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Monument Valley Pathway Guide

March 26, 2010

I’ve gotten quite a few visits to my blog from people searching for information on the Monument Valley Pathway. There really isn’t much info online (pretty evident when my blog is the second hit in Google). I figure I’ll do a public service and post some info about the path, and update it as necessary. Please comment if something needs to be updated/added/corrected!

I will choose an arbitrary beginning point: Riverside Park in Scottsbluff. Many thanks to Google Maps and USA Track & Field, whose data and website I used to create the maps on this page. (NOTE: the satellite images are not current, and some roads on the maps are inaccurate.)

To get to my starting point, enter the driveway for Riverside Zoo on Highway 71/Beltline Highway and follow the green signs for the dog park, which will take you back towards the riverbank.

You’ll reach a split in the road. To get to the dirt parking lot I’m using as my first reference point (where the white pickup truck is in the photo below), go right and take an immediate left.

Below are the pathway rules. (Must admit I’m a little baffled by #9, as there are many areas of the path that run along no-trespassing private land or no-trespassing wetland or are steep, fenced riverbank. I don’t see where there would be much room for horses.)

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Segment #1: Riverbank parking area west to sand pit

One-way distance: 0.63 mile

This is a dead-end segment of path. The only reasons to traverse it are to add mileage to your outing, to use a picnic table, or to birdwatch. I marked the picnic tables I saw with Xs on the map. The two in the west can be reached by walking on dirt paths not on the official trail system. The beginning of the disc golf course is marked with a target, and there’s also a playground to the north/northeast of the disc golf icon.

Use caution at the Trails West entrance

Picnic table at the riverbank parking lot

Easternmost picnic table

Easternmost picnic table

End of the road

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Segment #2:Riverbank parking area east to dog park

One-way distance: 0.17 mile

There is a dirt parking area adjacent to the dog park. This segment has several benches. (Note to dog owners: there are several “baggie stations” along the path, but I recommend that you bring your own doggie-waste-disposal bags, as the stations are sometimes empty.)

Some benches are very nice.

Some benches are absurdly short.

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Segment #3: Dog park east to Rotary Club plaza

One-way distance: 0.92 mile

This path segment travels safely underneath the busy Avenue I/21st Street. There are more benches along the way and, near the eastern end of the path segment, a picnic table and grill. You can get fabulous sunset views from here. You can access the path from the south end of Avenue B, but there isn’t a formal parking area (parking lots belong to the businesses there). Parking is available next to what I call the “Rotary Club Plaza”, which can be reached by turning into the Wyo-Braska Boy Scouts parking lot. (Trail parking is to the far east side of the building; the rest of the parking is for the Scouts.) Rotary Plaza has picnic tables and a plaque honoring the folks who made the Pathway possible. (The map in the plaza is unfortunately faded and outdated.)

Grill and picnic table

"Rotary Club Plaza" at Beltline Hwy and Broadway/10th St

Note that when eastbound on this segment of path, you will encounter a split: going right will take you on Segment#4 under Broadway/10th Street to the YMCA; going left will take you to Rotary Plaza or to Segment #5 and over the North Platte River.

Segment #4: Rotary Plaza path split east to YMCA parking lot

One-way distance: 0.16 mile

This is another dead-end spur, but there’s lots of parking at the YMCA, and bathrooms and drinking fountains are also available. This segment of path is non-ADA-compliant because of the steepness of the slope under the bridge, so slow down if you’re on wheels. There also tends to be icky graffiti problems under the bridge.

Segment #5: Rotary Plaza south and west to Terry’s Lake parking

One-way distance: 1 mile

This part of the pathway is a little convoluted but is still easy to follow. Go over the North Platte River. If you’re on a bike, walk it across, for two reasons. One, the path is very narrow. Two, it can get very windy up on the bridge, and the guardrails are not all that tall.

Be alert: you must cross Terry Boulevard and a business driveway and there’s loose gravel on the pavement. If you have kids on bicycles with you, I recommend that they walk their bikes along here.

Don't turn here!

Turn right at Twin City Drive.

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Pass to the south of The Roost, enter the mobile home park, and turn south at the crosswalk. Be alert for traffic!

Pass The Roost

Through the mobile home park

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Go around Terry’s Lake. There are benches and playgrounds and picnic tables (and I think bathrooms?) here. Terry’s Lake is also apparently a prime fishing spot.

There’s a parking area, sheltered picnic area, and playground at the corner of Terry Boulevard and Stable Club Road; the parking entrance is on Stable Club Road.

Segment #6: Terry’s Lake parking south and west to Country Club Road, via Carpenter Center

One-way distance: 0.52 mile

Go southwest on Terry Boulevard, carefully crossing Stable Club Road, and turn southeast on the sidewalk past a maintenance building.

