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Leavenworth - Council Grove - McPherson - Lyons - Ellinwood - Great Bend - Larned - Kinsley - Dodge City - Garden City - Ulysses - Elkhart

A MODERN DAY TOUR OF THE SANTA FE TRAIL IN KANSAS:

Contact usTo city descriptionFORT LEAVENWWORTH TO BALDWIN CITY
FORT LEAVENWORTH—Convention & Visitor Bureau 800-844-4114.
Guided tour of the home of military troops sent to safeguard western Trail travelers. $ (2 hrs.)
MAHAFFIE STAGECOACH STOP & FARM—Olathe 913-971-5111.
The only existing stagecoach stop on the SFT that is open to the public. Guided tours available. $ (2 hrs.)
SHAWNEE MISSION—Methodist Indian Mission was begun in 1830 for education of the Shawnee Indians. Trail ruts are visible. (1 hr.)
BALDWIN CITY—785-594-3200
Your travel may include 15 minute stops at Lone Elm, the usual first night stop on the Trail. Visible ruts, Santa Fe/Oregon Trail junction, Black Jack Park Ruts and the Lanesfield School. (1.5 hrs.)
A guided tour of Baldwin City including dinner and overnight can be arranged.

Contact usTo city descriptionBALDWIN CITY TO COTTONWOOD FALLSPhoto-BB

COUNCIL GROVE— 800-732-9211.
Rest break at the Trails End Bakery housed in the historic Terwilliger House. $
Guided tour of HISTORIC COUNCIL GROVE
$ (2.5 hrs). Lunch at HAYS HOUSE, oldest continuous restaurant west of the Mississippi.
TALLGRASS PRAIRIE NATIONAL PRESERVE—620-273-8494.
Guided tour of tall grass prairie in the scenic Flint Hills. $ (2.5 hrs.)
COTTONWOOD FALLS
GRAND CENTRAL HOTEL
—Bar-b-que and outdoor entertainment at award winning restaurant.
Stay overnight in this area.

COTTONWOOD FALLS TO MCPHERSON

MARION COUNTY—620-382-3425 Contact usTo city description
LOST SPRINGS* (Site) An overnight Trail stop, with a stockade and station house. (1/2 hr.)
COTTONWOOD CROSSING MARKER
A Santa Fe Trail river crossing and campground west of Durham. (1/4 hr.)
HILLSBORO CVB—620-947-3506
MENNONITE SETTLEMENT MUSEUM
German pioneer history and displays on the Santa Fe Trail. $ (1 hr.)
CROSSING MARKER—On Highway 56 a marker illustrating the location where the Santa Fe and Chisholm Trails cross.
MAXWELL WILDLIFE REFUGE—800-324-8022.
Take a tram ride to see the rolling prairie grass and herds of buffalo and elk. $ (1 hr.) Arrangements can be made for a campfire meal.
FULLERS RANCH* (Site)—First white settlement in McPherson County.
KAW INDIAN PEACE TREATY* (Site)—
Treaty signed by Kaw Indian Chiefs and the U.S. Government in 1825.
MCPHERSON—Convention & Visitor Bureau 800-324-8022
QUEEN OF THE PRAIRIE
In 1888, the McPherson Opera House was built. Tour this Grand Old Lady. (Donation) (1 hr.)
MCPHERSON MUSEUM—Historic Vaniman Mansion built in 1920 and reflects the roaring 20’s. (Donation) (1 hr.)
OVERNIGHT STOP IN MCPHERSON.
Dinner, entertainment and overnight arrangements can be made.

Contact usTo city descriptionMCPHERSON TO LYONS AREA
LITTLE ARKANSAS CROSSING & COTTONWOOD GROVE CEMETERY* (Site)—
The lower crossing is located between the cemetery and rifle ruts created by Buffalo Soldiers.
STONE CORRAL* (Site)—The area where a 300 foot corral once stood as a trading post and overnight stop.
CHAVEZ MARKER* (Site)—A Mexican merchant was killed at this location, causing an international incident.
LYONS— 620-257-3941
CORONADO QUIVIRA MUSEUM
Tour the region’s history. Quivira Indians, Spanish Conquistadors, Santa Fe Trail and rural America. $ (1 hr.)
LUNCH - eat in Lyons at one of our fine restaurants then tour the town square. (2 hrs.)
FATHER PADILLA’S CROSS—The cross was erected in memory of Father Padilla who accompanied Coronado here in 1541.
BUFFALO BILL’S WELL AND COW CREEK CROSSING—Buffalo Bill Mathewson ran a trading post at the crossing. Trail travelers used this 1860s well.
RALPH’S RUTS (Site)—These are some of the most prominent Trail ruts to be found in the area.

