Drive Nebraska Sand Hills

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Drive Nebraska Sand Hills

The Driveby Tourist completed a Drive Nebraska Sand Hills trip recently. (April 2019). By all means, take the trip if you can. Probably a better drive in late May and June when the grass is green. To demonstrate the area of the Sand Hills, here is a link to the site about the area. To emphasize, the Sand Hills continue for over 270 miles. In fact, Nebraska State Highway 2 carries the visitor from Grand Island to Alliance. Finally, the average elevation of the Sand Hills rises from about 1800 feet near Grand Island to about 3600 feet near Alliance. Likely not trivia you will remember!

The Drive

The Driveby Tourist took the drive Nebraska Sand Hills in two days. In essence, the first part followed Carhenge and the Nebraska National Forest. To explain, Carhenge took the honors for first place and here is a link. Secondly, the Nebraska National Forest took second place and here is that link. Finally, the Sand Hills came up on the schedule from Alliance to Hyannis NE. Before more details, take a look at a picture below.

Drive Nebraska Sand Hills
Scenic view in the Sand Hills
Drive Nebraska Sand Hills
This represents the drive

The drive ended for the day about 40 miles east of Alliance in a very small town of Hyannis NE. Since the day become long, the Driveby Tourist needed food and sleep. As a result, the night’s stop occurred in the tiny town with a population under 200. Hyannis is blessed with two places to stay and one place to eat. So, I will show the motel. Don’t have the heart to show the restaurant (which is actually in the other placed to stay!) That’s the way it is on the Drive Nebraska Sand Hills!

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Old roadside motel. Near the road and near the railroad tracks.
Ranchland Motel – Hastings Nebraska

Without a doubt, this place is underwhelming! Surprisingly, the room was clean and well maintained. But, everything was old or made to look old. As long as I slept well! (But I really didn’t!). However, the Drive Nebraska Sand Hills continues. And pictures of the drive magically appear below.

Continuing the Drive Nebraska Sand Hills

Drive Nebraska Sand Hills
Nebraska Sand Hills – Example of the hills that go on for miles. The hills are all different shapes and elevations. Makes for a scenic drive.
Drive Nebraska Sand Hills
Another Sand Hills picture
Drive Nebraska Sand Hills
A lake in the Sand Hills. Scenic and ranching area
Former town in the Sand Hills
The story about a historic town in the Sand Hills

The picture directly above presents the story of a town that no longer exists. Interesting history. The Driveby Tourist merged adjacent pictures into a panoramic view below. Likely, it doesn’t show up well on a phone or tablet. Surely, you need a large monitor to really see it.

Drive Nebraska Sand Hills
Panoramic view of a lake in the Sand Hills. There are many of these as well


The Driveby Tourist left the Sand Hills major highway at Broken Bow NE. That’s another 80 miles south and east to go to the east end at Grand Island. Surprisingly, the Sand Hills make up nearly 25% of the state. If you do make this drive, try for later in May and into early July when the grasslands will be green. I’m sure it’s worth the time to drive part of the highway. So, to meet some friends in Norfolk at the end of the day. That and more attractions are the next posts.

The Driveby Tourist #the-driveby-tourist

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Beverly B

    Reading this brought back a ton of memories. My aunt and uncle had a ranch in the Sand Hills, 50 miles from the nearest town – no electricity or running water until they retired in the 1970’s to Hyannis. When I was a kid, most of the roads were just two tracks with grass growing down the middle. I can still hear my uncle saying “Jes’ take the main road, you cain’t miss it”, and when we came to a T intersection with both tracks looking exactly the same, my dad taking a wild guess as to which was the “main road” to my uncle’s ranch. Because houses were few and far between, visitors and salesmen would plan their trip to arrive at someone’s house at mealtime or when they needed a place to spend the night. My aunt never knew how many people she’d be feeding at lunch or dinner time – cooking on a wood burning stove, and making the best fried chicken in the world.
    This part of the country is definitely worth a visit and exploration!

    1. admin

      Bev, glad you enjoyed my Nebraska posts. I had fun driving through these places and in writing the posts.

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