Photographer's Note

Scotts Bluff National Monument is located in Western Nebraska and encompasses 3000 acres of interesting rock formations arising out of the plains. The bluff, rising 800 feet abouve the North Platt River, formed by erosion of the surrounding plains and was itself protected by a coating of hard limestone. The bluff, like Chimney Rock was a prominent landmark along the Oregon Trail, the passageway of many Americans to the west. The passageway between the two formations (which the road now follows) is Mitchell Pass. During the time of the earliest travelers, the pass was a hazardous route, but the preferred route of wagoneers. Part of the path was carved out by the U.S. Corps of Engineers in the 1850s to make traveleing through this area easier. On the left is Sentinel Rock, and on the right, Eagle Rock. Three other named rocks are part of this formation.

Today, one can drive or hike to the top of the formations on the right, obtaining beautiful views of the Nebraska Landscape; and on clear days, one can even make out Chimney Rock, some 20 miles away. Just be on the lookout for rattlesnakes, which are popular in this area. We saw one from the trailhead.

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Additional Photos by Amber Smith (berseph) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 409 W: 160 N: 372] (1758)
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