Valdosta Daily Times


August 4, 2013

Hidden Gems: Visiting underrated national parks and monuments


- — Scotts Bluff National Monument (Nebraska): These sandstone and clay bluffs served as prominent landmarks for hundreds of thousands of emigrants heading west on the Oregon, California, and Mormon trails. Prior to this emigration, the bluffs were important landmarks for Native Americans. The visitor center houses historic and geological artifacts, along with paintings of photographer and artist Will Henry Jackson. Trail ruts carved by settlers’ wagons are plainly visible in several locations within the monument. A paved road and a hiking trail lead to the summit of the bluff that provides excellent views of the trail approach to Mitchell Pass. Famous trail landmarks Chimney Rock and Courthouse Rock are nearby. Camping and lodging are available in the nearby towns of Gering and Scottsbluff.

David and Kay Scott reside in Valdosta and are authors of Complete Guide to the National Park Lodges.   


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