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Midwest Natural Wonders


Article by Mindy Hargesheimer

Photography by Mindy Hargesheimer

Who in the world, literally, knew there were ‘8 Wonders of Kansas?!’ 

Just under 6 hours due West of Kansas City, you can drive straight across I-70 for 345 miles with a 30 mile detour south on US-83 to stumble upon Monument Rocks, also known as the Chalk Pyramids, standing tall (70 feet to be exact) in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. 

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"Don't Pop a Tire, Okay?!"

That’s right; these estimated 80 million year old series of gigantic rock formations are remnants of what was once the ocean floor underneath the seabed of the middle of the map, North America, and will grow taller in taller by the human eye as you navigate your way down miles of dirt and gravel-lined roads, to the point of praying you don’t pop a tire or run out of gas, thanks to a feeling of completely deserted isolation.

That is, until, you make your arrival to this little Egypt in the heart of Western Kansas, where you will likely join several other humans just like yourself walking and weaving in and out of these impressive and mind-boggling natural limestone wonders.

Take The Detour; Trust Me!

From the “Eye of the Needle” to other shapes both designated by others, each open to creative, personal interpretation, just don’t act like a fool and crawl up and around, as consistent traction will eventually destroy these beautiful specimens from a seemingly other worldly time that reside on a privately owned property. Kansas may not be known for much, but knowing we are proud owners of 8 wonders? Let’s take that and RUN with it! Just don’t run up the Chalk Pyramids, please and thank you. 

Yes, taking a detour on your road trip to or fro the West Coast will take you off course roughly 1.5 – 2 hours of road trip travel time, dependent just on how fascinated you become with these Midwest mega-landmarks, yet it’s an absolute MUST when it comes to ogling over the sheer unexpected stature of these Kansas-based creations that, quite frankly, intimidate me at the thought of how we are now, in 2020, walking the ocean floor of what once was. 

They are peaceful, beautiful, terrifying, yet mesmerizing. You. Must. Go. As The North Face once, and always will say: “Never Stop Exploring.” Kansas included.  

Visit Monument Rocks Chalk Pyramids on Facebook and visit @kansascitybucketlist on Instagram for more Kansas and beyond inspiring domestic footage to follow!

Monument Rocks National Natural Landmark Address: Gove 16, Oakley, KS 67748