Gering in Scotts Bluff County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Famous landmark on the Oregon Trail 1840-1860
The sight of Scotts Bluff thrilled emigrants journeying west on the Oregon Trail. After weeks of plodding across the wild and expansive plains, they were confronted by this massive promontory rising some 800 feet above the valley floor. The clay and sandstone bluffs looked like a dazzling fortress or a high-walled city.
This impressive landmark was also a barrier. Badlands on the north side of the bluffs were impassible for wagons, and deep ravines ahead barred the way to Mitchell Pass. In the 1840ís wagon trains were forced to bypass this area. With engineering assistance from the U.S. Army, the Oregon Trail opened through Mitchell Pass in 1851.
Wednesday, June 13, 1849
“Made about 10 miles; halted about noon opposite Scotch [Scotts] bluffs, . . . a splendid pile of bluffs, probably nearly 400 feet in height, standing in an isolated position; the various views presented as we passed along our route were of large castles with their attendant offices, chapels, etc., magnificently grand, beyond any of the puny works of mortal man . . . . ”
Oregon Trail emigrant
Erected by National Park Service.
Location. 41° 49.409′ N, 103° 41.685′ Touch for map. Marker is located just inside Scotts Bluffs National Monument. Marker is in this post office area: Gering NE 69341, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Scott's Bluff Pony Express Station (approx. 0.7 miles away); Oregon Trail (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Overland Experience (approx. 0.8 miles away); Pony Express (approx. 0.8 miles away); a different marker also named Scotts Bluff (approx. 0.8 miles away); Remnant Highlands (approx. 0.9 miles away); Traces of the Trail (approx. 0.9 miles away); Saddle Rock Trail (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gering.
More about this marker. A picture of the landscape appears in the center of the marker. It contains a caption of “Arrival at Scotts Bluff signaled the completion of the first third of the trip from the Missouri River to Oregon or California.”
Categories. • Natural Features •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 15, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 194 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 15, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.