To city descriptionELLINWOOD – 620-564-3300
Gateway to Cheyenne Bottoms. Tour the underground tunnels and shops built by German settlers in the late 1800s. A DAR marker shows the Trail’s route west. (1 hr.)On the way to GREAT BEND take a break to enjoy Walnut Creek Crossing and Fort Zarah.

Photo-2 Contact usTo city descriptionGREAT BEND AREA
GREAT BEND CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU—877-427-9299
CHEYENNE BOTTOMS—Wetlands of International importance offers a magnificent view of Kansas wildlife. (2 hrs.)
KANSAS QUILT WALK/MURAL PROJECT
Tour the downtown and courthouse square with the DAR marker for the Santa Fe Trail crossing, collection of outdoor murals, Kansas quilt patterns in sidewalk - all celebrating the history of our area. (1.5 hrs.)
BARTON COUNTY HISTORICAL VILLAGE
Offers a walk into the past with 9 buildings and a variety of displays including Santa Fe Trail exhibits.
PAWNEE ROCK—Experience a panoramic view of an area once considered the most dangerous point on the Trail.

Contact usTo city descriptionLARNED AREA
LARNED AREA CHAMBER—800-747-6919
SIBLEY’S CAMP—Campsite of original SFT survey team led by George Sibley in 1825. (3/4 hr.)
SANTA FE TRAIL CENTER MUSEUM AND LIBRARY—620-285-2054.
Exhibits tell the story of the cultures and people who traveled and settled along the Santa Fe Trail.$ (1.5 hrs.)
FORT LARNED NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE—620-285-6911.
Established in 1859 to protect travelers along the SFT. A visit to the Fort is virtually a visit to the year 1868. One of the most authentically restored sites on the SFT. $ (2 hrs.)
SFT RUTS—View ruts and a prairie dog town from observation platform. (1/2 hr.) Overnight accommodations, a chuckwagon style dinner and entertainment can be arranged.
Aerial-Fort-Larned-NHS 
Contact usTo city descriptionEDWARDS COUNTY
EDWARDS COUNTY—877-464-3929
KINSLEY—Enjoy lunch at one of our
homestyle restaurants.
SOD HOUSE AND EDWARDS COUNTY MUSEUM—Midway Park. Authentic sod house and many early pioneer displays. (Donation) (1.5 hrs.)
DAR MARKER—Midway Park – Kinsley

Contact usTo city descriptionDODGE CITY AREA
CORONADO CROSS PARK
38 ft. cross marks the site near where Coronado reportedly crossed the Arkansas River in 1541.
FORT DODGE—1865 fort provided soldier escorts for wagon trains and travelers. Now maintained as the Kansas State Soldiers Home. Take a self guided tour. (3/4 hr.)
DODGE CITY CVB—800-653-9378
FRONT STREET, BOOT HILL MUSEUM AND CEMETERY— An 1870s & 1880s western history village museum on the original site of Boot Hill Cemetery. $ (2 hrs.)
Overnight accommodations and entertainment can be arranged.

DODGE CITY AREA WESTDodge-City-Depot
SFT Tracks—Marker on Hwy 50 West of Dodge City.
CIMARRON CROSSING PARK—The halfway point between Independence, Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Trail splits here into the CIMARRON ROUTE and the MOUNTAIN ROUTE

For the Cimarron Route go south on KS Hwy
23 to US Hwy 56 then continue west.
GRAY COUNTY WIND FARM—Kiosk along Highway 56 tells about the 170 giant windmill generators.
MONTEZUMA
STAUTH MEMORIAL MUSEUM— 620-846-2527.
Experience famous sites from around the world as well as special traveling exhibits. Donation. (1 hr.)

Contact usTo city descriptionULYSSES
GRANT CO. CHAMBER—620-356-4700
Tour the HISTORIC ADOBE MUSEUM made with handmade adobe bricks depicting a history of life on the High Plains and the SFT.
WAGON BED SPRINGS—First water found after crossing the Arkansas River. Identifiable ruts and markers.
RETURN TO ULYSSES –OVERNIGHT or continue on to Elkhart.

