Explore the most popular waterfall 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.

Really a beautiful trail. Lots of sights that you won't find commonly in Kansas. Some rock climbs here and there added to the fun and brought the challenge level up a bit. Picked up a few ticks, but not that big of an issue. Only real complaint is the cow crap. It's all over the trail and in some parts is hard to avoid.

I've been hiking/backpacking on this Trail for years, it was the first Trail my kids backpacked on when they were little. Hiked it from end to end today with a couple of friends, and it didn't disappoint. Wildlife sightings, beautiful views, mostly shaded. Sturdy boots highly recommended, and plenty of water is a must. (Don't depend on water sources along the trail.) Trail is very clearly marked!

on Lake Shawnee Trail

walking
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

Very cool trail. More technical/steep rocks sections than expected. Lots of creek crossings. Many turtles spotted on the trail. The trail is well marked with blue paint and metal sign mile markers on trees. When we decided not to go further we went up the hillside and there was plenty of flat shady area to set up camp. Try not to go right after any kind of rain if you’re not prepared for lots of mud. If your intent is to swim at any point you should start at the end point because the river water is stagnant dirty water.

very enjoyable.

Great trail. It definitely didn't seem like Kansas. My daughter and I spent two nights on the trail. Hiking poles and good boots are needed.

My friend was on the Elk city trails and had put his Glock 30S 45Cal. down on a rock last night,4-30-18. If anyone finds it please call me at 316-806-1545.
Thank you

hiking
2 months ago

Took the boys on this trail on a perfect weekend (weather). Didn't realize this was the same weekend as the FlatRock 101K Trail race weekend. Although many trail runners were encountered, everyone was really cool. We hiked in from the east trailhead and camped overnight at the 9.5 mile marker. Completed a short hike to west trail head the next morning and left feeling great!

Terrific hike and camping. Everyone had a great time. Definitely will be back. The views were amazing, the trail is a great shape.

backpacking
2 months ago

Love it, will make a return trip when weather conditions are better.

backpacking
2 months ago

Had a great time, picked a crappy weekend to go as far as the weather, it was raining the entire time, still enjoyed this trail, we were planning on camping but due to the rain we just went ahead and hiked the whole 15 miles and left, I’m sure I will revisit, hopefully on a nice weekend, in my opinion the better camp spots and views are in the 1st half, would like to go back and go through backwards from 15 to 1 next time, as far as the terrain goes I loved it, not to hard, not to easy, I highly recommend this trail

backpacking
3 months ago

Best long hike in Kansas hands down. Not even close. Have done the entire length of the trail three times, once a year the past three years. Great camping spots, moderate amounts of water you'll need to filter and sterilize. You can cache water and food carefully if you know the location between the 9 and 10 mile markers on the trail where an old paved road ends.

Directions to both ends of the trail are very poorly marked and can be difficult to find but very worth the effort. Campfires are allowed, a real plus. Very small waterfall near 12 mile mark is a welcome respite but watch for snakes, saw a Copperhead sunning there a few years ago in late March.

backpacking
3 months ago

It’s occasionally muddy, but still lots of fun! It is one of our favorites.

Nice walk with paved trails. It has a few up and downhills.

backpacking
3 months ago

My husband and I just hiked 13 miles here in 5.5 hours. It was a beautiful trail. Very well marked. We were glad to have found this little gym in Kansas. We would recommend this trail.

backpacking
3 months ago

Did a backpacking trip with the Boy Scout troop, very scenic trail. Definitely doesn't feel like you're in Kansas.

backpacking
5 months ago

Just did an out and back camping trip..hiked in five miles from East end and camped overlooking lake..nice scenery even in winter..trail was good exercise too.Fyi the lake was really the only water available for filtering

hiking
5 months ago

I believe this trail is broken into two loops. One in which you can see the waterfall (assuming enough precipitation has occurred) and another that is just strictly trail. Make note that you are to pay a $5.00 fee at the office in order to park on the property and hike or bike. We opted for the shorter loop to hike. Nothing special. Not any particularly great scenery, just average trails. Please note that on the day that we were there the trails were dominated by cyclers. Hikers beware.

