Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area
Scenic Byway
Bridges to Buttes
197 miles / US 20 between the Wyoming border and Valentine
From the high bridges of Valentine to the high plains near the Wyoming border, this route takes you through rolling Sandhills in the east, wild prairies in the northern panhandle and two wonders in the west: Toadstool Geologic Park and Agate Fossil Beds National Monument.
Click the pins to discover 4 gems worth a stop along this byway
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Sheridan County Historical Museum

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.

Sheridan Gallery

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.

Entertainment at Bowring Ranch State Historical Park
Bowring Ranch State Historical Park

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.

Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area
Merritt Reservoir State Recreation Area

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

Route Directions

From Harrison:
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.

Hudson-Meng Research and Education Center
So many beautiful scenes to be seen
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