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The county seat of Dawes County in western Nebraska, Chadron is a great place to rent an RV. People have inhabited the area surrounding the city for thousands of years, dating back to the Oglala Lakota and Cheyenne natives who nomadically wandered throughout the Great Plains region of the United States. Eventually, fur traders made their way out west, founding forts and fur trading outposts like Chadron. The actual name for the small town comes from Louis Chartran, a French-Indian fur trader who lived in the area near town. The original town was also moved when the railroad was built several miles from town, causing lots of problems for early residents.
When you book an RV in Chadron, the closest sizable cities are Rapid City to the north in South Dakota, and Denver all the way south in Colorado. Omaha, Nebraska’s capital, is located far to the east.
Directly outside of Chadron is the Nebraska National Forest, a massive government-protected slice of land. At one point in time, the forest was the largest human-made forest in the world. There are wilderness areas, national grasslands, and mysterious forest hikes to check out when you stay at this divine place in the northwestern corner of Nebraska.
Custer State Park is another excellent place to visit with the Chadron camper rental, across the border in South Dakota. The park is the largest and first state park in South Dakota, found in the majestic Black Hills region of the state. There are countless species of wildlife in the park, including thousands of free-roaming bison. There is plenty of space to go hunting, fishing, hiking, or camping with your Chadron motorhome rental when you drive to Custer State Park, and there are a few museums too.
There are two national parks in South Dakota that you can check out when exploring the area with a motorhome rental near Chadron. Wind Cave National Park was the first cave-based national park in the world, with the distinction of being the densest cave system on the planet too. Ninety-five percent of the world's calcite formations are found in the cave, making it a valuable place for geologists to study. Badlands National Park is the other major park in South Dakota, with a quarter-million acres of landscapes sculpted by wind erosion. The park falls within the confines of the Pine Ridge Reservation and has been home to Native Americans for 10,000 years. There are fabulous fossil remains scattered throughout the park if you know where to look.
When you pick up your Chadron campervan rental, you can consider a stay at Eagle’s Rest RV Park. This shaded campground has spacious campsites, internet, laundry facilities, showers, and more.
Lakeside Campground is found in South Dakota up in Lakota County. This peaceful park has swimming, hiking, boating, fishing, and many other fun outdoor recreation opportunities to enjoy.
Hot Springs/Black Hills KOA is near Hot Springs, South Dakota and is worth considering if you have kids and don’t mind the short drive north. This fun-filled park has mini golf, a swimming pool, a snack bar, and other activities to keep you occupied.
Chadron is a charming college town in the northwestern corner of Nebraska, far removed from other cities and population centers in a sparsely populated state. You can find a bounty of old brick buildings and other historic treasures lining the main streets, and a whole bunch of fun restaurants, shopping areas, and museums too. The Dawes County Historical Museum tells the entire story of Dawes County, with in-depth detail and fabulous artifacts. You can always learn something new no matter how many times you visit, including about the life of the first pioneers and the nomadic tribes of Nebraska.
The Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center welcomes visitors to the Chadron State College campus, where many of Mari Sandoz’s works are on display. In addition to these masterpieces, there are lots of photographs and informational placards concerning the local natives and their struggle to repel the settlers.
The Museum of the Fur Trade is yet another historically-themed museum, this time showcasing the fur trade and its positive impact on the fur trading outpost-turned town. This gem of a museum also dips into controversial topics, like the removal of natives by the encroaching government and settlers who sought to dominate the land. You’ll find many more options when you rent an RV in town, but these three museums are must-see stops during your visit.