With me in town for the Monument Marathon, I really wanted to check out all the sites. In the email from the race I had read that the National Park was having a free and special opening from 5 until 7pm. Normally, the park closes at 5 but apparently with the marathon in town, they were allowing people for a special twilight visit.
So once I got into Gering and picked up my packet at the expo, I made a beeline to the park, which was a mere five minutes down the road.
To say the least, I was shocked and stunned to see that Nebraska isn't just plains and cornfields. There was some incredible and jawdropping scenery just minutes from the town.
To get the best view of the famous monument, one must park at the ranger station. I wound up taking a bunch of pictures of the museum as well as the monuments from the ground level:
|The park entrance|
|A quick walk down a paved trail|
|A walking trail heads up into the bluffs|
|What settlers rode in on the way across the country|
After walking around, I got back in the car and made about 5 minute drive to the top of the bluffs. If you are sensitive to heights or don't like cliff-like driving, this drive isn't for you. However, it is an easy drive and you even get to drive through a few tunnels.
The views from up there are just stunning though. You can see the entire Scottsbluff / Gering area.
There are also some paved trails that are no longer than a mile (round trip) to do. You aren't supposed to go off the trail as the ground is fairly fragile and there are snakes.
Driving to the top is definitely the way to go and it gave me a birds-eye view of where I'd be running on Saturday.
Enjoy the photos: