The Ultimate Nebraska Natural Wonders Road Trip Is Right Here – And You’ll Want To Do It
Are you getting a bit of cabin fever this winter? It’s not unusual to feel cooped up during the colder months, which makes this the perfect time to start planning your first road trip of the year. This trip will take you on a circular route through western Nebraska’s greatest natural wonders, leading you on scenic byways between stops. Though our map begins and ends at Smith Falls, you can hop onto the route at any point. (And if you can’t make it out to western Nebraska, never fear. Future road trips will include other attractions and other regions of the state.)
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now: https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/nominate/
This trip is a long one: 14 hours just for the drive, and obviously stopping to experience the sights will take even longer. You’ll need a parks pass to access most of these sites. We recommend going on a long weekend so you have time to enjoy all of the stops. Pack a weekend bag, grab a cooler full of snacks, and jump in the car – you’re about to experience some of the most beautiful parts of western Nebraska.
You can find the map, along with step-by-step directions, here.
A short trip from Valentine NWR to Smith Falls brings you right back to where you started. This road trip was all about natural wonders, but if you have extra time we would definitely suggest taking side trips as you see interesting places pop up along the way. Every small town has a story to tell, and every park and recreation area has its own special characteristics. We couldn’t fit every possible stop into one map, so be spontaneous if you can, and let the road take you where it will. If you decide to do our road trip, be sure to leave us a comment telling us all about it!
As a lifelong Nebraskan, Delana loves discovering the many hidden treasures of her state. She has worked as a writer and editor since 2007. Delana's work has been featured on more than a dozen websites and in Nebraska Life Magazine.
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