2018 Crane Migration Tours

Reservations for the 2018 Great Sandhill Crane Migration Public Tours are now open.

To inquire about the VIP Crane Viewing Experience – see details below.

» Group Viewing Blind Tours +

(2.5 hours, $35 + TAX & booking fee/PERSON)

A trained guide will accompany you to one of our prime viewing blinds on the Platte River. Blind tours are offered in the early morning, while the cranes are roosting on the river, and also in the evening, when the birds are returning to the river to roost for the night.

Each tour lasts approximately 2.5Sandhill Crane Migration Tour hours, which includes a presentation on the Great Sandhill Crane Migration at the Crane Trust Nature & Visitor Center before you depart for the blind. Visitors will need to be able to walk about ten minutes over uneven terrain to reach the blind. Children must be 12 and up and accompanied by an adult.

2018 Morning Tours:

March 2-March 10 / 5:00-7:30 a.m. / $35 + tax & booking fee
March 11-April 1 / 6:00-8:30 a.m. / $35 + tax & booking fee

2018 Evening Tours:

March 2-March 10 / 5:00-7:30 p.m. / $35 + tax & booking fee
March 11-April 1
 / 6:00-8:30 p.m. / $35 + tax & booking fee
Ending times are approximate.

» Footbridge Evening Tours +

(2 hours, $15 + tax & booking fee/person)

Sandhill Crane Migration ToursAfter a presentation on the Great Sandhill Crane Migration, you’ll accompany your guide to our private footbridge over the Platte River. From there you’ll enjoy a 360-degree open-air view of large crane flocks crisscrossing the sky above as they travel to roost for the night, along with the sights and sounds of other migratory birds and wildlife.

You’ll also watch as the cranes gather on the grassland prairie before lifting over the cottonwood trees to roost on the river channel downstream from your vantage point on the bridge. Bridge tours last two hours. Visitors are free to depart when they wish but may not return to the bridge afterward. Children must be 12 and up and accompanied by an adult.

daily from March 15 through March 26:

March 15-March 26 / 6:00-8:00 p.m. / $15 + tax & booking fee

» Private Overnight Photo/Viewing Blinds +

(Overnight, $250 + tax & booking fee/blind)

Sandhill Crane Migration Tours

These special overnight photo/viewing blind are designed for the serious nature enthusiast seeking the ultimate viewing and photo experience on the Platte—morning and evening!

Because the blinds are placed in extreme proximity to the sandhill crane roosts on the river, you will overnight in a 20’x8’ blind and must remain inside so as not to disturb the birds from their roost. What you give up in creature comforts you’ll more than make up for in spectacular morning and evening views. Your guide will drop you off near your blind (max 500 yards away) in the late afternoon and pick you up the next morning after the cranes have left the river. Maximum Occupancy: 2 people.

March 4-March 31, 2018 / 4:30 p.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Click link above for more details.

» VIP Crane Viewing Experience +

Provides Up Close Adventure
The arrival of the cranes on Nebraska’s Platte River—and the millions of other migratory birds that visit each spring—is one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on the continent. Peak viewing times occur at dawn and sunset, meaning there is an extremely short and exclusive window to experience this awe-inspiring scene.

chuck3Take your crane viewing experience to the next level by booking a VIP stay at The Crane Trust’s Legacy Cottages. These cottages greatly enhance the experience for our private guests and friends, featuring four fully furnished private bedrooms, each with its own private bathroom. The cottage’s patio rests up against the vast prairie where the Crane Trust’s bison herd roams.

The guided crane viewing experience will take you to the largest Sandhill Crane roost on the river, viewable from the Crane Trust’s private Pietrok Family VIP Blind. Guests are in this heated blind with experts who provide valuable insights into the science and the mystery of the crane migration and Platte ecosystem. This blind is specially designed to provide spectacular vistas and provide Friends of the Trust a comfortable and warm viewing experience.

Sandhill Crane Migration Tours

This one-of-a-kind adventure on rare Crane Trust lands can’t be duplicated anywhere else. The VIP Crane Viewing Experience can accommodate individuals, couples and groups of 4 to 12 couples (or 8 to 20 individuals) and guests must be 18 or older to attend. It is a memorable way to spend time with friends, family, colleagues or clients while enjoying the natural wonder of the crane migration at the Crane Trust. The booking process for the VIP Crane Experience at the Crane Trust  is now open. If you’re interested in more information about making reservations, please contact Sandy Douglas at sdouglas@cranetrust.org

» Important Rules & Guidelines +

Please read the following rules and guidelines carefully to prepare for your Great Sandhill Crane Migration adventure:
  • Dress warmly and in layers. Early-spring mornings and evenings in Nebraska can be unpredictable and chilly. Blinds are unheated. Bring the warmest boots, coat, gloves and hat you have. Dress for 20 degrees below air temperature. Rain gear may be desirable in wet weather.
  • No flashlights or flash photography.
  • Bring cameras, binoculars or video equipment. Tripods are not allowed.
  • Only registered tour members will be allowed into the display room for the pre-tour presentation.
  • Cancellations more than 7 days prior to the scheduled tour will receive a refund less 10% for administrative costs. Cancellations between 49 hours and 168 hours prior will receive a 50% refund. No refunds for cancellations within the last 48 hours prior to your tour time unless the tour is cancelled by the Crane Trust. The Crane Trust will cancel tours if Interstate 80 is closed anywhere between Lincoln and North Platte due to bad weather. In the event of a closure, we will attempt to reach you via email and by cell phone. In the event that the Crane Trust cancels a tour, you will receive a full refund.

All reservations are made online.

Submit any reservation inquiries or issues via our contact form or email info@cranetrust.org. Be sure to leave a call back number and email address, along with the date of tour and time in the comments section.

Discount hotel stays available at:

Quality Inn 
Address: 7838 S. Hwy 281, Grand Island, NE 68803
Phone: 308-384-7770

Days Inn Grand Island
Address: 7800 US-281, Grand Island, NE 68803
Phone: 308-384-5006

Fairfield Inn & Suites
Address: 805 Allen Drive, Grand Island, NE 68803
Phone: 308-381-8980
Ask for the 10% Crane Watching discount.

Candlewood Suites
Address: 859 Allen Dr, Grand Island, NE 68803
Phone: 308-381-7000