The Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway begins at the junction of Hwys. 281 & 160 and runs 40 miles to the west to Coldwater, at the junction of Hwy 183. Pastures and small hills take you to the beginning of the Gypsum Hills formations, where the butte topography, steep canyons and green cedars in contrast to the red hills. The Gypsum Hills run about 25 miles and near the Comanche county line you pass into the transition up to the High Plains.
Located on Hiway 160 East. Stop and relax on your travels through Medicine Lodge. Enjoy camping (with hook-ups), picnics, and our swimming pool.
Stop an take in the scenery at Barber County State Lake. Enjoy the 77 acre lake with primitive camping facilities and fishing. While staying at the Lake you can hike along the Red Cedar Nature Trail.
Course Access: Semi-Private
Reserve Advance Tee Times: Yes
To take the Gypsum Hills Scenic Drive, travel west of Medicine Lodge on US 160 for 3 plus miles. There, a sign will indicate for you to head south (paved) and in about a mile you will round a curve and be introduced to the beauty of the Gypsum Hills.
2 1/2 miles south, just before you reach the top of the hills, it is worth a long look to the east down one of the most beautiful valleys.
Six miles south of US 160, you will turn west (dirt, marked). Just after the turn look to the north and you will see the back side of Twin Peaks, look to the northwest and you will see Flowerpot Mound, the geographic area of the legend of the same name (vividly described by Nellie Snyder Yost in her work, Medicine Lodge).
11 1/2 miles after you turn west you will turn north at a marked Y and 5 miles later will be back at US 160.
A turn east (to the right) will take you back to Medicine Lodge. Four miles will bring you to the Scenic Overlook which gives you an opportunity to stop and view the valley and hills to the south. A mile to the east (mile marker 217), a cross sits atop a hill and for the next mile Twin Peaks will clearly be in view to the south. A paved area on the south side (mile marker 219) will let you stop again and then on to cross Cedar Creek and back to Medicine Lodge. Total trip distance, 29 miles.
The Medicine Lodge Peace Treaty Pageant compresses three hundred years of history into two hours of education and entertainment as big as life in a setting that looks as it must have in 1867, when the great peace council took place at the confluence of Elm Creek and the Medicine River. Held amid the native grasses and wildflowers of a natural amphitheater, the pageant is a panoramic reenactment of events beginning with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors and winding through the age of exploration – the wayward days of Lewis and Clark and Pike – and culminating with the settling of the Kansas prairie.
Action, excitment, real cowboys. Watch as ranch hands from across Kansas treat folks to the real world of the ranch cowboy. Rodeo events showcase necessary skills and know-how of ranch hands as practiced on ranches today.
The Stockade Museum is enclosed by a replica frontier stockade. The museum displays a multitude of photographs and artifacts which help tell the fascinating story of Medicine Lodge and the surrounding area in the 1870s. Also, an 1877 Log Cabin, Gypsum House, and Old Jail can be found inside the Stockade walls.
Carry A. Nation was a woman who changed the course of Kansas history. In 1880, Kansas adopted a constitutional amendment prohibiting the sale of intoxicating beverages, except for medicinal purposes. The shopkeepers in Kansas violated the law and Carry asked God to use her to save Kansas. She began her crusade against alcohol by smashing her first saloon with ricks and bricks in 1889, in Kiowa, Kansas. After closing all the saloons in Barber County, she went to Wichita where she used an iron rod strapped to her cane to break up the saloons and their contents. She was thrown in jail and was labeled “the hatchet lady” by newspaper reporters. Then the hatchet became her weapon to attempt to enforce the prohibition laws.
Historic Grand HotelUp to a short time ago, this partially restored hotel featured restaurant facilities in the basement with an excellent decor and a supper club on the second floor. However, it is closed at the present time.
It is still a majestic structure to view when driving along the main street of Medicine Lodge.