Carhenge isn’t the end of the world . . . but you can see it from there.
Our destination is a wildly offbeat sculpture just outside of Alliance, Nebraska – a highly unlikely spot for one of America’s most remarkable displays of folk art. There, 3 miles north of Alliance in flat farm country are 38 vintage vehicles arranged into a sculpture that replicates the shape and dimensions of England’s Stonehenge. Some people see a similar sense of mysticism here to the one that’s always drawn people to Stonehenge.
This is a repeat destination for Road Trips with Tom. We featured Carhenge in one of our earliest posts. We’re paying it a repeat visit for two reasons. First, the blog’s audience has grown and changed. For newcomers, here’s a short YouTube video that will give you a feel for the place: www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHPjQdYxMJs
Second, Carhenge was directly in the viewing path of the solar eclipse few months ago. Crowds of people gathered at the sculpture site for a shared viewing event. Below is a photo we were fortunate enough to download from Google.
A local farmer named Jim Reinders and other family members built Carhenge as a memorial to his father. It was dedicated on the summer solstice in 1987 and now belongs to the City of Alliance. In an adjacent field are more sculptures made from cars and car parts. You really have to see this place to believe it!
Other Nebraska attractions
Carhenge is open daily. Admission and parking are free. There’s a small gift shop open in summer. The web site is www.carhenge.com.
“But Tom,” you say, “this is seriously remote.” Sure it is. And I confess there isn’t really much to do there besides look and take a few photos.
But let me offer a couple of ideas. Scottsbluff National Monument, an hour’s drive south of Alliance, is a memorial to the pioneers who traveled the Oregon Trail. There’s also an awesome view from the top of the bluff. An hour to the north of Carhenge in the un-Nebraska-like Pine Ridge country is Fort Robinson, an old cavalry post dating from the 1870s. It’s now a state park and has some fascinating displays. (Kids love this place.) You can actually stay overnight in one of the original buildings. From Fort Robinson, SR 71 leads north to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Combine these three attractions, and you’ve got a nice side trip on your way to or from Mt. Rushmore.