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Walden Ponds are a series of several ponds in a former sand mining operation. The ponds are operated by Boulder County. There are several ponds with 2.6 miles of trails within the confines of the park. Parts are open for hiking, horseback riding, fishing and some parts have picnic tables and shelters. The grounds are open from dawn to dusk and admission is free. The entrance to the park is located 5 miles northeast of the city of Boulder near the intersection of 75th Street and Jay Road.
Scotts Bluff National Monument
In about 1828 a fur trapper, one Hiram Scott, died at the base of a geological formation which was to become a major waypoint along the Oregon and Mormon Trails leading to the western frontier of Oregon and California. His name was given to the bluffs and nearby town. Scotts Bluff (two words) is the National Monument; Scottsbluff (one word) is the town. The national monument encompasses 3000 acres and is open every day of the year from sunrise to sunset. The visitor center is open daily except on January 1, Thanksgiving Day and December 25. Summer hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Memorial Day through the third week of August). Off season, it is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are a variety of activities including hiking to the summit, driving to the summit, bicycling paths, nature photography and ranger led interpretive hikes in the summer. Personal vehicles costs $5 and is valid for seven days. Individual (includes bicycle, hikers and motorcycle) fees are $3 per seven days. Other fees for commercial use and annual fees are available at the web site.
Fort Laramie National Historic Site
The fort was established after the army purchased Fort John, a private trading post, in 1849. This was then built up into Fort Laramie and was purpose built to provide security to the pioneers using the Oregon Trail. It was always an "open fort" as opposed to the stockade type depicted in Hollywood movies. Park grounds are open from dawn to dusk year round. The museum and visitor center are open daily with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years at 8:00 a.m. with extended hours during the summer months. Cost is $3 for those 16 years and above. It is also possible to rent an audio tour of the fort for an additional $3. Activities include bird watching, hiking, fishing and interpretive programs. In the summer season there is also living history exhibits.