Contact usTo city descriptionELKHART & CIMARRON
NATIONAL GRASSLANDS
ELKHART
MORTON COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM— 620-697-2833.
Start the day with a museum tour bringing the SFT alive through exhibits. (1.5 hrs.) (Meals, entertainment and
accommodations can be arranged for groups)
CIMARRON NATIONAL GRASSLANDDRAW-N.-OF-MIDDLE-SPRINGS
Comprised of 108,000 acres and “Home of 23 miles of the Historic SFT” open to the public, marked by 5 DAR MARKERS. View POINT OF ROCKS and visit MIDDLE SPRINGS-a small oasis of water rising from a flowing artesian
spring. (1.5 hrs.)
We hope that you have enjoyed your KANSAS tour along the great SANTA FE TRAIL. Kansas has countless other attractions and we encourage you to continue your travels in Kansas.

Contact usTo city descriptionGARDEN CITY AREA VIA THE MOUNTAIN ROUTE
Continue west on Highway 50.
INGALLS Two DAR MARKERS erected in 1906 marking the Trail that passed thru the townsite.
CHARLESTON Arkansas River Crossing to Cimarron River in 1848.
POINT OF ROCKS
Historic site along the Trail located on the River Road. Military escort encampment.
GARDEN CITY
FINNEY COUNTY CTB 800-879-9803
FINNEY COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM
Special SFT exhibit is a highlight of this museum. The museum library contains an extensive SFT research collection. Garden City has a wide variety of restaurants.
SANDSAGE BISON RANGE AND WILDLIFE AREA
888-445-4663 Ext. 9400. Located just south of Garden City.
A beautiful game reserve situated on 3,670 acres of land. Here you will see many birds and native animals including bison. Tours available by prior arrangement. (2 hrs.)
Arrangements can be made for meals, entertainment and accommodations through the Finney County CTB. 800-879-9803.

GARDEN CITY TO COLORADO VIA THE MOUNTAIN ROUTE
“CHARLIE’S RUTS”—Visible Trail ruts.
LAKINKEARNY COUNTY
HISTORICAL MUSEUM—620-335-7448.
This museum complex has several buildings and includes a series of 1939 aerial photographs, showing the SFT route in the county as well as rut sites and landmarks. (1.5 hrs.)
CHOUTEAU’S ISLAND
Historical Marker and INDIAN MOUND The island, a major landmark along the SFT, was located in the Arkansas River about five miles southwest of the marker.
SYRACUSE
HAMILTON COUNTY MUSEUM—620-384-7496.
Lunch. Continue on west passing a DAR MARKER in Coolidge and another at the State line.

Thank you for visiting Kansas. We look forward to seeing you again.
*These sites are of historic significance but many of them are not along major roadways and may be challenging to locate. Contact the local museum, chamber or visitors bureau for more information about these sites and for maps and detailed instructions to locate them. . Guided tours available. $ (2 hrs.)
SHAWNEE MISSION—Methodist Indian Mission was begun in 1830 for education of the Shawnee Indians. Trail ruts are visible. (1 hr.)
BALDWIN CITY—785-594-3200
Your travel may include 15 minute stops at Lone Elm, the usual first night stop on the Trail. Visible ruts, Santa Fe/Oregon Trail junction, Black Jack Park Ruts and the Lanesfield School. (1.5 hrs.)
A guided tour of Baldwin City including dinner and overnight can be arranged.

Contact usTo city descriptionBALDWIN CITY TO COTTONWOOD FALLSPhoto-BB

COUNCIL GROVE— 800-732-9211.
Rest break at the Trails End Bakery housed in the historic Terwilliger House. $
Guided tour of HISTORIC COUNCIL GROVE
$ (2.5 hrs). Lunch at HAYS HOUSE, oldest continuous restaurant west of the Mississippi.
TALLGRASS PRAIRIE NATIONAL PRESERVE—620-273-8494.
Guided tour of tall grass prairie in the scenic Flint Hills. $ (2.5 hrs.)
COTTONWOOD FALLS
GRAND CENTRAL HOTEL
—Bar-b-que and outdoor entertainment at award winning restaurant.
Stay overnight in this area.

