What to do in Smith Falls State Park

This information was provided by NEBRASKA GAME AND PARKS COMMISSION

Nebraska's newest state park straddles the Niobrara National Scenic River, 18 miles east of Valentine. The park protects the biological and scenic significance of the location, while allowing the public to view the state's highest waterfall. The area primarily serves day-use visitors, canoers on the Niobrara River and canoe campers.

The south side of the river, where the falls are located, is maintained in a natural state. Hiking is limited to established trails to prevent erosion and protect rare plants. Although there is no vehicle access or camping there, a footbridge across the Niobrara links the falls to the north side of the park. Picnic sites, tent camping, restrooms, concession, and pay showers are available on the north side of the river.

The south side of the river, where the falls are located, is maintained in a natural state. Hiking is limited to established trails to prevent erosion and protect rare plants. Although there is no vehicle access or camping there, a footbridge across the Niobrara links the falls to the north side of the park. Picnic sites, tent camping, restrooms, concession, and pay showers are available on the north side of the river.

Smith Falls State Park offers primitive camping that is reservable 1 year in advance. Smith Falls campground straddles the Niobrara National Scenic River. Picnic sites, tent camping, restrooms, concession, and pay showers are available on the north side of the river. No RV facilities are available. The park protects the biological and scenic significance of the location, while allowing the public to view the state's highest waterfall.

Camping: YesWater: YesModern Restroom: YesShowers: YesTrails: YesHiking: 1 milesPicnicking: YesPicnic Tables: 39Grills: 39Shelters: 1Shelters w/ elec.: 1Boating: YesTypes: CanoesRiver Access: YesFishing: YesConcessions: YesSmith Falls State Park's Office sells snack food: chips, candy bars, pop, etc.Office on Site: YesSmith Fall's OfficeHours: Memorial Day - Labor DaySun - Thurs 8 a.m. -10 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 8 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Recreation
The south side of the river, where the falls are located, is maintained in a natural state. Hiking is limited to established trails to prevent erosion and protect rare plants. Although there is no vehicle access or camping there, a footbridge across the Niobrara links the falls to the north side of the park. Picnic sites, tent camping, restrooms, concession, and pay showers are available on the north side of the river.

Location
From Valentine you go 15 miles east on Hyway 12 to the sign and 4 miles south on gravel road to park.

Climate
Nebraska has a moderate climate with high humidity. The relative humidity in this state averages 70 percent throughout the year. Winter temperatures normally average between 20 and 45 degrees F. March brings warmer weather and temperatures above freezing for most of the month. Spring is in full swing by late April when temperatures often reach above 60 degrees F. Summer temperatures reach highs of 95 degrees F frequently, with warm weather continuing into mid September. Crisp fall weather truly begins in October when nighttime temperatures begin to dip into the low 40s. The wettest time of the year in this state is late spring through summer.

Address
HC 13, Box 25
Valentine, NE 69201

Phone: 402-376-1306

Email: Smith.Falls@ngpc.ne.gov
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  • Smith Falls State Park Travel Q&A

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