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Chimney Rock National Historic Site

9822 County Rd 75, Bayard, Nebraska 69334 USA

Closed Now
Opens Sat 9a
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  • Public
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Natural Wonder

Our Take

Chimney Rock is most famous for its role as a beacon for mid-19th century pioneers. Erosion and lightning strikes have taken a toll since then, but it still stands tall, a prominent sentry on the Great Plains.

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“A wonder of the West.”

Feel the awe and curiosity the pioneers experienced when they saw the most famous landmark on the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails. The Ethel and Christopher J. Abbott Visitor Center houses museum exhibits, a hands-on opportunity to "pack your wagon," and a video presentation that tells the story of the great migration West. A large inventory of books on western and trail history is available for purchase at the Chimney Rock Visitor Center. Chimney Rock is a prominent geological rock formation in Morrill County in western Nebraska. Rising nearly 300 feet above the surrounding North Platte River valley, the peak of Chimney Rock is 4,226 feet above sea level. During the middle 19th century it served as a landmark along the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, and the Mormon Trail, which ran along the north side of the rock. It is visible for many miles from the east along U.S. Route 26. When emigrants reached Chimney Rock and Scotts Bluff, their journey was one-third over. But more challenging terrain lay ahead as water, firewood and supply depots became more scarce. Buffalo herds that initially were a dependable food source for the emigrants also thinned out due to excessive killing.

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Reviewed by

  • 3 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
September 01, 2019
Rated 5.0

We drove to the visitor center and paid admission ($3 per adult over 18, free for all under 18) and were admitted to the 15 minute video which was very informative! We drove the dirt road as far as it would take us to get a closer pic of the monument. Spent just under an hour. Worth the stop!

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Laura Simpson

  • 42 Reviews
  • 19 Helpful
July 13, 2019
Rated 4.0

This was a great stop in Bayard, NE. We enjoyed the museum and learning about this unique historic marker/site. The movie was well done as well. A little bit of history I had never heard about! Definitely worth the stop if you're in the area! You can not get up close to the site, as they don't want folks to climb on it, deface it, etc.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
August 26, 2021
Rated 1.0

All Seniors should be aware there is no Senior or AARP discount at this site. Not worth the entrance fee and the people were very unfriendly.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
June 26, 2017
Rated 4.0

Having a National Park Pass is a definite plus. There's an information video about the earliest history recorded about the site.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 16 Reviews
  • 3 Helpful
August 08, 2021
Rated 4.0

There is a museum - entrance fee - which has a small exhibit and a short video. No trails. I recommend this as the middle stop on an Oregon Trail tour: Ash Hollow State Historical Site, Scott’s Bluff National Monument. On its own, since no trail, not so exciting

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Chimney Rock National Historic Site

9822 County Rd 75
Bayard, Nebraska
69334 USA
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Closed Now
  • Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Outdoor Seating
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Parking, Dining

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