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Smokestack Rock

Smokestack Rock

Smokestack Rock

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Nebraska, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 41.69336°N / 103.48666°W

Object Title: Smokestack Rock

County: Banner

Activities: Hiking

Elevation: 4330 ft / 1320 m


Page By: panhandletrails

Created/Edited: Apr 29, 2012 / Jul 24, 2014

Object ID: 787804

Hits: 1876 

Page Score: 77.48%  - 8 Votes 

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Closing in
Nearing the summit
Smokestack Rock is located in Morrill County on private land southwest of the small town of McGrew, Nebraska, and southeast of the cities of Scottsbluff and Gering, Nebraska. Like all of its neighboring hills, peaks, and rocks, it is composed of a mixture of sandstone, limestone, volcanic ash, and siltstone, eroded to a unique shape due to thousands of years of weathering. Coyote Canyon is on the south side of Smokestack Rock, and is known for it's scenic beauty, including many rock formations. It is also a good location to see fossils and to collect unique rocks.

Because Smokestack Rock is on private property, it is very important to seek permission first before any attempts. The landowners live just to the north of the summit at the base of the rock. It is best if you inquire there.

Getting There & Route

Coyote Canyon
Coyote Canyon
To get to the base of Smokestack Rock, go south of McGrew on Main Street, which is County Road 34, which turns west and becomes County Road W until it turns again to the south and becomes County Road 34. Follow 34 south until you come to County Road Z, which is also County Road 44. Go west and follow the road to the end, which should lead you right to the base and the home of the owners.

It is only a short, but steep bushwhack to the summit from the home of the owners. The lack of heavy forestation makes this a line of sight venture. If the owners will allow it, a more scenic route is to hike along the south side of Smokestack Rock into Coyote Canyon, then ascend the gentler slope on the west end and follow the game trail on the top of the ridge back to the east to the rock composite column that is called Smokestack Rock.

Climbing the rock column is highly inadvisable, since it is a rock composite and crumbles a little too easily. The probabilities of a climbing accident would be high.

Red Tape

This is on private property, so "red tape" is whatever agreement you have with the landowner.

When to Climb

Weather will probably be the greatest factor to influence your choice of when to climb. Factors like summer lightning, 100-degree weather or winter blizzards make postponing such a climb to a better time a good idea. You can access the weather for the area at this link:

Smokestack Rock - Scottsbluff Area Weather

Camping and Lodging Resources

Smokestack Rock 100 years ago
100 Years Ago
The nearby towns of Scottsbluff and Gering to the northwest, or Bridgeport to the northeast, should offer you plenty of camping or lodging resources, plus food and supplies.

Scottsbluff-Gering Chamber of Commerce

Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce


Smokestack RockCoyote CanyonSmokestack summitClosing inA little extraSmokestack Rock 100 years ago