One of our last out-of-state places to visit before returning to Ohio was Lake Scott State Park. Tom and I decided to come across US 50 from Utah to Kansas instead of taking the already familiar route along I-70. As long as we were in Colorado, there were plenty of places to stop for the night. But after we crossed the border into Kansas, the towns got smaller and farther apart.
Lake Scott State Park turned out to be a lovely place to spend a night. They had a variety of campgrounds and one had pull-through spots with full hook-ups. But even better than this was the beautiful scenery around Lake Scott. Kansas along I-70 is pretty boring – flat farmfields punctuated by big cities. But once you get off I-70, you see that Kansas isn’t all flat.
Lake Scott State Park is hidden in a canyon in the western Kansas prairie, along the Western Vista historic and scenic byway. Lake Scott, a dammed spring-fed lake, is the centerpiece of the park. Surrounding it are craggy bluffs, canyons, and a wildlife area. The remains of the northernmost Native American pueblo – El Cuartelejo – is one of the archeological sites in the park.
Tom and I arrived in the late afternoon, just after the park office and visitor center had closed. We chose a campsite and set up for the night, then we took a hike along a canyon to the dam on the lake. The trail was surprisingly rugged and was not well marked, but it made for an interesting hike. We ended up in the middle of a bog and had to backtrack to get out of it.
There were several other interesting places to see in the area, but we had to get going early the next morning, so we will have to save them for another day. We enjoyed our sojourn at Lake Scott State Park and will definitely keep it on the list of places to revisit in the future.