• Time Slowing Down
    Time Slowing Down

    Roger Welsch has said that any days you spend in the Sandhills are not taken off your lifetime allotment. It’s so restful that God just gives them to you free. Photo courtesy of Bob Rooney.

  • Wide Open Spaces
    Wide Open Spaces

    The Sandhills of Nebraska cover roughly 13 million acres in the central and western part of the state. Photo courtesy of Nebraska Tourism.

  • Rope Yourself a Good Time
    Rope Yourself a Good Time

    The Sandhills have their own unique landscape, communities, and culture. It will be an experience you won't forget. Photo courtesy of Bob Rooney.

  • Water in Them Thar Hills
    Water in Them Thar Hills

    It may not seem like it at first glance, but the Sandhills actually have more water than Lake Huron.

  • Harness the Wind
    Harness the Wind

    No, they aren't fans for the many cattle grazing on the hills. These windmills, however, did and still do provide cattle with water from the massive Ogallala Aquifer.

The Nebraska Sandhills are one of a kind.

Land

Nebraska Sandhills: The largest area of grass-stabilized sand dunes in the Western Hemisphere, 20,000 square miles or roughly one third of Nebraska. The Nebraska Sandhills represent the largest remaining grassland ecosystem in the USA that is still fully intact for both flora and fauna.

More cattle than people: The Sandhills make up half of the nearly 23 million acres of rangeland and pastureland in Nebraska. Cattle (1.9 million) outnumber Nebraskans (1.8 million). 1 in every 5 steaks and hamburgers sold in the US come from Nebraska.

100th Meridian: John Wesley Powell of the U.S. Geological Survey in 1879 drew a line of longitude that became known as the 100th Meridian. This invisible division line separates the lush verdant east and the arid west and runs through the Sandhills.

Nebraska National Forest: The largest hand-planted forest in the nation and the oldest US forest tree nursery in the nation.

Water

Crescent Lake National Wildlife Refuge: This refuge is one of the top 50 ecotourism sites in an eight state region.

1,600 Sandhills lakes: These lakes total 80,000 surface acres of water.

2,000 square miles of wetlands: These wetlands cover a total of 1,307,000 acres.

Ogallala Aquifer: The largest underground aquifer in the USA makes up 76% of the High Plains Aquifer System, one of the world’s largest. 90% of annual stream flow in the Sandhills’ rivers originates from spring-fed groundwater. “The Loup River System, consisting of the North, Middle and South Loup and Dismal Rivers, exhibit a remarkable uniformity in flow and is the most constant flowing river system in the world,” according to Jim Goeke, University of Nebraska Conservation and Survey Division.

Air

Absence of light pollution: The western portion of the Sandhills is noted as one of the top two areas in the nation with the least amount of light pollution, which makes it an extraordinary region for stargazing.

#1 place in the world for birding: Ths according to Forbes FYI Magazine. See the world-renowned Spring Migration of Sandhill Cranes at the far eastern portion of the byway, part of the North American Central Flyway. Each spring, 500,000+ Sandhill Cranes gather on the central Platte River valley.

"I maintain that any days you spend in the Sandhills are not taken off your lifetime alottment. It's so restful that God just gives them to you free." — Roger Welsch