walking
5 months ago

Close to home, good for walking Lilly

hiking
5 months ago

Most of the trail is wide open spaces with beautiful lake views. Picturesque. However, there are a few short trails deeper in the woods that aren’t on the map (I think they are dirt bike trails?) that give you a real deep woods hike feel. I went in winter so no waterfalls to be seen but I am looking forward to going back out in the spring when the water table is up.

backpacking
6 months ago

Just finished a quick winter overnighter and the trip was great! Very unique Kansas trail and rugged enough to keep things interesting. Quick heads-up, there are a few spots where the trail passes through rock formations/cuts that could make for a difficult passage if carrying a larger pack....still doable, just worth noting that packs "may" need to be removed and lowered/lifted depending on what direction you are traveling. I also encountered quail, turkey and deer on the trail. I look forward to taking the kiddos once the weather warms a bit. 1/12/18

backpacking
6 months ago

It's hard to believe you're in the middle of Kansas while hiking this trail. Our Boy Scout troop used this as a winter break shakedown hike for our upcoming Philmont trip and it definitely did not disappoint.

There aren't any huge hills but there are still some good short climbs. The scenery changes by the mile so there's plenty to see.

We started from the east trailhead, hiked 10 miles one day, camped at the trailhead there, then hiked 5 the next day.

Water is scarce so make sure you bring plenty or have a filter system.

Overall we had a great time and can't wait to visit this trail again soon!

This trail is located in a trafficked area close a couple main streets. It's more like a park with some really nice views. It's lovely for a quick trail. You can walk onto a smaller less traveled trail for a little more activity.

This very widy path is shady and easy to walk. I really enjoyed it. And at only 25 mins from my house in Wichita is definitely worth the drive.

backpacking
7 months ago

The Elk River Hiking Trail is a very technical trail that runs from Independence, KS to Elk City, KS. It follows the Elk City Lake and the Elk River through some of the most beautiful rock formations in the Midwest. The trail is well marked with blue blazings. The campsites along the trail are ideal and provide some access to Elk City Lake where you can get water to filter. I started at the Independence trailhead but only completed 3.5 miles due to a bum knee. You can also start or end at the Elk City trailhead. The entire trail is 14 miles. The trail and campsites are free for the public to use.

Went on this hike with a friend of mine yesterday. We parked one car at the start and one car at the finish. The hike is 15 miles long and took us 6 hours and 57 minutes. We breaked for lunch (10 mins) and 3 pee breaks. It was a beautiful hike with a lot of incline changes. It definitely resulted in sore muscles (especially calves) today. I was impressed with the scenery (rock walls and formations, tall rock corridors, very old abandoned cars on a hill, tons of deer and wildlife, pretty lake views, a bench with a wind chime in the tree, streams and steep hills to climb). It was easy to forget you were in Kansas. There was only one sketchy part of the trail. It was kind of in a ravine area that was washed out so we ended up just grabbing onto trees and pulling ourselves up the landslide hill. I would recommend sturdy hiking boots/shoes if you’re planning to hike the entire trail. I would do this hike again and definitely recommend it to others.

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail. Moderate to easy. Lots of elevation changes and really neat rock formations! Not what you’d expect in Kansas.

Just did a day hike this time - 9 miles in and out from the east trail head. Excellent trail and beautiful weather! Trail was in good shape. There were some branches in the trail and I pushed quite a few to the side. A couple small streams had some moving water - they were dry on my last hike of this trail. Great day!

road biking
9 months ago

Kind of narrow rough concrete in some areas. somewhat scenic in areas. Good access to Farmer Market from the back.

backpacking
9 months ago

Backpacked from the east to west trail heads Oct 7-8, 2017.It's a moderate to strenuous hike. We made it to the 10 mile campsite 1st day only to find the stream we'd gotten water from the previous year was completely dry. Be prepared to carry water or cache mid-way 9-10 mil parking. mile 10-15 is a bit more treacherous than 1-10. Beautiful, scenic hike.

very peaceful and quiet, worth the membership

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