~CHIMNEY ROCK & SCOTT'S BLUFF~

There is way too much to say about my first view of what the early settlers called the badlands. Many diaries of those early settlers mentioned both landmarks.
Twenty million years ago all of the plains were at the elevation of Scott's Bluff and Chimney Rock. About 5 million years ago the Platte River and its tributaries began to erode the High Plains, creating canyons which grew wider and wider. Today only the Wildcat Hills, Scott's Bluff and other erosion resistant remnants of the high plains remain. The reason these formations remain is their cap rocks. (see photo below) The top surface consisted of very hard rock that was not easily worn away by wind and rain. This protected the layers below. As pieces of these rock broke off or were worn away the formations we see today were left.
Scott's Bluff is actually a group of bluffs. These impressive rocks signaled the completion of the monotonous trek 600 miles across the plains. Those travellers using the Oregon Trail veered away from the North Platte River here on their journey to the Northwest.


This was my first look at Chimney Rock, Scotts Bluff is on the far right




The entrance to Scott's Bluff

Chimney Rock framed by a windmill and a tepee

The Chimney Rock, landmark to the settlers

A view of the Bluffs

Closer with cattle grazing

Some rock formations

With the caprocks still present

Looking south, the Oregon Trail cut through here

A rock formation with different layers of cap rock

Saddle Rock from below

And from above

Another southern view of the canyons

A distant look of the Wildcat Range

The way to the Mitchell Pass

The elevation Marker
The elevation marker shown above was level with the top of the rock in 1933. Erosion had lowered the height of the bluff about 9 inches in 69 years. Some day it will go the way of the other rocks. To the sea.
The photos that follow were taken from the north overlook.

The North Platte River valley

Parts of the river are seen here

A wall of stone overlooking the valley

Another look at the river

Another part of the bluffs

Canyons being formed

The road to the summit has 3 tunnels, this one is on a severe
curve

This small rabbit was the only wildlife I saw on the
bluff

Music is "Time In A Bottle"

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