• Bigger Than You Can Imagine
    Bigger Than You Can Imagine

    The 272 miles of roadway that make up the Sandhills Journey Scenic Byway cut through a one-of-a-kind ecosystem that's bigger than you can imagine. Photo courtesy of Bob Rooney.

  • Take Your Time
    Take Your Time

    No need to hurry through the Sandhills. If you do, you're liable to miss most of it — even broad as the ecosystem is. Photo courtesy Bob Rooney.

  • A Little Shade on the Dunes
    A Little Shade on the Dunes

    The Nebraska National Forest, planted entirely by hand, is midway along the journey through the Sandhills.

  • More Cattle Than People
    More Cattle Than People

    Cattle outnumber people in these parts that allow for vast stretches of grassland to graze livestock on. Photo courtesy Nebraska Tourism.

  • Sleep Under the Stars
    Sleep Under the Stars

    The Sandhills are one of the best places in the United States for stargazing. You may even see some aurora borealis too. Photo courtesy of Bob Rooney.

  • Roadside Ruins
    Roadside Ruins

    The communities along the byway may be small in population, but they have a lot of stories to tell.

  • Pop Art Too
    Pop Art Too

    Carhenge was born out of a field north of Alliance, Nebraska, and has appeared in art history books.

One of the United States' Top 10 Scenic Routes.

If you want to make time, take the interstate. If you want to make memories, take the byway. This 272 mile byway cuts through the heart of the Sandhills. The Sandhills are grass-stabalized sand dunes, 20,000 square miles of them.

The prairie grasses are beautiful and varied, and are unique in their ability to cure on the stem. This results in fantistic pastureland for grazing cattle. Other flora are worth hunting for as you meander in the meadows, such as the endangered Blowout Penstemon.

Anyone can sit back at the seashore and be inspired because it shouts at you . . . so do the mountains. But the prairie only whispers. You must listen closely and not miss the message. — Reverand Val Peters

Despite being a land of sand dunes once referred to as the Great American Desert, there's a lot of water in this regio both on the surface in the form of lakes, rivers, and wetlands, and underneath the surface in the form of the enormous Ogallala Aquifer.

Wildlife is abundant. Hunters look for Whitetail Deer and pheasant while birdwatchers seek out Trumpter Swans and mating Prairie Chickens. Tanking — floating in a stock tank down a spring-fed river — is popular as well, during summer and winter. The wide open spaces mean wide open roads, and the annual Sandhills Open Road Challenge draws people from 40 states and Canada.

Plan your excursion today on the road Charles Kuralt called one of the 10 most beautiful drives in the United States.