Natural Wonders of Western Kansas
Ride the outback
The subtle beauty of the Gypsum Hills really resonates from the seat of a bicycle. Surrounded by red-rock buttes and deep canyons, it’s easy to hear the cluck of a wild turkey, catch whiffs of honeysuckle and spot the occasional glare of a prairie falcon perched on a fencepost in this region known as the “Kansas Outback.” West of Medicine Lodge (75 miles southwest of Wichita), backcountry trails strike off into red-rock country: buttes, rocky spires and canyons thick with cedars that resemble the set for an old western.
Cyclists also can ride along the Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway, which winds through the hills for about 40 miles on US-160, extending from Medicine Lodge west to Coldwater. Startling scenery awaits around every turn on this route. Along some sections of the road, it’s more common to meet an armadillo or a Hereford than another rider or a car.