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Chadron is a city of 5,400 people (2019) in the Nebraska Panhandle.


In historic times, Native American tribes such as the Oglala Lakota (Oglala Sioux Tribe), and Cheyenne lived in the area. The Sioux used this territory as a hunting ground after pushing other tribes to the west.

Chadron is named for Louis Chartran, a French-Indian (Métis) fur trapper who ran a trading post on Chadron Creek in 1841. He was married to a Native American woman.

In 1884 the town was established when the Fremont, Elkhorn, and Missouri Valley Railroad was constructed through the area from Omaha, Nebraska, en route to Wyoming.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Chadron sits at the intersection of US Highway 20 and US Highway 385. It is 55 miles (89 km) north of Alliance and 24 miles (39 km) east of Crawford. The city is also 20 miles (32 km) from the South Dakota border.

By plane[edit]

A regional airport is located nearby.

  • 1 Chadron Municipal Airport (CDR IATA), 90 Airport Rd (take US-385 west out of town, continue straight onto US-20, take the first right onto Airport Rd), +1 308 432-6876, toll-free: +1 855-268-8478. This regional airport serves an average of 20 flights per day, including direct flights from Denver International (DEN IATA). Commercial flights are provided by Boutique Air. Chadron Municipal Airport (Q1836114) on Wikidata Chadron Municipal Airport on Wikipedia

Get around[edit]

Dawes County Courthouse


  • 1 Museum of the Fur Trade, 6321 Hwy 20 (take US-20 east for 4 miles, it will be on the left), +1 308 432-3843. May-Oct: 8AM-5PM. Chadron's Museum of the Fur Trade is the largest of its kind in the United States. Sitting on the site of an old trading post, this museum offers an in-depth look into the fur trade in North America and the exploration of the American west before mass settlement. Antique firearms, native clothing, and trading goods are on display here. The museum also sells heirloom seeds. These are plants that are native to the region and were grown by indigenous Nebraskan tribes but are now considered endangered. $5 adults.
  • 2 Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center, 1000 Main St (turn south onto Main St from US-20, turn left onto W 11th St), +1 308 432-6401, . M-Th 10AM-noon, 1-4PM; F 10AM-noon; Sa 10AM-noon, 1-3PM. A museum and archive dedicated to the works of author Mari Sandoz, who was born in the area. The building houses manuscripts, audio records, and personal artifacts of Sandoz. Exhibits of the history of cattle ranching in the area are also present. A statue of Mari Sandoz is on the grounds. Archive is open by appointment only. Free admission. Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center (Q6760930) on Wikidata Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center on Wikipedia
  • 3 Dawes County Historical Museum, 341 Country Club Rd (take US-20 west, turn south on US-385/Ash St, turn left on Country Club Rd), +1 308 432-4999. Memorial Day - Sep 30: M-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su 1-5PM. A genealogy and history research library. Holds county records and historical newspapers. A log cabin and one-room schoolhouse are present on the site. Free admission.
  • 4 Eleanor Barbour Cook Museum of Geology, 1151 Chapin St (on the Chadron State College campus), +1 308 432-6377, . M-F 7:30AM-4:30PM. Expected to reopen in September 2022. Rocks, minerals, and fossils from Nebraska and around the world. Exhibits include the Ohme collection of agates, jade, and petrified wood. Open when classes are in session. Free admission.


  • 1 Chadron State Park, 15951 Gold Rush Byway/US-385 (10 miles south of town on US-385), +1 308 432-6167, . Fully open Memorial Day - Labor Day. Reduced hours off-season. Nebraska's first state park. Covering 974 acres and nestled within the Pine Ridge, this park offers camping, fishing, and hiking. RV hookups and cabins are available as well. $6 a day for Nebraska residents, $8 for non-Nebraska residents. Chadron State Park (Q14704823) on Wikidata Chadron State Park on Wikipedia
  • Every July, Chadron hosts an annual community celebration called Fur Trade Days, in honor of its origins as a fur and hide trading post for French and other settlers in the Great Plains during the 19th century.
  • 2 Pine Ridge National Recreation Area, +1 308 432-6855. Pine Ridge National Recreation Area (Q7195328) on Wikidata Pine Ridge National Recreation Area on Wikipedia


  • 1 Ta-da! Quilt Shop, 223 Main St (near the intersection of E 2nd St and Main St), +1 308 432-3565, . Tu-F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-2PM. Closes for 1 hour at noon for lunch. A store offering quilting supplies and classes.





Go next[edit]

Routes through Chadron
CasperCrawford  W  E  MerrimanValentine
DeadwoodHot Springs  N  S  AllianceSidney

This city travel guide to Chadron is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.