What to Do
Wildlife observation, sight-seeing, hiking and photography are permitted and encouraged. To learn more about the refuge, take the 5 mile self-guided Auto Tour route. Also, check our Calendar of Natural Events if you want to know what to expect during a given season.
A photo blind for observing sharp-tailed grouse on their dancing ground is available on a reservation basis throughout April.
Special group trips (school groups, scouts, etc.) are encouraged.
Other Nearby Points of Interest
- Scotts Bluff National Monument is located 105 miles to the west. A prominent natural landmark for emigrants on the Oregon Trail, Scotts Bluff, Mitchell Pass and the adjacent prairie lands are set aside in a 3,000 acre national monument. The monument museum contains exhibits about the human and natural history of the area and also holds a unique collection of watercolor paintings by the frontier photographer and artist William Henry Jackson.
- Chimney Rock National Historic Site is 85 miles to 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.
- Ash Hollow State Historical Park is 50 miles to the southeast. Relics of bygone ages mingle with more recent yesterdays to present a kaleidoscope of time found in few places in the High Plains. Here have been found the bones of prehistoric rhinoceros, mammoths, and mastodons, all ancient mammals that once roamed the Great Plains.
- Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area is located 10 miles south of Gering on NE 71. Wildcat Hills SRA, Wildcat Hills Nature Center and the Big Game Reserve are a picturesque blend of rugged rock buttes and pine covered canyons. Primarily geared for day use and picnic outings, Wildcat totals 935 acres (with 705 acres in the recreation area), overlooking the North Platte River Valley.
- Smith Lake Wildlife Management Area is 50 miles north of the refuge.
- And don't forget our sister refuge North Platte National Wildlife Refuge, near Scottsbluff.