Nebraska February 15, 2017
There’s A Tiny Town In Nebraska Completely Surrounded By Breathtaking Natural Beauty
In Dawes County in extreme northwest Nebraska, an itty-bitty town sits in the midst of incredible natural beauty. Whitney is home to just 77 or so people, all of whom are lucky enough to experience these spectacular surroundings every day.
The little town may seem nondescript, but it has enjoyed a long and interesting life.
It started out on the other side of the White River and with the name Dawes City in the mid-1880s. When the railroad came to the area and tracks were laid on the north side of the river, residents simply packed up their lives - buildings and all - and moved on over to meet the new railroad.
The new townsite was known as Earth Lodge, named for a large ceremonial Sioux earth lodge nearby.
Afraid that the name might scare off potential visitors, residents decided to try their hand at naming the town one more time. This time they chose the name Whitney, after railroad official Peter Whitney. The naming was a bid to get Whitney to influence the railroad to put the roundhouse in the little town. Unfortunately, the plan didn't work...but that didn't keep Whitney's residents down.
The town faced many hardships over the years, from drought to a devastating fire to floods.
Over the course of it all, many residents fled for presumably greener pastures. But there was a dedicated population who refused to let acts of nature force them from their homes.
And we can understand why. This small town is so sweet and charming that we wouldn't want to leave, either.
It's only a few blocks long, but it manages to pack a whole lot of wholesome cuteness into a small area.
It is located smack dab between Chadron and Crawford, so residents can travel a short distance to get whatever they can't find in Whitney.
And the town itself is only the beginning.
Starting with Whitney Lake just outside of town, there is something beautiful to see in every direction. The town is located in the stunning Pine Ridge area, which is easily one of the loveliest places in Nebraska.
The breathtaking expanses of the Oglala National Grassland are just a short jaunt from the town to the west.
Chadron State Park, Nebraska's oldest state park, is located to the south and east of Whitney.
The park has not only natural beauty (which is has in spades), but also fun human-made additions like a pool and many miles of trails. Nebraska National Forest is also close at hand, offering up some incredible views and wonderful outdoor recreation opportunities.
You'll find Fort Robinson State Park - and its tall buttes and lovely landscapes - just a short drive to the southwest. This historical park is perfect for a day trip.
If you're willing to drive a bit further, there are even more treasures in store for you in the area surrounding Whitney.
Toadstool Geologic Park, Agate Fossil Beds National Monument, Gilbert Baker Wildlife Area, and more beautiful places are just a hop, skip, and jump away from the tiny town.
Any direction you turn in Whitney, there’s a view of wild Nebraska nature just waiting for you to explore and enjoy. Have you ever visited this little town? We’d love to hear about your visit in the comments!
Can’t get enough of our stunning state? Be sure to read
8 natural wonders that you’ll only find in Nebraska.