Explore the most popular camping trails in Kansas with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Very scenic trail, rocky and difficult at times, will rehike often.

I like the trail itself, but the bugs were out of control. There were spiderwebs, mosquitoes, and ticks everywhere. If the bugs weren’t so bad I’d love to go back out for a trail run, it would be a really fun one to run.

awesome

An excellent trail (unlike anything I’ve seen in Kansas in terms of vegetation and topography) that winds along tall bluffs and through unique rock formations high above a scenic lake. Be sure to take a trash bag along, as the amount of trash I’ve encountered along the trail is truly disgraceful. On a single hike we hauled out 3 plastic bagfuls of trash.

mountain biking
27 days ago

boring if you are a mtb. definitely for the hiker/walker/runner.

hiking
1 month ago

Wow! I didn't expect such an interesting trail! First time to hike at this park, and the rock walls, boulder fields, and collapsed caves were a blast to hike through. It was fun to have a trail actually go through features like these. Plenty of highly visible orange blazes on this one. Remember that's it's an out-and-back trail, not a loop, so plan for getting back one way or another. Definitely moderate, but in some areas around the rock walls and cave-like areas, I think it would be more difficult for some people and/or dogs. I had to remove my pack in one narrow rock passage. Nice views of the lake in early December. Will definitely return.

backpacking
1 month ago

Greatly enjoyed the trail! Took my wife and kids backpacking and spent the night out on the trail. Highly recommend. We started on the down by the dam though. Had some tricky spots going through crevices but was pretty easy and great views.

Hiked end to end starting at East trailhead on Monday the 26th of November. Started at 7:17am. 23 degrees with light snow cover over everything. It warmed up to above freezing around noon and the trail got pretty sloppy. This trail is a major workout for your ankles and knees. Very rocky terrain and lots of elevation changes. Seen lots of wildlife (deer, squirrels, tons of ducks and geese and one eagle on the lake). We also seen some wild hog tracks around mile 11. We finished at 4:45pm so little over 9.5hrs to complete the entire thing. We did stop and ate lunch for about 30 mins. Great hike, perfect weather. Not what you'd expect in Kansas. There is a trailhead at around mile 9 if you don't want to hike the entire thing and another road at around mile 13, but you'll need to leave the trail to find the road about 1/4 mile from trail. It's really easy to find using google maps.

Hiked on Black Friday.
Pretty much on my own with my dogs.
Hiked middle section from road to road
Very cool rocks
Very rocky path
You need very good shoes.
Would like to come back in the spring.
Great views of valley.
Some pretty cool camping spots under cliffs.

Awesome trail that was very well marked. Super clean with some nice elevation changes. Plenty of streams and overall great trail!!

well maintained trail with some nice Kansas scenery. The wife, pup and I covered this in just over an hour while stopping at the lake for pictures.

hiking
3 months ago

When in the area I will definitely return. This is a great trail close-ish to my hometown. The lake was flooded so we didn’t get to do the entire trail; however, what we were able to do convinced me to return sometime. There wasn’t anyone else there on this fall day. We saw lots of birds, a pelican even, tons of deer and great rocks.

I personally didn't think this trail was marked well at all. I got off it real easy and had to use the app to find it again which was sorta sad for me because I usually keep on task. lol I believe I missed half of it cause as soon as I walked in, I walked out. I dunno if I got off track and took a short cut.

For hiking and horseback riding it's great, not so much for mountain biking. The sand is too loose. we had to walk our bikes more than half the way.

SSS

We put on bug spray before and came out absolutely covered in ticks

Cement walk that is nice and level. Very flat walked about half way, to where the bend is, from the fishing area. Not too scenic. Trees obstruct view of the water. Bathrooms by the fishing area were disgusting. We were mostly in the shade in the afternoon. Trees on the water side. Wide open field on the other side of the trail.

hiking
4 months ago

beautiful place. nice trails. usually well maintained. always surprisingly trash free. many nice vistas. while overall it's an easy walk there are a few paces where you really need to pay attention.

hiking
4 months ago

Went in early September after a week of rain so the water level was higher than usual. It was cloudy out so not too hot. Beautiful trail. Rocktown was amazing and we were the only ones there. Spotted some deer, lizards, and turtles. Love this trail! We will be returning.

Nice loop with a neat spot in the middle to swim or just check out the rocks. Pretry easy trail. My mom hiked this trail with us and she is 82. We brought her a camp chair and she had a seat when she was tired. Very little shade so bring an umbrella is you plan to stick around. Steep entrance and exit.

Simple trail at the state park through a section of prairie

Great trail, went out for a short day hike today and it didn't disappoint. Beautiful bluffs over looking the lake, lot's of ups and downs. I look forward to completing the whole trail.

hiking
5 months ago

Really nice hike for Kansas. Some pretty views of the lake. The small "canyon" portion of the hike is very pretty as well.

5 months ago

fun trail. some parts were a little steep but manageable nothing to bad . was a very well maintained path .

Great first hike at Elk City. My boys and I ages 12, 9 and 7 took 33 minutes to complete.

hiking
5 months ago

This trail is awesome, and not just for the area. It has enough challenging elements to keep it from being boring. The trail crosses a main road, if you want to skip the really challenging parts then just turn around there. If you are looking for an adventure cross the road and party on. I have athletic dogs built for trails and they had a blast. Wouldn't recommend older dogs or dogs that can't jump anymore to do the highest point of the trail across the road. We had to go off leash to naviagte some parts safely so a definite no if your dog has poor recall or has not been trained in recall.

hiking
6 months ago

I got to the trail head around 6:30 pm. Knowing sunset was at 8:30, I was bit nervous about finishing in time. The sign at the trailhead suggested that the hike would take about 3 hours. It took me a third of the time. I walked at a pretty brisk pace and didn’t stop to swim. I ended up finishing up in about an hour. The terrain is easy with a few rolling hills. The surface of the majority of the trail is mowed grass. Easy to walk on, and I even walked barefoot for some of it. The rock formations are really quite lovely. There were a couple boats parked there with people swimming and jumping from the rocks. I saw a couple lizard and a large variety of plants. As many have mentioned, it is Kansas Prairie and there is no shade, I did the hike late enough in the day that this was not an issue.

hiking
6 months ago

Pretty, but we got hundreds of seed ticks today after we used bug repellent! Not worth it!

6 months ago

Hot day for a hike, but that swim half way through helped with the heat. It is a fairly hilly trail, but the 7 and 9 year old with me were able to enjoy it. Going on a Saturday evening meant that the water area was pretty crowded, but we still found a spot to climb and swim. I would definitely come back and hike it again.

walking
6 months ago

All depends on time of year for this trail. We went mid July and the heat was pretty bad especially without any shade. Also the scenic areas near the water were almost entirely occupied by pontoons and boats making the water access nearly impossible and a loud environment with music and beer bottles littered around the beach areas. We stuck only to the trails and ended up with a dermacentor tick on the sock despite bug spray. So make sure you do a good tick check afterwards. Despite the boats and the heat, id imagine in the late fall it would be really pretty. Lots of cacti, local plants, and rolling hills. The rock formations are also really great. Would not recommend doing this in the summer overall.

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