Ash Hollow

ash-hollow-pageant
Photo courtesy Visit Garden County

Ash Hollow State Historical Park near the west end of Lake McConaughy in Garden County is one of Nebraska’s most intriguing state parks. A modern interpretive center interprets the area’s geology, paleontology, prehistoric history and use by native American Indians, the military, and 19th Century explorers and pioneers. Ash Hollow Cave shows evidence of use of the area by prehistoric man as many as 6,000 years ago. More than 30 million years of geologic history and fossils of prehistoric mammals including rhinoceros and mastodons can be examined at the park. Ash Hollow was a stopping point for Plains Indians, a site of U.S. troop maneuvers and a place for shelter and water on the Oregon, California and Mormon Trails. Ruts are still visible at Windlass Hill where wagons were lowered into the valley.

In 1835 Ash Hollow was the site of a battle between the Sioux and Pawnee.

The Battle of Blue Water took place there in 1855.  From the Nebraska State Historical Society  website: “One of the great tragedies of the Indian Wars, the battle, also called the Harney Massacre, took place six miles northwest of Ash Hollow in the Blue Water (now called Blue Creek) valley. In response to an Indian raid near Fort Laramie in 1854, General Harney led a raid on a Lakota village on September 3, 1855, killing 86, capturing 70 and destroying the village. The attack was one of the first military engagements between the Army and the Sioux.”

Visitor Center & Events: (outdoornebraska.gov/ashhollow)

The Visitor Center is situated on a bluff overlooking the mouth of the canyon. The center houses a display of pioneer history, as well as fossils from prehistoric rhinoceros, mammoths and mastodons. The Visitors Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from May 1 through Oct. 1. Admission is $2 per adult and $1 for children under 13. There is no admission for children under 3. The park grounds are open from 8 a.m. until sunset year round.

Halloween at the Hollow: Halloween at the Hollow is held the last Saturday in October and is fun event for the entire family. Wagon rides, trunk-or-treating, food and games make the evening fun and memorable.

Learn more about Garden County at VisitGardenCounty.com.

Calendar of Events

Jul
28
Wed
2:00 pm Western History Lecture Series @...
Western History Lecture Series @...
Jul 28 @ 2:00 pm
Western History Lecture Series @ the Library
The public is invited to free Western History programs held on the following Wednesday afternoons at the Kathleen Lute Public Library, 610 West A in Ogallala.   These interesting and entertaining programs recount history through stories,[...]
Jul
31
Sat
all-day Kites and Castles
Kites and Castles
Jul 31 all-day
The 2021 Kites and Castles will  be held  Saturday, July 31 at Lake McConaughy State Recreation Area. Register your team or learn more at www.kitesandcastles.com! Activity Schedule: 11:00 am: Registration begins at the Martin Bay[...]
all-day Ogallala Round-Up Rodeo
Ogallala Round-Up Rodeo
Jul 31 – Aug 1 all-day
Ogallala Round-Up Rodeo
Contact: Steve Krause (308)289-0285
8:00 am Ogallala Farmer’s Market
Ogallala Farmer’s Market
Jul 31 @ 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
The Ogallala Farmer’s Market will be held Saturdays at Rendezvous Square from June 19 through September 25, 2021.  Find something different every week – including locally raised vegetables, fruits, baked goods, honey, preserves and crafts.