Located in North central Nebraska, near Valentine, the Niobrara National Scenic River is not ordinary…its extraordinary. It winds through beautiful bluffs and gorgeous waterfalls as visitors scan the banks for various wildlife. While the river is 76 miles, most people only see about 20 of them. Most visitors come to the river to float by tube, kayak or canoe. Overnight camping is available at various private campgrounds or at the primitive campground in Smith Falls State Park. Smith Falls boasts the tallest waterfall in Nebraska.
The National Park Service says that 80% of visitors come on Saturdays, 10% on Sundays, and 10% the rest of the week. If you’re looking for a social experience, Saturday is your day. Be sure to bring a super soaker. But if social distancing is your thing, consider a weekday float. Most of the river is fairly shallow with a calm flow. There are many outfitters in the area that can take care of your equipment needs and shuttle you to your starting point. Float trips can last from 1 hour to 8 hours so be sure to pack a lunch.
If interested, Girl Campers will be doing a camping/float trip there August 10-13, 2020. Sign up information can be found on the Girl Camper Facebook Group page.
Lesa McDermott | Girl Camper Guide to the Black Hills
Follow me on Facebook
You can also join the GC Black Hills Facebook group page