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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.

Rating

Eagle Rock and Sentinel Rock (two of the area’s five prominent towers) flank this half-mile trail that heads west from the visitor center. The trail’s earliest section paralells the park road and begins as a wide, paved path with two covered wagons on display. Its surface turns to sand as it enters a wagon-carved gulley—an original section of the much-traveled Oregon Trail—and climbs gently beneath the crumbling southern face of Eagle Rock. A granite memorial marks a newly graveled section of path that rises out of the ruts and rounds the sandstone hilltops toward a cul-de-sac overlook of the surrounding plains.
This exposed trail can be windy on the bluff’s north side, but on still days it’s a good option for families. And, the trail’s up-close views of Eagle Rock are some of the park’s most impressive.
-Mapped by Kristy Holland

To Trailhead

From US 26 north of Scottsbluff, turn south onto NE 71 (Avenue I) and drive 4.1 miles to NE 92 (Old Oregon Trail). Turn right on NE 92 and drive 1.8 miles to the visitor center on the right.

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