Day Trip to Nebraska from Rapid City, South Dakota

day trip to nebraska from south dakota

nebraska landscape

Toadstool Geologic Park

formations at toadstool geologic

toadstool park nebraska

us at toadstool geologic park

  • We’ve never been to another planet, but we felt like it! Toadstool Geologic Park located in the Oglala National Grasslands is free to enter, but use of the campground is $3/day or $15/night. The 1 mile Toadstool Park Trail loop begins at the campground and leads to the Bison Trail and Great Plains Trail.

nebraska rock formation

Flyover Brewing Company

flyover brewing nebraska

beer flight

  • Flyover Brewing Company is the first brewery in the Western Nebraska panhandle. A small menu features wings, wood fired pizzas, salads, and appetizers. Sample the nearly 10 beers on draft with a flight of 3, 4, or 5. We recommend the Black Betty Schwarzbier, a roasted, dark German lager.  

Chimney Rock

chimney rock nebraska

  • Chimney Rock was the most famous landmark along the Oregon Trail, visible from Scotts Bluff 23 miles away. It has been noted in over 300 journals of those travelling West as reassurance they were headed in the right direction. For the best view of Chimney Rock, drive past the Visitor Center, turn right onto dirt Road 98, and in .5 miles arrive at the Scenic Overlook. We couldn’t find any roads accessing the bottom of Chimney Rock or hiking trails in the area.

Scotts Bluff National Monument

scotts bluff nebraska

us on cliff walk trail

  • Scotts Bluff National Monument was also an important landmark on the Oregon Trail diverting wagons to the South. The park is free to enter. Follow a paved road to the summit parking lot to access several hiking trails.
    • .5 mile trail to the North Overlook 
    • 1.6 mile Saddle Rock Trail, walk along the edge of Scotts Bluff accessed from the North Overlook trail
    • .8 mile trail to the South Overlook

beware of rattlesnakes

oregon trail

  • At the entrance to Scotts Bluff National Monument, across from the administrative building, wagons mark the Oregon Trail. The smaller wagons are replicas of those used by families while the larger wagons carried freight.

Brewery 719

brewery 719

  • Named after the Steam Locomotive CB&Q 719, Brewing 719, pays homage to the railroad town of Alliance. We recommend Sum Beach Sour Ale with passion fruit and mango.


car and art reserve

carhenge alliance nebraska

  • Carhenge all started with an idea to bring an exact replica of the Stonehenge to the West. Nebraska is lacking in large boulders, but old cars similar to the size of the original rocks are plentiful. 38 old cars, a family reunion, and 6 days later, Carhenge was completed and dedicated as a memorial from a son to his father. 


Traveling Gingerbread Note: This day trip requires about 7.5 hours of driving to and from Rapid City, South Dakota.

July 2020

Author: The Traveling Gingerbread

The Traveling Gingerbread is a place for us to share budget travel tips for people with full time jobs, fun facts, itineraries, and where to find the best craft beer. We have been traveling together since 2013. Living and working full-time in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, we travel as much as our vacation days and finances allow. We cram each adventure with activities, tours, experiences, and local breweries. We can't walk by an Irish pub without stopping in for a pint of Guinness. In 2019, we brewed our first beer and were hooked, although, we have no intentions of brewing more than small batches. We'll continue our self appointed roles of professional testers and creating craft beer trails.

7 thoughts

      1. There are no trails to chimneys rock because the rock/soil is fragile, and walking or carving initials into the stone is too damaging.


      2. There are no trails to chimneys rock because the rock/soil is fragile, and walking or carving initials into the stone is too damaging.


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