Smith Falls, 15 miles east of Valentine, is such a scenic natural wonder. Created where a small, spring-fed creek tumbles about 70 feet over a rock ledge to the Niobrara Valley below, it is Nebraska's highest waterfall.
During the last two decades, canoeists have discovered the Niobrara River and Smith Falls, but Nebraska's highest waterfall remained largely unseen by the general public until 1996 when an old historic bridge was refurbished and placed across the river allowing foot access to the falls. Before, access was only by canoe or an old hand powered cable car. Surprisingly, only one other of the state's waterfalls is found on public land, the nearby Fort Falls on the Fort Niobrara Wildlife Refuge.