Fort Laramie was a significant 19th century trading post and diplomatic site located at the confluence of the Laramie River and the North Platte River in the upper Platte River Valley in the eastern part of the U.S. state of Wyoming.
Founded in the 1830s to service the overland fur trade during the
middle 19th century, it sat at the bottom of the long climb leading to
the best and lowest crossing point at South Pass into western descending valleys and so was a primary stopping point on the Oregon Trail.
The sandstone rocks near Guernsey tell the
story of the wagon trains of emigrants headed west in the mid-1800s.
Register Cliff on the Oregon Trail.
Pioneers scratched their names in the sandstone cliff.
Oregon Trail wagon ruts.
Oregon Trail Ruts is a preserved site of wagon ruts of the Oregon Trail on the North Platte River. The Oregon Trail here was winding up towards South Pass.
Wagon wheels, draft animals, and people wore down the trail about two
to six feet into a sandstone ridge here. The half-mile stretch is "unsurpassed" and is the best-preserved set of Oregon Trail ruts anywhere along its former length
The cave is notable for its displays of the
calcite formation known as boxwork. Approximately 95 percent of the
world's discovered boxwork formations are found in Wind Cave. Wind Cave
is also known for its frostwork. The cave is also considered a
three-dimensional maze cave, recognized as the densest (most passage
volume per cubic mile) cave system in the world. The cave is currently
the fifth-longest in the world with 137.02 miles
The discovery of the entrance to Wind Cave is shrouded in
mystery. Lakota Indian legends speak of a hole in the Black Hills that
blows air. There are teepee rings near the present day elevator
building. Lakota Indians traveling and living in the Black Hills were
probably the first people to actually notice the entrance to the cave.
There is no evidence that any of them actually entered the cave.
The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota, is the world’s largest mammoth research facility.
back to the time when Ice Age mammoth, camel, and giant short-faced
bear roamed the Great Plains of North America. Imagine a sudden collapse
of a 60 foot deep karst sinkhole. Bubbling from the bottom, a warm
spring percolates through the layers of limestone, now creating a large
steep-sided pond. Picture thirsty animals venturing down to the water
below...then, after drinking, animals unable to gain a foothold to
escape. The sinkhole was a deathtrap.
Cascade Falls, the clean, clear water of the falls originates
about two miles upstream at Cascade Springs, where a series of six
artesian springs feed ever-warm, 67-degree water into Cascade Creek
One of the most important archaeological sites of the Late-Prehistoric Plains Indians.
The Vore site is a natural sinkhole that was used as a bison trap from about 1500 to 1800 A.D.
Buffalo were driven over the edge of the sink hole as a method for the
Native American tribes to procure the large quantities of meat and hides
needed to survive the harsh prairie winters.
From the trail at the base of the mountain looking up.
A new batch of tree sniffers. Vanilla or Butterscotch?
The hike to Sylvan Lake.
Sylvan Lake, known as the "crown jewel" of
Custer State Park. The lake was featured in the film National Treasure:
Book of Secrets.
The film made the lake appear to be located directly behind Mount
Rushmore when in reality it is actually five miles southwest of Mount
Where Nicholas Cage stuck his hand in the rock and opened the secret door the Cibola.