Explore the remnants of an ancient inland sea, now filled with geological and historical treasures in the western reaches of the state.



An ancient inland sea left behind today’s parklands on the prairie. Explore otherworldly chalk spires and cliffs and parks brimming with prairie dogs and wildlife.

Kansas’ newest state park safeguards the region’s most spectacular canyon country. Seemingly out of nowhere between Scott City and Oakley, Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park and its 100-foot-tall rock faces stretch for a mile. Two rimrock trails provide great overviews of the towering pillars and cliffs comprising the state’s largest Niobrara chalk formations. Limestone bluffs and sandy shorelines edge the waters at Cedar Bluff State Park, located 13 miles south of I-70. Camp out or get comfy in a modern cabin, then go boating, Jet Skiing and fishing on the reservoir’s uncrowded waters. 

Scamper 86 miles north to where some 300 burrowing critters reside at Prairie Dog State Park near Norton. Spy them popping up in Prairie Dog Town, then learn more about shortgrass prairie wildlife and nature on a 1.4-mile interpretive trail. Between Stockton and Nicodemus, Webster State Park’s rolling prairie, picturesque Chalk Hills and broad horizons teem with wildlife, including waterfowl stopping over on the Central Flyway. Go birding along the 3-mile Coyote Trail, then slumber to the sounds of waves lapping Webster Reservoir’s shore at Rock Point peninsula campsite. 

ALL ACCESS: At Prairie Dog State Park, paving allows smooth access to the first quarter mile of the 1.4-mile Steve Mathes Nature Trail, with packed dirt beyond that. Also available: four wheelchair-accessible cabins and two ADA-accessible campsites.

Little Jerusalem_Doug Stremel

Photography by Doug Stremel

Little Jerusalem Badlands

Welcome to the "Badlands of Kansas" - Little Jerusalem State Park in Western Kansas is truly a sight to see!

Cedar Bluff

A few minutes south of the hustle and hassle of I-70 in western Kansas, life goes relaxingly slow at Cedar Bluff State Park. 

Prairie Dog

On the high plains of northwest Kansas, Prairie Dog State Park is a rare and welcome place to play in the water and shade.


Far from any sizable cities, many might consider Webster State Park “in the middle of nowhere.” Those who know the park will…



It’s no mirage when flatlands give way to canyons and a lake stuffed to the gills with fishing opportunities.

The prairie plummets into a sanctuary of deep canyons, rocky bluffs, and spring-fed waters at Historic Lake Scott State Park north of Scott City. With its own mini-ecosystem, the park also stands out with historical treasures, including the remains of the northernmost pueblo in the United States, El Cuartelejo. Venture farther into wooded canyons, and fish or kayak on the lake. Another oasis on the high plains, Meade State Park lures anglers with plentiful catfish, bluegill, bass, trout, and crappie. Visitors can call ahead to book a tour of the fish hatchery, which keeps the waters well stocked. A nature trail, beach, and blissful no-wake boating create the ultimate laid-back atmosphere.

ALL ACCESS: Historic Lake Scott State Park features two ADA-accessible fishing piers: one on the lake’s western shore and one on the eastern shore.

Lake Scott_Doug Stremel
Photography by Doug Stremel

Get an overview of all 28 Kansas state parks in the 2023 Official Kansas Travel Guide.  

Historic Lake Scott

Just north of Scott City lays a stunning canyon nestled among the prairie and natural springs.


“Oasis” may be the best way to describe this 400-acre paradise shaded by tall cottonwoods, with an 80-acre lake of cool…