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Courthouse and Jail Rocks, Bridgeport

Categories: Geologic Formations, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.2/5 based on 25+ reviews on the web
Courthouse and Jail Rocks are two rock formations located near Bridgeport in the Nebraska Panhandle.The Oregon-California Trail, the Mormon Trail, the Pony Express Trail and the Sidney-Deadwood Trail all ran near the rocks. The pair of rock formations served as a landmark along the trails for many pioneers traveling west in the 19th century. Many travelers would stray as much as five miles (8 km) from the Oregon Trail just to get a glimpse of the rocks.Hundreds of westward-bound emigrants mentioned Courthouse Rock (originally also McFarlan's Castle) in their travel logs and journals. The name "Courthouse" was first used in 1837. In 1845, one traveler described the rock as "resembling the ruins of an old castle rises abruptly from the plain....It is difficult to look upon it and not believe that art had something to do with its construction. The voyagers have called it the Courthouse; but it looks infinitely more like the Capitol."Courthouse and Jail Rocks, which rise 400 feet (121 m) above the North Platte Valley, are composed of Brule clay, Gering sandstone and volcanic ash. The rock formations are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and in the Nebraska Natural Areas Register.
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  • These two rocks 'Courthouse and jail rocks' are not far from Bridgeport. One leads to the rocks 'dirtroad' of about 1 km. But there is neither a visitor center or anything. Can be so well from the tar road from fotographiert.
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  • These landmarks are neat and worth visiting if you're in the area. It's sad but on the path to these beautiful monuments, someone had used the off-the-beaten-path location for their dumpster. Sad. 
  • We really enjoyed visiting these rocks because there's freedom to hike, climb, and enjoy the area. There are some well worn paths leading up to the structures and if you're adventurous, you can climb ...  read more »
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