Niobrara National Scenic River
Valentine, NE; Cherry County
The Niobrara River begins in the high plains of eastern Wyoming and flows 535 miles to its confluence with the Missouri River in northeastern Nebraska. Hundreds of springs feed the Niobrara as it flows through the Sandhills region—one of the largest grass stabilized dune regions in the world. The Niobrara River drains 12,600 square miles in Nebraska and cuts through several rock formations including the Ash Hollow, Valentine, Rosebud, and Pierre. In north central Nebraska, the 100th Meridian splits the middle of the Niobrara River Valley. Here humid eastern and dry western air masses collide, creating a unique mixing zone for several species of plants and animals. Six major ecosystem types converge in the valley, including northern boreal forest, western coniferous forest, eastern deciduous forest, tallgrass prairie, mixed-grass prairie, and Sandhills prairie (a distinct type of mixed-grass prairie).
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