Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Travel Tuesday: Castle Rock Badlands

I love Kansas, and fun and unique destination and am constantly trying to visit unique Kansas locations, I have the books, Kansas Curiosities, The Kansas Guidebook, and 8 Wonders of Kansas Guidebook. While coming back from the Stock Show in Denver last month we decided to take a little detour south of Quinter, Kansas to see the Castle Rocks. 

These are large limestone pillar landmarks in Gove County, in the Smoky Hills region of Kansas.
 Even before we arrived at the official Castle Rocks, you started to notice the unique rock formations in pastures. 

We drove about  11 miles south of I-70, and followed the signs. 
This was the "entrance" sign

The site has been designated as a National Natural Landmark, yet is on private range land. It takes you back in time, can you imagine riding a horse and come upon this formation? As you can see there is a simple path (on the left side of this picture). Its rather rough and some of the ruts are pretty deep. Being in a pick up was a plus. 
Taken from atop the major hill

A little history: Castle Rock has been used as a landmark for several hundred years. In the 1800s, the Butterfield Overland Dispatch followed the Smoky Hill Trail which passed just a few hundred yards north of the then larger chalk formation.
Ruts from the Butterfield Overland Dispatch trail can be found a few hundred yards north of Castle Rock. The Rock was named by Lt. Julian Fitch in June, 1865 while he was surveying the trail for David Overland's company. (courtesy of Kansastravel.org)

There are a few different paths to take, it was a cold and windy day so we did our sightseeing from the seat of the pick up. I hope to go back when its nice and be able to get up close and see the sites from angles you can only get from being up close and personal. 

This is cattle country, I couldn't resist taking a pictures of this fence that goes right along with the terrain. 

The last formation on our way out. 

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