COTTONWOOD FALLS TO MCPHERSON

MARION COUNTY—620-382-3425 Contact usTo city description
LOST SPRINGS* (Site) An overnight Trail stop, with a stockade and station house. (1/2 hr.)
COTTONWOOD CROSSING MARKER
A Santa Fe Trail river crossing and campground west of Durham. (1/4 hr.)
HILLSBORO CVB—620-947-3506
MENNONITE SETTLEMENT MUSEUM
German pioneer history and displays on the Santa Fe Trail. $ (1 hr.)
CROSSING MARKER—On Highway 56 a marker illustrating the location where the Santa Fe and Chisholm Trails cross.
MAXWELL WILDLIFE REFUGE—800-324-8022.
Take a tram ride to see the rolling prairie grass and herds of buffalo and elk. $ (1 hr.) Arrangements can be made for a campfire meal.
FULLERS RANCH* (Site)—First white settlement in McPherson County.
KAW INDIAN PEACE TREATY* (Site)—
Treaty signed by Kaw Indian Chiefs and the U.S. Government in 1825.
MCPHERSON—Convention & Visitor Bureau 800-324-8022
QUEEN OF THE PRAIRIE
In 1888, the McPherson Opera House was built. Tour this Grand Old Lady. (Donation) (1 hr.)
MCPHERSON MUSEUM—Historic Vaniman Mansion built in 1920 and reflects the roaring 20’s. (Donation) (1 hr.)
OVERNIGHT STOP IN MCPHERSON.
Dinner, entertainment and overnight arrangements can be made.

Contact usTo city descriptionMCPHERSON TO LYONS AREA
LITTLE ARKANSAS CROSSING & COTTONWOOD GROVE CEMETERY* (Site)—
The lower crossing is located between the cemetery and rifle ruts created by Buffalo Soldiers.
STONE CORRAL* (Site)—The area where a 300 foot corral once stood as a trading post and overnight stop.
CHAVEZ MARKER* (Site)—A Mexican merchant was killed at this location, causing an international incident.
LYONS— 620-257-3941
CORONADO QUIVIRA MUSEUM
Tour the region’s history. Quivira Indians, Spanish Conquistadors, Santa Fe Trail and rural America. $ (1 hr.)
LUNCH - eat in Lyons at one of our fine restaurants then tour the town square. (2 hrs.)
FATHER PADILLA’S CROSS—The cross was erected in memory of Father Padilla who accompanied Coronado here in 1541.
BUFFALO BILL’S WELL AND COW CREEK CROSSING—Buffalo Bill Mathewson ran a trading post at the crossing. Trail travelers used this 1860s well.
RALPH’S RUTS (Site)—These are some of the most prominent Trail ruts to be found in the area.

Contact usTo city descriptionELLINWOOD – 620-564-3300
Gateway to Cheyenne Bottoms. Tour the underground tunnels and shops built by German settlers in the late 1800s. A DAR marker shows the Trail’s route west. (1 hr.)On the way to GREAT BEND take a break to enjoy Walnut Creek Crossing and Fort Zarah.

Photo-2 Contact usTo city descriptionGREAT BEND AREA
GREAT BEND CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU—877-427-9299
CHEYENNE BOTTOMS—Wetlands of International importance offers a magnificent view of Kansas wildlife. (2 hrs.)
KANSAS QUILT WALK/MURAL PROJECT
Tour the downtown and courthouse square with the DAR marker for the Santa Fe Trail crossing, collection of outdoor murals, Kansas quilt patterns in sidewalk - all celebrating the history of our area. (1.5 hrs.)
BARTON COUNTY HISTORICAL VILLAGE
Offers a walk into the past with 9 buildings and a variety of displays including Santa Fe Trail exhibits.
PAWNEE ROCK—Experience a panoramic view of an area once considered the most dangerous point on the Trail.

Contact usTo city descriptionLARNED AREA
LARNED AREA CHAMBER—800-747-6919
SIBLEY’S CAMP—Campsite of original SFT survey team led by George Sibley in 1825. (3/4 hr.)
SANTA FE TRAIL CENTER MUSEUM AND LIBRARY—620-285-2054.
Exhibits tell the story of the cultures and people who traveled and settled along the Santa Fe Trail.$ (1.5 hrs.)
FORT LARNED NATIONAL HISTORIC SITE—620-285-6911.
Established in 1859 to protect travelers along the SFT. A visit to the Fort is virtually a visit to the year 1868. One of the most authentically restored sites on the SFT. $ (2 hrs.)
SFT RUTS—View ruts and a prairie dog town from observation platform. (1/2 hr.) Overnight accommodations, a chuckwagon style dinner and entertainment can be arranged.
Aerial-Fort-Larned-NHS 
Contact usTo city descriptionEDWARDS COUNTY
EDWARDS COUNTY—877-464-3929
KINSLEY—Enjoy lunch at one of our
homestyle restaurants.
SOD HOUSE AND EDWARDS COUNTY MUSEUM—Midway Park. Authentic sod house and many early pioneer displays. (Donation) (1.5 hrs.)
DAR MARKER—Midway Park – Kinsley

Contact usTo city descriptionDODGE CITY AREA
CORONADO CROSS PARK
38 ft. cross marks the site near where Coronado reportedly crossed the Arkansas River in 1541.
FORT DODGE—1865 fort provided soldier escorts for wagon trains and travelers. Now maintained as the Kansas State Soldiers Home. Take a self guided tour. (3/4 hr.)
DODGE CITY CVB—800-653-9378
FRONT STREET, BOOT HILL MUSEUM AND CEMETERY— An 1870s & 1880s western history village museum on the original site of Boot Hill Cemetery. $ (2 hrs.)
Overnight accommodations and entertainment can be arranged.

