The Cimarron Grassland is an amazing part of the Great Plains ecosystem and definitely worth a look when driving through the southwest corner of Kansas. It will not be what you’re expecting! The sunrises alone are worth the price of admission, which was just $7 per night.
Just off the park driving tour road, this little campground sits between small ponds in a larger wetland area within the Cimarron River. Each site is spacious with the usual picnic table, fire ring, and tent pad. Vault toilets and potable drinking water are available all year round, we just had to wait for the faucet to thaw after freezing up overnight.
The area is fantastic for bird lovers, and we watched flocks of Starlings tuck themselves into the marsh grasses for the night. Raptors, warblers, and many other bird species use the area as a fly-over stop during migration. Hiking is close by on the Sante Fe Trail which follows the original path of the old wagon trail through the plains, biking and other motorized recreational vehicles are allowed in certain areas. While the terrain might not be challenging, the sandy soil makes any long walk or ride just a little bit more difficult.
The nearby town of Elkhart affords the usual amenities for groceries, gas, and a few restaurants. The National Grassland office is also in town if you want more information about the area. Check out our blog about our time traveling through southern Kansas…and unexpected treat!