Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway

Skies in Kansas offer a daily double – one of the virtues of rural living. Mornings offer a shimmering performance on the skyline, blushing with the warmth of the waking sun. Evening’s show on the horizon unfolds bright, highlighting the shadows as the sun lazily fades. Kansas is known for spectacular sky displays! Read more about the top 10 places to view Kansas’ sunrises, sunsets or both!

1.  Coronado Heights

Coronado Heights sits on the southern-most bluff in a series of seven, known as the Smoky Hills. The Kansas castle offers an impressive view from 300 feet above the valley floor. Coronado Heights is a favorite of photographers and artists alike!

2.  Four State Lookout

There is something to be said for the quiet of dawn before the commotion of the day. 4-State Lookout in White Cloud offers that tranquility with a panoramic view of the broad Missouri River Valley from a newly constructed viewing deck. On a clear day you can see parts of four states – Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa.

3.  Gypsum Hills

The Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway is noteworthy for its rolling, weathered hills, picturesque vistas and outdoor recreational options. Two scenic overlooks allow visitors to soak in the wonder of the Red Hills as they perfectly frame Kansas’ kaleidoscope of colors.

4.  Horse Thief Reservoir 

A wonderful new water resource in Western Kansas, HorseThief Reservoir has something for everyone. You can boat, swim, hunt, fish, and hike the trails. More than 7,200 feet long, the dam is a great place to be when the setting sun is mirrored across the water’s surface.

5.  Monument Rocks

Over 200 million years ago, Western Kansas was covered by part of a large inland sea that extended from the Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic Ocean. One of the 8 Wonders of Kansas, Monument Rocks National Landmark is something you have to see to believe. The cretaceous chalk formations enhance any picture!

6.  Oil Well Hill

Some hilltops are better for sunset viewing than others. Located near Concordia, Oil Well Hill is a dedicated spot for sunset viewing. The only thing you might need to enhance your experience is a chair and possibly some insect repellant in the warm summer months.

7.  Point of Rocks

The third highest point in the state of Kansas, Point of Rocks is one of many surprising stops in the Cimarron National Grassland. At 3,540 feet, it offers a particularly impressive view of the rising sun as it illuminates the surrounding area.

8.  Quivira National Wildlife Refuge

Migratory birds can be seen dancing year round across the horizon of the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, enhancing the hues of nightfall. The refuge encompasses over 22,135 acres and is home to over 300 species of birds, including waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds.

9.  Silo Tower

Open from sunrise to sunset, the Burlington Silo is located on the Wilson Cadman Environmental Education Area. It is a great place to view the Kansas skyline and take a stroll on the surrounding trails. The silo is currently occupied by nesting barn owls and will open back up for public access after the barn owl chicks leave the nest sometime this summer.

10.  Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

The National Park has nearly 11,000 acres of wide open space, beautiful vistas, seasonal wildflowers, wildlife, and bison herd making it the ideal setting – whether it be sunup or sundown. With over 40 miles of hiking and nature trails the preserve is a great place for rural quietude.