Monument Rocks, Kansas

//Monument Rocks, Kansas


Guided by geo-coordinates, we drove two hours northwest from Dodge City to arrive at Monument Rocks, Kansas. The final seven miles were dirt roads crossing privately owned grazing land, including driving among a herd of slow moving cattle.

“Monument Rocks (also Chalk Pyramids) are a series of large chalk formations in Gove County, Kansas, rich in fossils. It is a National Natural Landmark. It was the first landmark chosen by the US Department of the Interior as a national natural landmark. The chalk formations reach a height of up to 70 ft. and include formations such as buttes and arches. The carbonate deposits were laid down during the Cretaceous Period in what was then the Western Interior Seaway, splitting the continent of North America into two landmasses. They are estimated to have been formed 80 million years ago.” ~~ Wikipedia


Of course it’s been well documented in our travels that Maggie is a history buff, but little did we know she also thinks of herself as somewhat of a geologist. So she was especially excited by how these chalk formations came to be created and how old they are.

We enjoyed taking the time to investigate on foot and then found some shade at the foot of one of the formations to enjoy a picnic we’d packed.


These formations are small scale compared to formations further west, but it was good discovering Monument Rocks within driving distance. It will have to serve as an appetizer–whetting our appetites for later western/south-western travels…hopefully next year.

By | 2017-12-21T15:37:10+00:00 August 18th, 2015|Lifestyle / Travel / Living Lite|10 Comments

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  1. Steve Skinner 18 Aug ’15 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    Just the same, they are impressive. On the other hand, you will be speechless when you visit Arches National Park in Utah!

    • E. Brooks Moore 18 Aug ’15 at 9:47 pm - Reply

      I’ve visited Arches National Park about 35 years ago, Steve, so I’ve seen those amazing structures but Bonnie hasn’t been there.

  2. Mark 18 Aug ’15 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    I had no idea there were structures like this in Kansas!

    • E. Brooks Moore 18 Aug ’15 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      I didn’t realize these existed in Kansas either, Mark. It’s amazing what you can discover if you spend a little time in a place. I use to not know there were sand dunes in Michigan. 😉

  3. Paul Maxim 19 Aug ’15 at 7:06 am - Reply

    Interesting. We’ve seen signs for Monument Rocks but never went there. One of our normal overnight stops when heading west on I-70 is Colby, KS, just to the northwest of Monument Rocks. But they certainly are interesting. From my experience, a lot of the formations east of the Rockies have that “chalky” appearance (unlike the predominantly orange and yellow sandstone formations to the west). That’s a great picture of the arch-like formation.

    • E. Brooks Moore 19 Aug ’15 at 8:28 am - Reply

      These formations were an interesting find and certainly well worth the drive for us. We’re leaving here tomorrow and we’ve enjoyed Kansas. This morning the temperature is down to 55F…man, it’s been a while since we’ve experienced being in the 50’s. Almost seems cold. 🙂


  4. Monte Stevens 20 Aug ’15 at 11:58 am - Reply

    And, most people think Kansas is flat. 🙂 I’m impressed at the tenacity of you two finding these places many people would have turned back. Then again, maybe it was Maggie the geologist urging you on. I also like the arch images. It lets us know just how large they are.

    • E. Brooks Moore 21 Aug ’15 at 8:28 am - Reply

      And I would have been among those people thinking Kansas is “only” flat before this visit, Monte. Bonnie and I both agreed going into this not to let perceptions stand untested. We enjoyed Kansas, even though we saw only a small part of it, and it’s clearly much more then what can be gathered from passing though on an interstate highway.

  5. Cedric Canard 21 Aug ’15 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    Kansas huh? Well, that’s surprising landscape, and beautiful to boot.

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