DODGE CITY AREA WEST
SFT Tracks—Marker on Hwy 50 West of Dodge City.Dodge-City-Depot
CIMARRON CROSSING PARK—The halfway point between Independence, Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Trail splits here into the CIMARRON ROUTE and the MOUNTAIN ROUTE

For the Cimarron Route go south on KS Hwy
23 to US Hwy 56 then continue west.
GRAY COUNTY WIND FARM—Kiosk along Highway 56 tells about the 170 giant windmill generators.
MONTEZUMA
STAUTH MEMORIAL MUSEUM— 620-846-2527.
Experience famous sites from around the world as well as special traveling exhibits. Donation. (1 hr.)

Contact usTo city descriptionULYSSES
GRANT CO. CHAMBER—620-356-4700
Tour the HISTORIC ADOBE MUSEUM made with handmade adobe bricks depicting a history of life on the High Plains and the SFT.
WAGON BED SPRINGS—First water found after crossing the Arkansas River. Identifiable ruts and markers.
RETURN TO ULYSSES –OVERNIGHT or continue on to Elkhart.

Contact usTo city descriptionELKHART & CIMARRON
NATIONAL GRASSLANDS
ELKHART
MORTON COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM— 620-697-2833.
Start the day with a museum tour bringing the SFT alive through exhibits. (1.5 hrs.) (Meals, entertainment and
accommodations can be arranged for groups)
CIMARRON NATIONAL GRASSLAND
Comprised of 108,000 acres and “Home of 23 miles of the Historic SFT” open to the public, marked by 5 DAR MARKERS. View POINT OF ROCKS and visit MIDDLE SPRINGS-a small oasis of water rising from a flowing artesian
spring. (1.5 hrs.)
We hope that you have enjoyed your KANSAS tour along the great SANTA FE TRAIL. Kansas has countless other attractions and we encourage you to continue your travels in Kansas.

Contact usTo city descriptionGARDEN CITY AREA VIA THE MOUNTAIN ROUTE
Continue west on Highway 50.
INGALLS Two DAR MARKERS erected in 1906 marking the Trail that passed thru the townsite.
CHARLESTON Arkansas River Crossing to Cimarron River in 1848. DRAW-N.-OF-MIDDLE-SPRINGS
POINT OF ROCKS
Historic site along the Trail located on the River Road. Military escort encampment.
GARDEN CITY
FINNEY COUNTY CTB 800-879-9803
FINNEY COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM
Special SFT exhibit is a highlight of this museum. The museum library contains an extensive SFT research collection. Garden City has a wide variety of restaurants.
SANDSAGE BISON RANGE AND WILDLIFE AREA
888-445-4663 Ext. 9400. Located just south of Garden City.
A beautiful game reserve situated on 3,670 acres of land. Here you will see many birds and native animals including bison. Tours available by prior arrangement. (2 hrs.)
Arrangements can be made for meals, entertainment and accommodations through the Finney County CTB. 800-879-9803.

GARDEN CITY TO COLORADO VIA THE MOUNTAIN ROUTE
“CHARLIE’S RUTS”—Visible Trail ruts.
LAKINKEARNY COUNTY
HISTORICAL MUSEUM—620-335-7448.
This museum complex has several buildings and includes a series of 1939 aerial photographs, showing the SFT route in the county as well as rut sites and landmarks. (1.5 hrs.)
CHOUTEAU’S ISLAND
Historical Marker and INDIAN MOUND The island, a major landmark along the SFT, was located in the Arkansas River about five miles southwest of the marker.
SYRACUSE
HAMILTON COUNTY MUSEUM—620-384-7496.
Lunch. Continue on west passing a DAR MARKER in Coolidge and another at the State line.

Thank you for visiting Kansas. We look forward to seeing you again.
*These sites are of historic significance but many of them are not along major roadways and may be challenging to locate. Contact the local museum, chamber or visitors bureau for more information about these sites and for maps and detailed instructions to locate them.

 

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