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Nebraska Backpacking Trails

Omaha: Hidden Lake

Only 8 miles from downtown, this diverse 3.4-mile loop curves gently around a pair of crystal-clear lakes (bring binocs to watch waterfowl) to an old trading post.

Lincoln, NE: Conestoga State Recreation Area

Hikers must follow unofficial, angler, or game trails for most of this 3.1-mile circumnavigation of Conestoga Lake, a popular roosting ground for upland birds and gobblers.

Omaha: Platte River State Park

In 3.3 miles, hike two loops—one leads to campsites and a lovely waterfall, while the other sneaks along ridges and gullies perfect for nature photography.

Scottsbluff, NE: Daemonelix Loop

Travel back 19 million years on this easy 1.1-miler that skirts fossilized burrows, roots, and Miocene-era remains in Nebraska’s Agate Fossil Bends National Monument.

Scottsbluff, NE: Saddle Rock Trail

The crumbling caprock and sheer sandstone faces of Scotts Bluff frightened Oregon Trail-era emigrants, but they’re the draw on this challenging, 3.8-mile out-and-back that climbs 500 feet up the towering massif.

Scottsbluff, NE: Fossil Hills

Roam Nebraska’s Niobrara River valley, just like the rhino-sized Menoceras did 20 million years ago. This wheelchair-accessible 2.9-miler climbs to one of the world’s most important bonebed excavation sites.

Scottsbluff, NE: Mitchell Pass

Cut through Mitchell Pass and follow in the footsteps of Oregon Trail emigrants on this easy, 1.1-mile out-and-back in Nebraska’s Scotts Bluff National Monument.

Chadron, NE: Steamboat Butte

Climb a lone butte (and spend a few minutes exploring its rugged base) on this easy 1.5-mile loop that offers a panoramic peek at Chadron State Park’s rugged terrain.

Chadron, NE: Norwesca Trail

Dip into hidden valleys, skirt rugged buttes, and even surprise a few wild turkeys on this 5.2-miler that loops from top to bottom of Nebraska’s Pine Ridge in Chadron State Park.

Nebraska

Omaha: Hidden Lake

Only 8 miles from downtown, this diverse 3.4-mile loop curves gently around a pair of crystal-clear lakes (bring binocs to watch waterfowl) to an old trading post.

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Nebraska

Omaha: Platte River State Park

In 3.3 miles, hike two loops—one leads to campsites and a lovely waterfall, while the other sneaks along ridges and gullies perfect for nature photography.

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Ancient Sand Dune
Nebraska

Scottsbluff, NE: Daemonelix Loop

Travel back 19 million years on this easy 1.1-miler that skirts fossilized burrows, roots, and Miocene-era remains in Nebraska’s Agate Fossil Bends National Monument.

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Trail Views
Nebraska

Scottsbluff, NE: Saddle Rock Trail

The crumbling caprock and sheer sandstone faces of Scotts Bluff frightened Oregon Trail-era emigrants, but they’re the draw on this challenging, 3.8-mile out-and-back that climbs 500 feet up the towering massif.

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Moropus
Nebraska

Scottsbluff, NE: Fossil Hills

Roam Nebraska’s Niobrara River valley, just like the rhino-sized Menoceras did 20 million years ago. This wheelchair-accessible 2.9-miler climbs to one of the world’s most important bonebed excavation sites.

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Wagon
Nebraska

Scottsbluff, NE: Mitchell Pass

Cut through Mitchell Pass and follow in the footsteps of Oregon Trail emigrants on this easy, 1.1-mile out-and-back in Nebraska’s Scotts Bluff National Monument.

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Top of Steamboat Butte
Nebraska

Chadron, NE: Steamboat Butte

Climb a lone butte (and spend a few minutes exploring its rugged base) on this easy 1.5-mile loop that offers a panoramic peek at Chadron State Park’s rugged terrain.

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Windmill
Nebraska

Chadron, NE: Norwesca Trail

Dip into hidden valleys, skirt rugged buttes, and even surprise a few wild turkeys on this 5.2-miler that loops from top to bottom of Nebraska’s Pine Ridge in Chadron State Park.

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