near Gering. Treat your family to a wild time at the Riverside Zoo in Scottsbluff. This impressive facility features more than 200 animals representing more than 75 animal species from around the world. The historical interests on this route are the ancient forces that carved the rock formations and the fossilized remains of prehistoric beasts that roamed the area long before the pioneers came rolling through. Agate Fossil Beds National Monument south of Harrison is a fossil lover’s dream come true. This 3,000-square-foot national monument houses fossilized mammals from 19 million years ago.
At Toadstool Geologic Park north of Crawford, you’ll see some of the most dramatic rock formations on the planet. Within the wind- and rain-eroded clay lie many fossilized mammals. Also north of Crawford is Hudson-Meng Research and Education Center, where you’ll find the bones of more than 600 primitive bison killed more than 10,000 years ago. Have a blast exploring some of the best of the West. Chadron State Park south of Chadron is Nebraska’s first state park and an outdoor recreation lover’s paradise. Nestled among towering pine trees and rugged buttes, the park is packed with fun-filled activities such as paddleboating, black powder demonstrations, hiking, biking, and sightseeing.
Stop by Fort Robinson State Park near Crawford for an exciting historical outing. It’s the spot where Crazy Horse was mortally wounded, the home of the Buffalo Soldiers, and the site of the famous Cheyenne Outbreak. Today, the fort offers buffalo stew cookouts, historic tours, Jeep rides through the buttes, and more. Find more Wild West fun at Dobby’s Frontier Town near Alliance. This re-creation of a turn-of-the-century Western town boasts a homesteader’s cabin, mercantile, bootlegger’s cabin, post office, jail, baled straw house, and much, much more. Also, be sure to stop at one of the most fascinating places in Nebraska, Carhenge near Alliance. This unique attraction is an exact replica of Stonehenge—but built entirely out of cars!
Start in Scottsbluff/Gering
66 miles west on US-26, north on NE-29 to Harrison (Agate Fossil Beds National Monument)
27 miles east on US-20 to Crawford
25 miles east on US-20 to Chadron
56 miles south on US-385 to Alliance