Scotts Bluff National Monument is an important 19th-century landmark on the Oregon Trail. Scotts Bluff National Monument is located on the south side of the North Platte River and contains multiple bluffs. One prominent bluff called Scotts Bluff rises over 800 feet. Scotts Bluff National Monument is composed of rock formations named Crown Rock, Dome Rock, Eagle Rock, Saddle Rock, and Sentinel Rock. Scotts Bluff County and the City of Scottsbluff are named after this landmark.
In 1828, a fur trapper by the name of Hiram Scott was wounded and deserted by his companions. He gained a certain immortality by making his way to a magnificent formation of bluffs along the North Platte River before succumbing to his wounds. It was for Hiram Scott that Scotts Bluff National Monument, Scotts Bluff County, and the city of Scottsbluff have been named. This landmark on the Oregon, Mormon, and California Trails is now home to an excellent museum of the trails along with an impressive collection of art from William Henry Jackson.
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Did You Know…
- The Summit Road in Scotts Bluff National Monument is believed to be the oldest existing concrete road in the State of Nebraska. The road allows visitors to drive to the top of the Bluff through 3 tunnels for a spectacular view of the valley.
- William Henry Jackson was an early photographer of the American West, as well as an accomplished artist. He traveled the Oregon-California Trail in 1866 and 1867, and later in life painted a series of watercolors based on his experiences. Scotts Bluff National Monument houses 63 of Jackson’s historic paintings and many are on display in the monument’s museum.
- Scotts Bluff National Monument was designated on December 12, 1919
- The 1.6 mile Saddle Rock Trail leads hikers from the visitor center to the summit, and the .5 mile Oregon Trail Pathway leads from the visitor center to the remnants of the Oregon Trail.