Sandhill cranes at roost on the Platte River
Sandhill Cranes Roosting on the Platte River © © Chris Helzer/TNC

Find Local Events & Opportunities

Sandhill Crane Tours on the Platte River


Make 2020 your year to see the cranes!

Members of The Nature Conservancy are invited to experience the awe-inspiring sandhill crane migration from a front-row seat in our private blinds along the Platte River.

Sunset Tour Dates
Friday, March 13th
Friday, March 20th
Thursday, March 26th
Saturday, March 28th

Sunrise Tour Dates
Saturday, March 14th
Saturday, March 21st
Wednesday, March 25th
Friday, March 27th

Watch this space - online registration will be live here on February 1st, 2020.  

Sunset tours begin at 5:00 p.m. with a learning session and Q&A with a Conservancy staff member.  From there, the group will caravan to the blinds (four-wheel drive is strongly recommended).  We will then walk a half-mile together to the blinds. Concerned about the walk?  This year, we will have electric vehicle transport options for those with mobility challenges.  Get details about accessibility on our sandhill crane tours.

Sunrise tour start times vary by date.  Guidance will be included in registration materials.

Important Tour Guidelines

  • Please remember to dress warmly.  Viewings last close to two hours in an uninsulated, well-ventilated blind with very limited seating.   We recommend overdressing no matter the forecast.
  • Dark clothing is preferred to avoid being seen by the birds as you enter and exit the blind. 
  • Wear sturdy, comfortable walking shoes.  The quarter-mile walk to and from the blinds from the road is inside of a prairie that is somewhat rough and sometimes muddy.
  • You might want to bring snacks and a thermos; feel free to eat in the blinds quietly. Please pack out your trash.
  • The viewing blind has no bathroom facilities, so please plan accordingly. There are restrooms at the Derr House.
  • Everyone arrives and leaves as a group. To respect the wildlife and minimize risk of spooking the birds, no one may leave the blinds until after dark. Expect to whisper. 
  • Flash photography is not allowed. No tripods, please.
  • No pets.
  • Please remember to silence your phones and dim all electronic screens (cell phone, camera) to minimize light in the blind.
  •  Please bring your own binoculars and headlamp or flashlight. Red light is strongly encouraged. 
  • Photographers: we don’t allow participants to stand in one spot for the entirety of the viewing. Everyone rotates around the blind. Please be considerate of your fellow crane viewers.

Weather policy: our tours head out rain or shine! We will cancel in the event of heavy snow or thunderstorm. Please monitor your email and the contact number you gave us for day-of communication.

Crane viewing tours are free of charge for Conservancy members and up to four of their guests.  Not a member?  Join us!