Northwest Nebraska Tourism Influencer Tour
Shaley Ham – Western Fashion Influencer and Blogger
They call Nebraska a flyover state, but to be honest, the only reason it might have that name is because of the incredible view Nebraska delivers from above! I had the opportunity to explore all over Western Nebraska in June, and as my first visit to the Cornhusker state, it’s safe to say that the incredible history and scenery is anything but “plain.” With a tagline of ‘Honestly not for everyone,’ Nebraska provides unique adventures for all types of people to experience.
First stop on my Western Nebraska adventures was one that took me up in the clouds to get the most scenic view of Scotts Bluff National Monument. My hands-on experience with High Plains Hot Air Balloon Company in Mitchell, NE was the first time seeing a hot air balloon with my own two eyes! As if the balloon itself wasn’t a work of art, but the spectacular view it provided in the air was like nothing I had ever seen.
Don’t Miss: Mitchell, NE is set to host the U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship August 12-17th! What an incredible opportunity to see upwards of 75+ balloons taking the skies!
Like I previously mentioned, you expect Nebraska to be all flat plains, but the numerous landmarks surprised me with their unique geological features as well as abundant history! A few miles east of Gering you will find yourself at the base of Chimney Rock, of the most notable landmarks among the Oregon Trail travelers. It didn’t take very long in the visitor center there to figure out vast amounts of emigrants that hauled their wagons past this unusual shaped rock, as well as the family of rattle snakes that happened to stay and remain to call the area home.
Of course we couldn’t leave Scotts Bluff County without visiting its namesake landmark, the Scotts Bluff National Monument. We ended our day with a pleasant drive to the peak, or at least as far up as you can go, driving through tunnels carved out of the side of the sandstone. On the east side, you are able to see out to Chimney Rock on a clear day; the west side delivered one of the best sunsets I have seen in a long time. They weren’t lying when they named this place the “Gateway to the West.”
The next day, we took a drive an hour or so north, and next thing I know we landed on the Moon—better known as Toadstool Geological Park. Make sure you apply your SPF for a day trip out here, because the unusual rocklike formations and winding trails throughout will have you exploring for hours! We decided to take the mile long trail loop that rewarded us with sandstone formations of fossil footprints that are millions of years in the making.
On our last day touring Western Nebraska, we made a stop at a site with a little more of a modern twist to it: Carhenge. Yes, you read that right and it’s exactly what you’re thinking. You might be thinking of Stonehenge. Well, the arrangement of cars in Alliance, Nebraska recreated this landmark with a sight that will leave a lasting impression. Take yourself on a walking tour around these cars stacked on top of one another, and don’t forget to take a minute to sign your name on the designated one to the north of the installment!
Nebraska’s state slogan of “It’s not for everybody” has gotten some national recognition, but if I’m being honest, Western Nebraska has a little piece of paradise for anybody! Plan your next vacation to the western side of the beautiful Cornhusker state and I will promise you won’t be calling it a flyover state anymore.