Ancient floodplains, buttes, canyons, mesas, and sinkholes are rare on the Great Plains. Yet, nestled in the Kansas grasslands are the Gypsum Hills, or Red Hills, with plenty of geologic diversity. The 42-mile-long Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway is enchantingly noteworthy for its rolling, weathered hills, picturesque vistas, and outdoor recreational options. The drive affords tantalizing views of the rugged landscape and includes two scenic overlooks to help you soak it all in.
Yet the Gypsum Hills' geological good looks are just the beginning. The region boasts a history and spirit enriched by cattle ranching, Native-American heroes Chiefs Black Kettle and White Bear, temperance-movement heroine Carrie Nation, westward-moving American pioneers, and much more. You'll also find art galleries, a drive-in theater in Medicine Lodge, museums, restaurants, and shops to leisurely explore and enjoy. And in the hills' parks, enjoy biking, birding, camping, climbing, fishing, hiking, and swimming.
Distance: 42 miles
Medicine Lodge to Coldwater: Beginning at the intersection of US-281 and US-160 in southwest Medicine Lodge, KS, head west for 40 miles straight towards Coldwater, KS.
Coldwater to Medicine Lodge: Beginning at the intersection of US-183 and US-160 in north Coldwater, KS, head east for 40 miles straight towards Medicine Lodge, KS.
For more information about the Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway, contact:Dollie Mathes 620-243-3059 Medicine Lodge Tourism 620-886-9815