The best way to see the sandhill cranes up close is usually with a viewing blind tour. These put you on the Platte River near traditional roosts that may include tens-of-thousands of birds each. Blind tours are normally at sunrise or sunset, and may require short hikes over uneven terrain.
Public view decks are available along the Platte River in between Grand Island and Kearney to facilitate self-guided tours. Just like with the guided tours, best viewing at the public decks will be sunrise or sunset as the sandhill cranes are waking up or coming in to roost for the night. View or download the crane-viewing map linked below for viewing deck locations.
During the daylight hours, the sandhill cranes feed in the fields and marshes along the Platte River. Designated parking areas allow birdwatchers the opportunity to view the birds as they feed on snails or corn. View or download the crane-viewing map linked below for the best daytime viewing locations.