Scotts Bluff, Chimney Rock, and Wildcat Hills, Nebraska

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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There's a surprising amount of nice scenery in Nebraska once you get off the Interstate. The Scotts Bluff area is interesting geologically and historically.

Chimney Rock

Scotts Bluff, NebraskaChimney Rock was a prominent landmark for travelers on the Oregon Trail. A visitor center tells the history of the rock.
Scotts Bluff, NebraskaThe rock is made of relatively soft sandstone and has eroded noticeably since it was first described. In another thousand years it will almost certainly be gone.
Scotts Bluff, NebraskaThe rock is an outlier of a much more extensive series of bluffs. Pioneers used to climb the rock and carve their names in it but access now is not permitted.
Scotts Bluff, NebraskaClose up of the bluffs near Chimney Rock.

Scotts Bluff

Scotts Bluff, NebraskaScotts Bluff was also a prominent landmark on the Oregon Trail and is preserved as a national monument.
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Scotts Bluff, NebraskaThe Visitor Center
Scotts Bluff, NebraskaScotts Bluff. The Oligocene White River Group is overlain by the Miocene Arikaree Group.
Scotts Bluff, NebraskaA short drive from the Visitor center leads behind Scotts Bluff through several tunnels to an overlook. As the picture shows, weather conditions were not optimal at the overlook.
Scotts Bluff, NebraskaSediments of the Arikaree Group
Scotts Bluff, NebraskaAlthough the rocks are primarily sandstone, they have a calcareous component as shown by the weathering
Scotts Bluff, NebraskaChert lenses and nodules are also present.
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Scotts Bluff, NebraskaView of Scotts Bluff from the west
Scotts Bluff, NebraskaView of Scotts Bluff from immediately southwest.
Scotts Bluff, NebraskaLeft and below: Scotts Bluff is only one of a large number of bluffs carved into outliers of the Tertiary rocks.
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Scotts Bluff, NebraskaLooking east from Scotts Bluff along the Platte River Valley.

Wildcat Hills

Scotts Bluff, NebraskaThe rock units that form Scotts Bluff also form a long ridge to the south called the Wildcat Hills
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Scotts Bluff, NebraskaLooking north from the Wildcat Hills along Nebraska Route 71.
Scotts Bluff, NebraskaLooking east along the south flank of the Wildcat Hills

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Created 14 July 2003, Last Update 01 July 2012

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