Gypsum Hills

Scenic Byway

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.

  • Route Description

    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.

  • Gypsum Hills Trail Rides

    Gypsum Hills Trail Rides is a family owned trail riding and hiking operation that started in 1974. We are located 9 miles west of Medicine…

    Gyp Hills Guest Ranch

    Experience life on the Gyp Hills Guest Ranch, over looking the scenic Gypsum Hills southwest of Medicine Lodge. We have something for…

    Buster's Saloon

    Buster's Saloon, in a building built in the 1870's, offers a full lunch and dinner menu, and don't forget the "fishbowl"! A truly unique…

    Barber State Fishing Lake

    Barber State Fishing Lake is a 77-acre lake located at the north edge of Medicine Lodge. Camping, picnicking, and fishing are allowed…

    Lake Coldwater

    Dedicated in 1980, Lake Coldwater is a wonderful, scenic place for water-related sports including swimming, bird-watching, wildlife…

    Maker Mercantile

    Housed in a former church, Maker Mercantile, is a one of a kind place. On the main floor, you will find a unique shopping environment…

  • Things to do along the way

    Photos

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    For more information about the Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway, contact:

    Dollie Mathes
    620-243-3059
     
    Medicine Lodge Tourism
    620-886-9815
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