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Wolhart High Plains Homestead

Wolhart’s High Plains Homestead is located just north of Crawford, Nebraska, near the Sidney NE to Deadwood, South Dakota Gold Rush Trail. This route was traveled by thousands in the 1880s seeking their fortune during the Black Hills Gold Rush. The property is centered around an 1880s homesteading town, miles out in the Nebraska Badlands on gravel roads that follow the tracks made by the early homesteaders that claimed the area. This remote location makes this a “destination point”, not a “pass-through” stop according to Heather, one of the property owners. Lodging guests at the Homestead have access to all the buildings in the historic town including a Mercantile filled with local consignment goods, a blacksmith shop filled with period pieces, a fossil shed where rock and fossil hunters work on their finds, and the Deep Creek SchoolHouse. The lodging buildings at the homestead are log structures from the 1880s. Although they were built in the 1880s, there are now private bathrooms in each room, heat, air-conditioning, and electricity. There are RV and tenting options as well. 


Wolhart’s High Plains Homestead is located 18 miles northwest of Crawford NE. The area is in the badlands of Nebraska and accessible only by gravel roads. As it is miles from any other establishment, it is “a destination, not just a pass-through stop,” according to the owners. Though day-use travelers are welcome to come out and shop in the mercantile, explore the 1880s village, cook on the community grill, and take a dip in the heated pool, according to the owners, booking a stay is the best way to take in all the area has to offer. 

The lodging options, open from May 1 - Oct. 31, include 6 hotel-style, private entry rooms. Four rooms share a porch in an original log structure, while two are in a separate log-front building. Each room boasts a themed name and decor. The Cowboy and Warrior, rooms 1 and 4, offer a queen bed and bunk bed set, for up to a 4-person occupancy. The Honeymoon Homesteader Room, room 2, is the only room that has only a queen bed and is free for the night if patrons book their wedding at the Homestead. The Saloon Girl, room 3 offers a full-size bed and bunk bed set. The Hunter, room 5, is newly remodeled and offers two full size bottom, twin top beds, and a fold-out couch, sleeping at least 6 people. The Caballero, room 6, is the family/group room offering a full-size bed and two bunk bed sets, sleeping 6. All the rooms have a private bath, heat, air conditioning, microwave, fridge, and coffee maker. Additionally, coffee, tea, and hot cocoa are available in the rooms upon arrival.

The Sand Creek Cabin is a two-bedroom, two-bath rental house. It Is the only lodging option open year-round. It features a master suite with a queen bed, private bath, and private entrance. The second bedroom has a full bottom, twin top bunk bed option, and a private bath. The kitchen is outfitted with pots, pans, and cooking utensils. The living area is comfortably furnished and has satellite TV. The private back porch offers seating and a grill. 

There are 8 RV sites; 4 full hook-ups, 2 water and electric, and 2 electric only, with 30 and 50 AMP hookups. Tents are also welcome. There is a bathhouse available, with a second bathhouse currently under construction. The Homestead offers an ‘exclusive use’ option which allows patrons to rent the entire facility for the private use of their group. That is bed space for 31+ people and the RV and tents sites. Additionally, all 7-night reservations earn a one-night free stay.

All guests of the property have access to the “fully outfitted community kitchen” and large grill on our village patio, according to the owners. The kitchen is next to the saloon where there is an extra microwave and coffee maker, and where continental breakfast is served to patrons on weekends. All the village buildings are open daily for guests and the public. The heated pool is open seasonally. If visitors to the property are not staying at one of the accommodations offered by the establishment, the owners ask for a “small donation,” to use the pool. There are board games and a few outdoor games available for all to use. There is internet service on the property, but it is only available by request, as the hope of the owners is for “families to reconnect when [their] phones get put away.” Cell service can be spotty, but there is a landline available in the Mercantile for emergency use.

The 40-acre property is open for guests to explore. There is walk-in access to the Oglala National Grasslands from the property that patrons can take advantage of. Sand Creek runs a looping course through the property and the stream bed area is where tall shade trees grow. Guests should note that the area is home to Prairie rattlesnakes, badgers, and skunks as well as deer, antelope, and coyotes. As such, caution on visitors' parts should be taken. There are a variety of birds to watch, including golden and bald eagles; turkey vultures; prairie chickens, also known as grouse; and turkeys. Many small birds find homes in the prairie grass as well. On the property, guests may see a large colony of “mostly friendly,” according to Heather, barn cats, and two wild Donkeys: Jack, and Lilly. 

Those who visit the property are asked to be aware of the policies of the owners. Pets are welcome but must be leased for their safety. There are no open fires allowed, due to the danger of prairie fire in the area. Lastly, the establishment is part of the agritourism industry, meaning there are inherent risks on the property, and guests must be responsible for their actions. 


The owner's vision for the property is to see it become a “group-centric rental property” and move away from the hotel, or single-room rental model. Groups such as fossil or game hunters, family reunions, church or youth camps, and homeschoolers are just a few of the group types that the owners are hoping to bring to the property. Weddings, corporate retreats, and outdoor adventure groups would also find the establishment welcoming. The motto “out of the way and out of the ordinary” is intended to inspire potential patrons to make memories during their stay. The mix of 1880s buildings and hot showers with comfortable beds can make for a comfortable yet rustic experience, according to the owners. The “glamping” model of self-cooking and the encouraged option of guests providing their own bedding reportedly adds to the feel of a homesteader’s day, while modern amenities such as air conditioning and a pool help visitors relax after their day. 

Area attractions that bring visitors to the property include Ft. Robinson State Park, Chadron State Park, Toadstool Geologic Park, and Hudson-Meng Bone Bed. The Black Hills in South Dakota are also near the establishment. The history of the area can provide entertainment and attractions to those visiting the area as well. Some attractions include the site of the murder of Crazy Horse at Ft. Robinson; gem, rock, and fossil hunting areas; and historical sites from Native Americans, Fur traders, and early settlers of the area. 


The Wolhart’s purchased the Homestead at a public auction in 2018 and took possession In January of 2019. The property had been an active guest facility for about 25 years prior to that time. The original owners purchased 80 acres in the middle of the Oglala National Grasslands. They started by collecting buildings in the area that dated from the 1880s and brought them to the property. They then rebuilt them into the village. The dream grew to include lodging and then a full-service restaurant at its peak. The Wolhart’s have spent their time as owners updating, repairing, and re-roofing the lodging units and buildings, adding a heat and filtration system to the pool, updating electricity and plumbing throughout, and general maintenance on the buildings. They also have added four full hook-up RV sites and a bathhouse in progress. Goals for the future include turning the Cookhouse building into a lodge that would accommodate seating for up to 40 and an updated catering quality kitchen, for group use. They are also building a new home for themselves on the property so that the small log cabin they live in and run the business from can become more lodging or some other use in the future. 

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263 Sandcreek Road
Crawford, Nebraska 69339
United States




Neal and Heather Wolhart

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