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I am a New York-based writer, travel lover, and author of The Drive North and Destination Paranormal. I have several other books in the works, including fiction.

Exploring the Monument Rocks

In 1968 the Monument Rocks of Kansas were designated the first National Natural Landmark, and it’s easy to see why. These stunning chalk pillars, which some call pyramids, rise 70 feet above the surrounding fields. They were formed approximately 80 million years ago in what was once a huge inland see. Now they sit on private land and are generously free of charge.


Of course I knew none of this as I drove there from Scott Lake State Park. All I had was a name and a picture in a magazine that made it sound interesting. But, then again, anything that’s listed in a magazine put out by Travel Kansas will sound interesting since they’re trying to attract visitors.


Truthfully though, this one was totally justifiable.


I was surprised, as the rocks came into view, of the size and beauty of them. I’m not sure what I expected, maybe just some junky rocks laying about in a field, but whatever it was this wasn’t it. I was definitely stunned that there was something this interesting in western Kansas.

On the other hand though, I was disappointed that there wasn’t more information available on the rocks. We had very little to go on before driving over and there was nothing in the way of signs when we got there. And if this was a random stop for someone because of a highway billboard, they would’ve known nothing about it once they got there.


Of course, when we were there, we saw no one else save a mini-van family pulling up as we were pulling out. So maybe the lack of available information really isn’t a problem as visitors can enjoy the beauty of the rocks as it is. Well, either that or it doesn’t much matter since my friend and I may’ve been the first actual visitors to western Kansas since the pioneer days.


It’s difficult to say.


The Monument Rocks are a short drive south from Oakley, Kansas on Highway 83. They are well sign posted and easy to find despite the lack of information on site. And, if there was any doubt, they’re definitely worth the stop.

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