Visiting Central Nebraska during the crane migration is an unforgettable experience. While you’re here, keep in mind that all the cranes you see are wild birds. They are in the middle of their long migration journey, stopping to rest along the Platte river for a few weeks, before they continue northward, and some may go as far as Northern Canada, Alaska, and even Siberia!
Crane Viewing Tips
For your safety, and the safety of the birds please remember…
- Do not stop on any major paved roadways.
- Do not attempt to approach the birds or trespass on private land.
- It is illegal to harass cranes and other birds in any manner.
- Use your vehicle as a “blind” and stay in your car when in close proximity to the cranes.
- Do not stop abruptly if you see cranes.
- Allow farm machinery and local traffic to pass by pulling over.
- Be prepared for variable weather. Cold temperatures are not uncommon.
- Sunrise and sunset are prime viewing times on the river. During the day the cranes can be found feeding in nearby fields.
At Crane Cabin Retreat we offer several options for viewing the amazing sandhill cranes. Imagine seeing thousands of them coming into the Platte river to roost for the night. It is like nothing you have ever seen before!
Crane Viewing Options
Listed below are the current viewing options that we offer.
River’s Edge Evening Tour
The River’s Edge Evening Tour will put you right on the banks of the slow flowing Platte river. You can watch as thousands of cranes come into the shallow waters and sandbars to roost for the night. The sounds and calls are amazing, but the sights are unforgettable…particularly if the sunset is a lovely one, as they tend to be this time of year in Nebraska. The guided tour will last 1.5 to 2 hours and will go a bit past sunset.
Crane Cabin Retreat
Want to spend a night in the cozy comfort of a fully furnished cabin right near the Platte? Now is your chance. Enjoy all the amenities with nightly rates available. Rental of the cabin also includes the River’s Edge Evening Tour.
If you’ve ever wondered what it was like to truly spend a night among the cranes, there is nothing like this photography blind, positioned on a sandbar int he middle of the Platte! Cranes can often be seen roosting only feet from the blind. With multiple shooting portholes available, you can view and photograph to the north, east, and south and the blind also provides portholes that are at ground level for those incredible morning river shots of cranes up close. This blind includes both evening and morning viewing. The floor is padded with a cot and heater included.
**Access does require wading through the river and while most of it is very shallow, you may find deeper areas of several feet. Waders are provided if you don’t bring your own. For your own comfort be sure to dress warmly and bring proper cold weather camping gear. A bank based blind is also available for an overnight experience as an alternative to the river blind.
To book any of these amazing crane viewing experiences please get in touch with us via the contact page on this website.