Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Chimney Rock National Historic Site

After our visit to the Pony Express Station in Gothenburg, Nebraska on Tuesday, September 17, we continued west to Ogallala, Nebraska, then turned northwest on scenic U. S. Highway 26. We hadn't gone far on that road before we came to a sorry-looking side road leading to a scenic overlook, overlooking Ogallala's Lake McConaughy.

Lake McConaughy is Nebraska's largest lake, with over 100 miles of shoreline.

This is that sorry-looking road that led us up to the Lake McConaughy scenic overlook.

A rural scene along U. S. Highway 26. That dark spot on the horizon is a tree.

Another look at the rural scenery along that scenic highway


Our goal in traveling U. S. 26 was to see Chimney Rock, probably the most famous landmark along the Oregon Trail. In the above photo, you can see it in the distance, as it might have appeared to those approaching from the east, traveling by wagon train along that route. (Of course there would have been no fences or paved highway in the view they saw.)

This one was taken from the side road leading to the Chimney Rock National Historic Site.
This sign was enough to keep us from wandering from the designated access areas.
Chimney Rock as it looked from the visitor area at Chimney Rock National Historic Site.
This picture is looking back at it from the west.
These are some other rock formations to the west of Chimney Rock.

Nearly half a million westbound pioneers passed by Chimney Rock, as part of the great western migration during the years 1812-1866. A few left pictures or words of encouragement for those who would follow. Chimney Rock marked the end of plains travel and the beginning of the rugged mountain portion of the journey for those traveling overland to Oregon, California, and Utah. It also became the site of one of the Pony Express relay stations in 1860-1861.
Visitors are not permitted access to the rock formation itself, but information and a museum are available in the visitor center. 


  1. Beautiful photos, Linda!
    Have a nice day, RW & SK

  2. Chimney Rock is awesome... I don't think much of the rattlesnake warning, probably a good thing, but it would make me want to not get off the highway!

  3. What a beautiful area, in its own right. So different from what we see back East, but yet so beautiful. It is easy to see why the place is called Chimney Rock. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful pictures and information, Linda.

  4. Really great photos, Linda! When I saw Chimney Rock in your pictures the first thing I thought was how many weary pioneers passed by it so long ago. And I'm glad they don't let boy scout leaders near

  5. chimney rock is really, really cool!!!! but i was digging all of the fence photos throughout this post. :) and hay bales, too. *sigh*

  6. I love that you captured so many different angles and views of the area. So beautiful! Chimney rock is the coolest rock formation I've ever seen. You and Doug know how to travel!

  7. The visitor's restrictions are easy to understand, right? The top part of the Chimney Rock might disappear soon enough if everybody was allowed to climb it...

    There is such a vast area in your photos, Linda... The familiar hay bales look strange in the unfamiliar surroundings to me. I'm not used to these sceneries but I like the photo with the sorry-looking road very much! :)

  8. I like all these, especially Chimney Rock.

  9. These are fascinating pictures. The Chimney Rock looks unique and pretty at the same time.

  10. HI Linda All great photographs. Very interesting to see it from different angles and am very glad no one is permitted near it. That sign would sure keep me out.

  11. Chinmey Rock always reminds me of Mont Saint Michel in France on the English Channel, without the water.

  12. when i 1st said Chimney Rock the hubby said oh, North Carolina. i guess there are more than one?! i love the hay shot. rural areas are the best. ( :

    1. oops i forgot to say - i have never been to Nebraska ... need to get there one day soon. another one on our list for sure. ( :

  13. This is beautiful. Such unusual rock formation too. A shame you could't go closer

  14. Beautiful photos, Linda! The rattlesnake sign spooked me a bit, I never see that in Montreal! The scenery is so lovely!

  15. Lovely area, I didn't make it that far west this year, but fish a lot in NE.

  16. Lovely photos. The place looks very mysterious.

  17. Linda your photos are beautiful.

    My apology as I am behind to comment you. I have been so busy making something for Granddaughter.
    Finished now..

  18. I am fascinated by the old historical roads...some of my ancestors came in a huge wagon train from Tennessee to Arkansas. I've been through Nebraska, but I don't remember much about it

  19. Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures of a magnificent historical monument.

  20. What a cool rock. I imagine swirling winds forming it. That first image is so crisp, blue and lovely.

  21. Wow--I've never seen this one before. Wonder how many Chimney Rocks there are around our country??? I know of one more in North Carolina!!!

    Interesting --and the sign about the snakes would have kept me away also. ha...



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