Laine Chester
Area Attractions and Activities
During the summer, Powwows take place on nearby Pine Ridge and Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservations. These are celebratory gatherings of the Lakota's, and not spectacles put on for the tourists. In fact, there is usually no more than a handful of outside visitors. It is a privilege to be allowed to witness and partake in these colorful and traditional gatherings, and you are expected to respect their traditions and customs while visiting. No alcoholic beverages are allowed. View Podcast
Fort RobinsonThe historically significant Fort Robinson(308-665-2900) offers various activities throughout the summer, including Post Playhouse Summer Repertory Theatre, (open May thru August) with wonderful plays in the evenings, buffalo watching, evening rodeos, swimming pool, jeep rides, horse drawn tours, stage-coach rides, pony rides, bike rental, chuck wagon
cookouts,fishing and kayaking and tubing in the early (wetter) part of
the summer. In June, Fort Robinson plays host to an annual
intertribal Pow-wow.  video
Trailside MuseumTrailside MuseumThe Historical Society operates a museum and many restored or reconstructed exhibit buildings to interpret the Fort's history. The University of Nebraska operates the Trailside Museum which interprets the geology and natural history of the region. Fort Robinson has an interesting history involving
among others Ogallala Sioux chief Red Cloud, and it is the site where Crazy Horse was killed in 1877.
More Area History
In the early 1900, the Fort was the regimental headquarters for the Cavalry, and later it became a Quartermaster Remount Depot, continuing
to serve the army, supplying horses, mules and later dogs. In the summer of 1935 the U.S. Army equestrian team for the 1936 Berlin Olym-
pics trained at Fort Robinson.
High Plains HomesteadAn old-west cow town is slowly coming alive on the windswept prairie of northwest Nebraska, surrounded by rugged badlands and framed by trees of our beautiful pine ridge...visit High Plains Homestead, to learn how the west was really won...enjoy a great steak grilled over an outdoor fire, or an ice cream cone on a hot summer afternoon.

If you wish to do a little sight-seeing on your own while here, there are numerous interesting half-day and full day trips to be made (rental car recommended). In Chadron, 25 miles east, you'll find a unique museum, the
Museum of the FurTrade, (308-432-3843). "The fur trade is the first great romance of America. Before the thundering cattle drives and raucous saloons of the “Wild West,” before the first creaking Conestoga wagon inched westward on the Oregon Trail, even before the stern Pilgrims stepped from their fragile ships onto Plymouth Rock, the continent was abuzz with business—the business of furs. " The museum hosts a fabulous collection of Indian trade objects from the 1600's to 1900's, as well as the largest and most complete collection of northwest guns made for the Indian trade from 1750-1900.

An hour's drive north from the ranch, you enter the Black Hills of South Dakota. Small pioneer and gold mining towns such as Custer, Hill City, Keystone and famous gambling town of Deadwood are well worth visiting. Deadwood was a gambling town back in the days of Calamity Jane and Wild Bill Hickok, and it is once again a gambling town. Prairie Winds Casino 1-800-705-WIND on the Pine Ridge Reservation also offers gambling.
Wild Horse SanctuaryWhile in the Black Hills, you can visit the Wild Horse Sanctuary 1-800-252-6652, south of Hot Springs. Home to America's largest wild horse herd, over 500 wild horses including American Spanish Mustangs, Sulphur and Kiger Mustangs, herds from State Governments, Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service land make their home on 11,000 acres in the pristine Black Hills of South Dakota. The wild horse herds graze on prairie grasses and water in the Cheyenne River that winds thru wild canyon lands in the heart of it.
Cascade FallsOne mile from the entrance to the Wild Horse Sanctuary is a local water hole, Cascade Falls,
which is particularly refreshing on a hot day. This park has no entrance fee.
Wild Horse Sanctuary Don’t be surprised if you encounter a roadblock of grazing bison in Custer State Park. A herd of 1,500 bison roams freely throughout the park, often stopping traffic along the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road. The herd is one of the largest in the world. Bison can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds. Historically, the animal played an essential role in the lives of the Lakota (Sioux), who relied on the “tatanka” for food, clothing and shelter. Besides bison, the park is home to wildlife such as pronghorn antelope, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, wild turkeys, and a band of friendly burros.
Crazy Horse Monument Between Custer and Hill City is the enormous Crazy Horse Monument. 605-673-4681 The sculpture was started in 1949, and is still under construction. It is a memorial to the spirit of Crazy Horse - to his people. The face alone measures 87.5 feet tall. The monument is unimaginable in size! Crazy Horse is to be carved not so much as a lineal likeness, but more as a memorial to the spirit of Crazy Horse -- to his people. With his left hand thrown out pointing in answer to the derisive question asked by a white man, "Where are your lands now?" he replied, "My lands are where my dead lie buried." Korczak Ziolkowski, Sc.
Mount Rushmore Two hours north of our ranch is Mount Rushmore, "American's Shrine to Democracy" depicting Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt."

