Soldier Creek Wilderness

Wilderness area pack string photo


The U.S. Forest Service, Region 2 Specialty Pack String is used by the Forests to help manage and maintain wilderness and back country areas where vehicles cannot travel.  These animals are really effective for packing supplies and tools into rugged and remote areas to accomplish a wide variety of work.  The Pack String is a unique way the Forest Service has to educate the public we serve about minimal impact recreational principals and techniques.”

Managed by Lead Packer Glenn Ryan, the R2 Pack String proudly serve as ambassadors to the public and represent the history and legacy of the U.S. Forest Service. 

Soldier Creek Wilderness was created by an act of Congress in 1986 and is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.  It covers an area of 7,794 acres (31.54 km²) within the Pine Ridge section of the Nebraska National Forest. 

From the 1870s to after World War II, Fort Robinson soldiers pastured their horses, gathered wood, and relaxed along Soldier Creek, now a playground for elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, turkeys, coyotes, bobcats, eagles, and hawks. Here the ponderosa pine-covered ridges of northwest Nebraska give way to grassy upland parks. The Wilderness is recovering from a wildfire that destroyed about 90 percent of the pine trees in 1989, which is sloly rebounding.  Several well-developed trails loop through the area, which shares a border with Fort Robinson State Park. 

The threatened Bald eagle can be found here, as can white-tailed deer, mule deer, bobcats, coyotes and numerous other mammals. The region, which was originally established as a timber reservation for nearby Fort Robinson, was utilized by the U.S. Cavalry from the late 19th century through World War II for its excellent horse pastures along Soldier Creek. A series of trails pass two windmills that are still functioning, even though they are not maintained and are over 100 years old. A popular destination for horseback riding, the wilderness is the larger of the two federally-designated wilderness areas in Nebraska.  Horse packers can saddle up at the Soldier Creek Trailhead corral.

U.S. Wilderness Areas do not allow motorized or mechanized vehicles, including bicycles. Although camping and fishing are allowed with a proper permit, no roads or buildings are constructed and there is also no logging or mining, in compliance with the 1964 Wilderness Act. Wilderness areas within National Forests and Bureau of Land Management areas also allow hunting (in season).