Circle around the baseball diamonds to the Carpenter Center (bathrooms and water available), then turn southeast and proceed along the railroad track to Country Club Road.

Baseball diamonds

Along railroad track

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Segment #7: Country Club Road westbound

One-way distance: 1 mile

On Country Club Road, the bike pathway is in the street (with one exception). There are marked bike lanes on both sides of the road, and parking is prohibited. Caution is required in two places: when crossing the Union Pacific railroad tracks and when crossing busy Five Rocks Road/21st Street. At the traffic light at Five Rocks Road, the bike lane hops up onto the sidewalk (bikers, please beware of pedestrians). Note: Country Club Road westbound is uphill and usually against the (often substantial) wind.

Railroad crossing

Traffic light

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Segment #8: Adjacent to Scotts Bluff National Monument

One-way distance: 0.74 miles

This is a segment of trail with beautiful views of Scotts Bluff National Monument and the city of Gering. At the southern end of this segment, the path splits. To the west, the path enters Park Service territory, and users are subject to an entry fee. The 1.2-mile path leads to the Visitors Center and to the start of the 1.6-mile Saddle Rock Trail (which is too steep for wheels). To the east, the path merges into the U Street Pathway, the final segment of the Monument Valley Pathway. There is a small dirt parking lot near the southern end of this segment.

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Segment #9: Eastbound U Street Pathway

One-way distance: 1.3 miles

A good portion of this pathway is downhill and with the prevailing wind; make sure your bike brakes are in working order. The pathway crosses the entrance to the Gering “bale facility”, so watch out for truck traffic. There is a water fountain on the path, but it may not be turned on, depending on the season. You must cross Five Rocks Road again, but this time, there is no traffic light — take care! The pathway switches to the north side of U Street and undulates among several street and driveway crossings (again, take care!) before ending in an odd loop at 13th Street.

You can thank a Girl Scout for this sculpture and water fountain

Five Rocks Road crossing

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Summary

The Monument Valley Pathway is a nice, fully-paved system of trails connecting Gering, Scotts Bluff National Monument, Riverside Park, and Scottsbluff. If you traveled from my Riverside Park starting point to the end of the path in Gering, you would cover about 5.6 miles. (I think the official length of 6.4 miles must include the YMCA and “sand pit” dead ends.)

If you want a map of the whole trail, the Scottsbluff/Gering United Chamber of Commerce has a 2009 street map online that shows the pathway with brown, double-dashed lines. You can also get a copy of the map from tourist information kiosks around the area (and at many downtown businesses).

Happy trails, everyone!

Copyright 2010 by Katie Bradshaw

16 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2010 11:27 am

    It’s obvious to me that you spent a lot of time and effort on this! Great job!

  2. Beth permalink
    September 22, 2011 10:22 pm

    Thank you for your thoughtful site. I was in town for business and enjoyed a round at the frisbee golf course, thanks to your directions and pictures. I was also treated to a beautiful view.

    • Katie Bradshaw permalink*
      September 22, 2011 10:49 pm

      I’m so glad this was of help to you, Beth! I would like to update this post at some point and put up some better pictures.

  3. Eric Ketchum permalink
    August 9, 2012 3:26 pm

    Thank you so much for the information. As you know, I could not find it anywhere else!!! Hoping to bicycle the Pathway sometime around August 10-12. Haven’t lived in Scottsbluff/Gering for about six years now and really needed the info to make sure I was still familiar with the route. Thanks again, Eric

    • Katie Bradshaw permalink*
      August 9, 2012 7:14 pm

      You’re very welcome! I’m thinking I need to do an update on this post with different formatting and different pictures.

  4. janetbleigh permalink
    October 17, 2013 10:22 pm

    Thanks so much for all your work. We are headed that way and are always looking for bike paths. This was so helpful in our planning.

    • Katie Bradshaw permalink*
      November 5, 2013 9:11 am

      Glad this was helpful to you!

  5. June 30, 2016 4:15 pm

    I have been walking the river path the last two days and I tried to find out how far I have been walking every morning, because I can’t be bothered to pay attention to the signs I guess. Your site came up first and after some arithmetic I got my answer (4 miles!). Thanks for the info Katie. Also you got a nice write-up in the Courier today. Thanks again for that, Sherry

    • July 2, 2016 4:47 pm

      I’m somewhat embarassed by that post. It’s one of my earliest ones, before I figured out photo formatting. I’d like to redo it, but so many people find it a useful resource, since there really is no other online guide to the pathway.

      A cheater tip when you’re trying to measure distance on a pathway or other area where Google maps and addresses aren’t useful: the USA Track and Field’s America’s Running Routes page. You can route your own path on the map, and it calculates distance. http://www.usatf.org/routes/map/

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