Western Vistas

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, where American Indians hunted bison, pioneers trekked and rustlers roamed - all attempting to eke out a living.

The region surrounding the Byway is a geologist's and paleontologist's 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 explore Fort Wallace, "the fightin-est Fort in the West," walk in the footsteps of bison hunter Buffalo Bill Cody and visit Battle Canyon, site of the last conflict between American Indians (the Cheyenne) and United States troops.

  • Route Description

    Traveling from Scott City, KS to Sharon Springs, KS: Beginning at 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 in Scott City, KS.

  • For more information about the Western Vistas Historic Byway, contact:

    info@westernvistashistoricbyway.com
    620-874-0174 

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