Bayard, Nebraska: Chimney RockA rock so eye-catching that it made the back of the Nebraska state quarter. The Indians thought it looked like something that can't be mentioned here.
Chimney Rock National Historic Site
- Chimney Rock Rd, Bayard, NE
- The Chimney Rock Visitor Center is a half-mile south of Hwy 92 on Chimney Rock Rd, just west of the junction of Hwy 92 and US Hwy 26. Visitors aren't allowed near Chimney Rock, but you can get a good view from the Visitor Center or, really, from any nearby road. Just pull over and snap some pictures.
- Daily 9 am - 5 pm. (Call to verify)
- Adults $3.
Visitor Tips and News About Chimney Rock
The spire has lost about 30 feet in the past 150 years, including five feet to a lightning strike in 1992, according to the Nebraska State Historical Society. It's still impressive at its current height: 325 feet from tip to base.[Kharma, 11/14/2016]
This place is beautiful at dusk. We managed to time it so we drove past Chimney Rock at sunset and got some beautiful views, although the visitor center was closed (it closes at 5 pm).[Alan, 10/30/2016]
Chimney Rock's Indian Name
Chimney Rock is a nationally prominent landmark along the Oregon Trail. The US Mint depicts it on the reverse of the Nebraska quarter.
"According to early fur traders, Native Americans named the rock after the penis of the adult male elk. This made more sense to people who had lived for centuries in the natural world on the plains than comparing the rock to a feature from a white man's building. Prim and proper Anglo-Americans, though, overwhelmingly preferred the more delicate 'chimney.'" ["Elk Penis -- Chimney Rock's Original Name." Exhibit. 16 June 2007. Chimney Rock National Historic Site, Bayard, NE.][Chuck Rhode, 07/24/2007]