Visit a rugged landscape on the culturally and visually fascinating route known as the Western Vistas Historic Byway. Imagine an ancient ocean once covering the shortgrass prairie. When the water receded and erosion set in, the ocean floor's limestone layers became not only flat plains but oddly placed and shaped buttes, mounts, and other chalk formations. Here, in western Kansas, is the Wild, Wild West of legend; this is where pioneers trekked, rustlers roamed, and Pueblo Natives sought refuge and hunted bison - all attempting to eke out a living.
The region surrounding the Byway is a geology and paleontology paradise punctuated with unusual rock formations and among the best fossil hunting areas in the world. Active fossil digs began with regularity in the 1870s. Early discoveries contributed significantly to the fossil record and included previously unknown and extinct animals, such as flying reptiles and toothed birds. While the area literally "rocks," its cultural history may be petrifying to some. Here you can experience El Quartelejo Museum and Jerry Thomas Gallery and Collection where Fossils Meet the Frontier and Art and History Tell a Story; then explore Fort Wallace, "the fightin-est Fort in the West”; walk in the footsteps of bison hunter Buffalo Bill Cody; encounter the ruins from the migration of the Pueblo Indians to El Cuartelejo; and visit Battle of Punished Woman’s Fork, the site of the last conflict between the Northern Cheyenne and the United States troops.
Distance: 102 miles
Traveling from Scott City, KS to Sharon Springs, KS: Beginning at El Quartelejo Museum & Jerry Thomas Gallery and Collection (902 W. 5th/Hwy.96), travel east to the intersection of K-96 and US-83 in Scott City, head north on US-83 towards Oakley, KS. On the way to Oakley, don't forget to stop by Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park - The Newest State Park in Kansas! Once you get to Oakley, make a left on the classic US-40 Highway and head west towards Sharon Springs, KS. Staying on US-40, the route eventually concludes in Sharon Springs, KS.
Traveling from Sharon Springs, KS to Scott City, KS: Beginning in Sharon Springs, KS, head east on the classic US-40 Highway towards Oakley, KS. Once you reach Oakley, turn right US-83 and begin heading south towards Scott City, KS. On the way to Scott, City, don't forget to stop by Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park - The Newest State Park in Kansas! Continue south on US-83 until the route eventually concludes at El Quartelejo Museum & Jerry Thomas Gallery and Collection (902 W. 5th/Hwy.96) in Scott City, KS.
For more information about the Western Vistas Historic Byway, contact:firstname.lastname@example.org