North Platte National Wildlife Refuge
Mountain-Prairie Region

What to Do

Wildlife observation, sight-seeing, hiking and photography are permitted and 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.


  • Lake Minatare State Recreation Area. One of the most popular and scenic recreation areas in Nebraska's Panhandle, Lake Minatare SRA encompasses 2,973 acres, including the 2,158-acre reservoir. It has a unique history and mission unmatched anywhere else in the state.


  • North Platte Valley Museum The North Platte Valley museum tells the story of the settlement of this portion of the North Platte River valley. Exhibits focus on the early fur trade of the early 1800s, followed by the story of the historic tribes of Cheyenne and Sioux who traveled the area as hunters. During the mid 1880’s, thousands of pioneers on their way to Utah, Oregon, and California passed by, followed by huge cattle companies that grazed the open land that had earlier sustained millions of bison. When the Homestead Act divided this land into 160-acre sections for homesteaders, the cattle ranches disappeared and settlers came to create farms and towns. The museum tells the story of all these people who played a role in settling the valley.


  • Riverside Zoo Riverside's 22-acre zoo features a diverse collection of both native and exotic wildlife exhibits. Riverside Zoo has a collection of over 300 animals, representing more than 97 species, and provides an up-close encounter with wildlife in a lush park setting in Scottsbluff Nebraska. Includes a family of chimpanzees and a walk through aviary.


  • And don't forget our sister refuge Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge, near Ellsworth.
Last updated: March 21, 2011