About the River

A little piece of Heaven flourishes in North Central Nebraska in the Niobrara River Valley. The Niobrara River begins near Lusk, WY , and is spring fed by the Ogallala Aquifer, as it flows east toward the Missouri River. The Niobrara River east of Valentine was designated a NATIONAL SCENIC RIVER in March of 1991 because of its unique biological and ecological diversity. Flowing at approximately 4-7 mph, the Niobrara provides some of the best water in the state for people of all ages to float on. Wildlife is abundant in the river valley, which may be viewed if one makes a quiet float trip. Along the river, Ponderosa Pines dominate the bluffs and stands of Paper Birch flourish on the northern facing slopes. Hidden “Hybrid Aspen Trees” can be found near trickling streams and waterfalls.

Helpful Links

Local Weather:


Water Flow:


Smith Falls State Park Website:


National Park Service:


Fort Niobrara National Wildlife Refuge: