The settlers who traveled the Oregon, Mormon, and California trails discovered a surprising landmark as they passed through western Nebraska: a 300-foot-tall rock spire that rose dramatically from the surrounding lands. They may have wondered, “How was Chimney Rock in Nebraska formed?” It was the most recognizable place on the trail, earning a spot in countless travelers’ diaries. Plus, it was named by Conde Nast Traveler as the most beautiful place in the state, and we can’t argue with that.

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We think you’ll agree it’s worth the drive from just about anywhere to see this beautiful place in person. Have you ever explored Chimney Rock or wondered, “How was Chimney Rock in Nebraska formed?” Share your experiences with us in the comments below — we’d love to hear from you!

Curious to explore Chimney Rock virtually? Check out this stunning drone footage below:

 

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More to Explore

natural wonders of nebraska

What are the most famous natural wonders in Nebraska?

Now that we've learned all about Chimney Rock, you may be curious about some other nearby landmarks to explore. Below we've listed some of the most famous natural wonders in Nebraska, including:

  • Cane Trust: home to the annual sandhill crane migration in March
  • Spring Creek Prairie Audobon Center: 850 acres of breathtaking tallgrass prairie
  • Lincoln Saline Wetland Nature Center: home to a diverse array of plant and animal species
  • Indian Cave State Park and the Missouri Valley: a breathtaking landscape hiding in Eastern Nebraska
  • Wildlife Safari Park/Lee G. Simmons Conservation Park: home to stunning North American wildlife
  • Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue: miles of walking trails and the Great Marsh
  • Glacier Creek Preserve: a beautiful resorted tallgrass prairie
  • Ashfall Fossil Beds: a rare fossil site that's over 12 million years old
  • Niobrara Valley Preserve: a massive 56,000-acre preserve

 

Curious to explore all of these places at once? We've mapped out the ultimate Nebraska natural wonders road trip for that very purpose!

What are some good hiking trails to take with kids in Nebraska?

Planning on taking a hiking trip with the little ones? You'll be pleased to hear that there are lots of great options here in Nebraska, including:

  • The Cowboy Trail in Valentine: a 187-mile trail that offers endless options for shorter treks
  • Standing Bear Lake Loop in West Omaha: an easy 3-mile hike
  • Scott Bluff National Monument Visitor Center and Saddle Rock: an easy, stroller-friendly hike offering exquisite scenery along the way

 

For more information, check out our list of easy hiking trails in Nebraska that the whole family will love.