A monument's dimensions should be determined by the importance to civilization of the events commemorated. We are not here trying to carve an epic, portray a moonlight scene, or write a sonnet; neither are we dealing with mystery or tragedy, but rather the constructive and dramatic moments or crises in our amazing history." Gutzon Borglum

For the archeologically and geologically interested guest, this area has several sites you can visit. Agate Fossil Beds National Monument 308-668-2211 is about an hour's drive from the ranch. The monument is a fossil lover’s paradise. Fossilized mammals from 19 million years ago are embedded and easily visible in the walls and canyons of the 3,000-acre national monument. There are miles of easy-to-navigate hiking trails throughout the property and the visitor center interprets the history and significance of the area. Agate Fossil Beds also tell the story of "Captain" James Cook—a former professional hunter, guide, Army scout and owner of the nearby Agate Springs Ranch. For 50 years, the ranch was a haven for American Indians, such as Chief Red Cloud. Cook welcomed and fed his guests, and in return, they repaid his generosity by presenting him with gifts throughout the years. In time, these gifts became a sizable and important collection of American Indian artifacts, which are now permanently displayed in the visitor center. This is truly a unique collection and a must-see exhibit.

Chimney Rock National Monument: Discover one of the wonders of the west. Feel the awe and curiosity the pioneers experienced when they saw the most famous landmark on the Oregon, California, and Mormon Trails. The Ethel and Christopher J. Abbott Visitor Center houses museum exhibits, a hands-on opportunity to "pack your wagon," and a video presentation that tells the story of the great migration West. A large inventory of books on western and trail history is available for purchase at the Chimney Rock Visitor Center.
Toadstool Geologic Park Half an hour north of here is the Toadstool Geologic Park 308-432-0300 with its interesting formations made up of deposits from the Tertiary Period of the Cenozoic Era and contains a wealth of vertebrate fossils. The spectacular rock formations and unusual examples of the effects of water and wind over millions of years make the Toadstool Geologic Park Trail Hike a definite "Must See" on any Western Nebraska  road trip. The Park is in the Oglala National Grasslands in a area sometimes called the Nebraska Badlands. Many unusual geologic formations are visible and the park has yielded some scientifically useful fossil deposits, some of which are still evident as "tracks" in the rocks.

The Interpretive Toadstool Trail is very well marked, and a detailed trail brochure is available that explains the numbered post markers along the one mile loop hiking trail. The park has 6 picnic and camping spots -- and we also found clean basic restroom facilities. Don't expect running water when you are this far out in the "boondocks." You will need to bring your own water.
Hudson-Meng Bison Kill Site Not far from there is the Hudson-Meng Bison Kill Site, 308-432-0333, 308-665-3900 where nearly 10,000 years ago a herd of 600 bison perished in an area smaller than a football field. How? Archeologists are currently working on this project. Feel free to make your suggestion! Imagine having to carry everything you own with you everyday...and survival depends on keen hunting skills, stone tools, and luck. Long before Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, and Little Big Man, people of the Alberta Culture hunted this land. They stalked and slaughtered 600 bison. An enclosure is built over a portion of the bonebed, visitors feel the spirit of those early hunters with hands-on activities and exhibits.
Mammoth SiteMammoth Site An hour and a half north of the ranch, the Mammoth Site 605-745-6017 in Hot Springs in South Dakota is another site of great scientific importance. More than 26,000 years ago, large Columbian and wooly-mammoths were trapped and died in a spring-fed sinkhole. Scientists believe as many as 100 Mammoths have perished here. Kids can participate in their junior paleontologist program (reservations required).

While in Hot Springs, visit Evans Plunge 605-745-5165 for great family fun. 

Or try prairie dog hunting.
Legend Buttes Golf CourseExplore the Real West 308-665-1753 with a knowledgeable guide in the comfort of an air conditioned 7 passenger suburban ....Legend Buttes Golf CourseThe avid golfer will not be able to resist the spectacular setting below the towering buttes ~ (9-hole)

308-665-2431. Legend Buttes Golf Course open April 1 to October 1. Call for a schedule of tournaments.
Crawford's poolCrawford's poolThere are currently over 100 sites for geocaching in close proximity to our ranch. 

Take a dip in Crawford's pool on a hot day! 308-665-3940, open

every day for lap swim, open swim, and water aerobics
Sandhill CranesSandhill Cranes Ash Creek Ranch offers wagon rides followed by dutch oven suppers.

it reaches a crescendo in early spring: an overwhelming cacophony of sight and sound. Millions of birds on the wing — including 80 percent of the world’s population of sandhill cranes — in throngs that can darken the sky. The arrival of the cranes on Nebraska’s Platte River,and the millions of other migratory birds that visit each
spring,is one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on the continent. Discover how you can experience this awe-inspiring scene when the birds return to central Nebraska.

PRCA rodeoPRCA rodeo

Summer offer many traditional, unique, & fun
activities in this area, including a
PRCA rodeo July 2-4th every year.

Calendar of Events