Hiking to the Summit of Scotts Bluff in Gering, Nebraska
By Meg Brunson
If you’ve been following our adventures over the past 14 months or so, you probably know that we’re big fans of the National Parks, so when our travels brought us to Gering, Nebraska we started planning our visit to Scotts Bluff.
I’ll be honest, the thing that excited me most was that they had an Oregon Trail Path with covered wagons we could see and take pictures with. Last year, my 2nd grader learned all about pioneers and the Oregon Trail so the lessons were still fairly fresh, and it brought back fond memories of early computer games for my husband and I.
When we visited the park we started by walking a bit of the Oregon Trail Pathway. The entrance to this path is right by the visitor center and a parking lot, so it was convenient to park here, take a walk a ways, then turn around and head back to the car for our next adventure. We knew we wanted to go up to the summit of the Bluff, so we only walked a quarter mile or so down the Oregon Trail Pathway – enough to check out all of the covered wagons and ox statues – plus take in some scenic views.
Then we returned to the car and made the drive up to the parking lot near the summit. From here we were able to choose between the North and South Overlook Trails, which would lead to different scenic views. We choose the North Overlook Trail which was rated “moderate” as opposed to the “easy” South Trail. The trail was paved and had some decent hills which were a little tiring for little legs, but we made it without tears.
The views from the summit were well worth it and we really enjoyed this experience in Nebraska – it’s not what I would have ever imagined when I thought about Nebraska.
We visited in August, 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic and so the gift shop and ranger activities were not running. We were however able to socially distance easily on the trails.
Tips for a Terrific Trip:
- Dog friendly – we love that this is a dog friendly park. Keep your pup on the trails and of course be sure to clean up after them and you’ll be a-okay!
- RVing – If you want to minimize the hiking, you can drive up to a parking lot which will allow you to make a mile-ish round trip hike to the summit. Unfortunately this drive will not accommodate RVs… so if you bring the RV, be prepared to park near the visitor center and you’ll have a much longer walk ahead of you – especially if you want to go all the way to the summit.
- As with any national park or hike – bring water and sunscreen to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun.
Start planning your trip to Scotts Bluff at: https://www.nps.gov/scbl/index.htm
Read about some of the other adventures we're having on our Indefinite Road Trip!
© 2020 Meg Brunson
All opinions expressed are my own. See more on Instagram!
Meg is a mommy blogger, Facebook marketer, and much more. She is a mom to four kids who live full-time in an RV exploring the US! As a former Facebook employee, Meg remains a Facebook addict and handles KidsOutAndAbout.com's Social Media Marketing in addition to providing freelance services for other small businesses on how to best leverage Facebook as a part of their marketing strategy. Meg also hosts the FamilyPreneur Podcast, a podcast for parent entrepreneurs raising entrepreneurial children. Learn more about Meg at MegBrunson.com!