Frequently Asked Questions

Fog begins to lift around a sandstone bluff.
Can't find the answer to your question? Give us a call at 308-436-9700.

NPS/Eric Grunwald

What time does Scotts Bluff National Monument open?
Check out the current Operating Hours and Seasons.

What is there to do at Scotts Bluff?
Scotts Bluff National Monument preserves 3,000 acres of unusual land formations and wildlife. For a look at some of the things you can do here, please visit our Things to Do page.

Is there RV parking at Scotts Bluff National Monument?
Yes. RV's and other oversize vehicles may park in the oversize vehicle parking area which is located at the east end of the visitor center parking lot.

Why is it called "Scotts Bluff"?
Scotts Bluff is named for fur trader Hiram Scott, whose body was found at the base of the bluff that now bears his name. Geographically, a "bluff" is a landform that is a steep slope or cliff overlooking a body of water or a plain.

Where are the wagon ruts?
Technically, we don't have wagon ruts due to erosion. To the southwest of the visitor center, however, you can see the wagon roadbed through Mitchell Pass and hike about 1/2 mile of the actual road on our Oregon Trail Pathway.

Where's Mitchell Pass?
First used in 1851, it's about three miles west of Gering and about 300 yards from the visitor center, situated between Eagle Rock and Sentinel Rock.

What are the names of the Five Rocks?
Crown Rock, Dome Rock, Eagle Rock, Saddle Rock, and Sentinel Rock.

How far can you see from the summit?
On a clear day, one can see approximately one hundred miles west to Laramie Peak.

What is the elevation at the summit?
4,659 feet (1,420 meters). About 800 feet above the North Platte River.

Do you have a Junior Ranger Program?
Yes! And we encourage all our young visitors to participate and earn a certificate and a Junior Ranger badge!

How do you get to the William Henry Jackson collection?
Scotts Bluff National Monument has the largest collection of William Henry Jackson photographs, paintings, and drawings in the world. A portion of the collection is on display in the Scotts Bluff National Monument visitor center. Can't make it to the monument to view the collection? Check out the online exhibit William Henry Jackson: Pioneer Photographer.

What are some other nearby parks?
Agate Fossil Beds National Monument is about 52 miles north of Scotts Bluff. Fort Laramie National Historic Site is about 50 miles west of Scotts Bluff. The Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area and Nature Center are about 10 miles south of Scotts Bluff. For more information, check out our Nearby Attractions page!

When did the Summit Road open to the public?
Construction of the Scotts Bluff Summit Road was completed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a Depression-era New Deal Program, in 1937. The road opened to public use on September 19, 1937.

May I collect rocks, antlers, plants or other natural objects or historic artifacts at the monument?
No. Collection of any natural or historic objects at Scotts Bluff National Monument is prohibited. Please leave all natural and historic objects for others to enjoy. If you find fossils in the monument, please report your finding to park rangers. More information can be found in the Code of Federal Regulations.

Last updated: March 13, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 27
Gering, NE 69341


308 436-9700

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