Scenic Drives in Kansas | Midwest Living

Scenic Drives in Kansas

Kansas highways and byways take travelers to historic sites, breathtaking river views, small towns and more.


Windmill at Last Indian Raid Museum.
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Devil's Gap overlook north of St. Francis.
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Western Kansas

US-36 Northwest Meander

In 1878, the last Kansas Indian Raild occurred near Oberlin (70 miles northeast of Goodland) when Cheyenne warriors killed 19 settlers near town. Fifteen historical buildings can be found at the Last Indian Raid Museum off US-36, which links small towns and historic sites for 70 miles west to the Colorado border. Near St. Francis, the prairie fractures into the Arikaree Breaks, a breathtaking canyon sculpted out of 9,000-year-old loess hills. US 36 Highway Association

Smoky Valley Scenic Byway

Yucca and sage mingle with colorful wildflowers along this 60-mile loop off I-70 at WaKeeney. Dramatic limestone cliffs rise above Cedar Bluff Reservoir. Historic sites include a one-room school and two churches. Smoky Valley Scenic Byway

Western Vistas Historic Byway

The state’s first historic byway links seven National Historic Sites and six museums along a 102-mile route that also features spectacular scenery and opportunities to view wildlife. Common sightings include deer, buffalo, turkeys and prairie dogs. Scott City anchors the byway (90 miles northwest of Dodge City). North of town, see impressive displays of fossil finds at Keystone Gallery and Museum. Owners Chuck Bonner and his wife, Barbara Shelton, offer guided fossil hunts. The drive continues through Oakley, where Buffalo Bill forged his legend; Sharon Springs; and Wallace, with its restored Pond Creek Stagecoach Station and Clark Robidoux House. The 1880 Victorian-style home was built by H.A. Clark and later owned by Peter Robidoux, a merchant. Also along the route, explore the El Quartelejo Pueblo ruins, walk among the towering Monument Rocks, browse the Butterfield Trail Museum, and climb the gentle slope of Mount Sunflower, which at 4,309 feet is the highest point in the state. Western Vistas Historic Byway



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