Look for the antique windmill (dating back to the 1880s) to locate the Sheridan County Historical Museum in Rushville. Exhibits and outbuildings explore local history, including the area’s service as a military camp following the Indian wars.
At Sheridan Gallery in Gordon, shop by appointment for original works of art in Western and Native American themes. Proprietor/artist Jean Ann Curry-Hess stocks antiques and collectibles, too.
Get a glimpse into Nebraska ranch life at Bowring Ranch State Historical Park in Merriman. The site’s Eve Bowring Visitor Center interprets ranching, homesteading, geology, wildlife and other topics related to the Sandhills and the Bowring family.
Enjoy 3,000 acres of sparkling water in the midst of the Sandhills at Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area in Valentine. The area is open year-round, though summer is most popular for boating, fishing and watersports.
Bridges to Buttes Scenic Byway
30 miles east on US-20 to Crawford • 24 miles east on US-20 to Chadron
20 miles east on US-20 to Hay Springs • 12 miles east on US-20 to Rushville
15 miles east on US-20 to Gordon • 30 miles east on US-20 to Merriman
31 miles east on US-20 to Nenzel • 30 miles east on US-20 to Valentine
Small-Town Stop: Crawford
Known as the “Big Game Capital of Nebraska,” Crawford sits in the Pine Ridge area, full of trails for hiking and biking, as well as hunting grounds for bighorn sheep and elk.
DO Witness a modern archaeology excavation in progress at Hudson-Meng Research and Education Center.
SHOP Make Pine Needle Quilts your one-stop shop for fabric and quilting supplies.
EAT In season, hit Staabs Drive Inn, an old-school hamburger stand with thick malts.
STAY Book Down Home Ranch Guest House for a country retreat on a working ranch.