Great American Desert

In 1823 government surveyor Major Stephen Long created a map labeling the Great Plains as The Great American Desert, incapable of cultivation and uninhabitable by those dependent on agriculture for their subsistence. Virtually the same opinion was shared earlier by Lieutenant Zebulon Pike when he explored the region in 1806.

Ogallala Aquifer

The Nebraska Sandhills area is the major recharge area for the Ogallala Aquifer system, one of the world’s largest aquifers at approximately 174,000 square miles. The aquifer system extends from South Dakota to Texas with the largest portion being under Nebraska, covering almost all of the state.

Sandy Dunes

The Sandhills of Nebraska comprise the largest sand dune formation in the western hemisphere. This vast area covers roughly 20,000 square miles, a quarter of the state. The dunes, now grass stabilized, were blown into shape during the last ice age and can reach as much as 400 feet in height.

Rivers of Nebraska

Nebraska has more miles of river than any other state. Approximately 79,056 miles of river lie within our state, much of it within the Sandhills region. Just 197 miles are designated as wild and scenic by the national Wild and Scenic Rivers System.