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Nebraska: 5-6 Days

So you want to spend some time in the great plains? Maybe you have it on your bucket list to visit all 50 states? But maybe some of the “fly over” states are giving you grief? Contrary to popular belief, there are many amazing things to see through the plains and sandhills of the United States. This itinerary is relatively short (five to six days depending on how much time you would like to spend in Omaha at the end), and it showcases some of the best parts of the state of Nebraska without making you drive seventeen hours around the state. This itinerary will take you from the Pine Ridge, to the Sandhills, to the big city.

Be sure to bring your hiking boots or a good pair of tennis shoes, because this itinerary is full of hiking for the first few days, albeit, nothing too advanced or dangerous. It’s perfect for the average outdoor adventurer. It is a good idea when traveling to always have plenty of water and sunscreen packed at all times. Be cautious of long trails especially if you are traveling alone. Make sure you grab a map at ranger stations or park visitor centers and keep it on you at all times while exploring.

This itinerary ends in the city of Omaha where there is plenty to do that doesn’t require hiking boots. Depending on your interests, you may want to bring an outfit to wear out on the town, which will be quite the change from your few days of big sky landscapes and larger than life outdoor views.

For the best overall weather experience, try to start your trip during the stunning views of fall before it gets too cold (September-October). However, a brief window at the beginning of summer (May-June) is said to be spectacular as well. For optimal wildlife viewing, consider a trip in March or early April to observe one of the greatest migrations on the planet--The Great Sandhill Crane migration. If you choose to travel in March for the Sandhill Crane migration, keep in mind that some of the northwestern parks may still be closed for the season at that time.

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