A landmark along the Oregon Trail
Photo: Mark Dietz
postmarked in 2012 with a 32 'Aloha' cent stamp
- - - - - - -
Chimney Rock is a prominent geological rock formation in Morrill County in western Nebraska. Rising nearly 300 feet (91 m) above the surrounding North Platte River valley, the peak of Chimney Rock is 4,226 feet (1,288 m) above sea level.
During the middle 19th century it served as a landmark along the Oregon Trail, the California Trail, and the Mormon Trail, which ran along the north side of the rock. It is visible for many miles from the east along U.S. Route 26.
Based on sketches, paintings, written accounts, and the 1897 photograph by Darton, Chimney Rock was taller when it was first seen by settlers, but has been reduced in height since then by erosion and lightning. In 1992 a lightning strike that caused part of the rock to tumble off of the spire was recorded by a tourist's video camera.