Category: Medicine Lodge

Medicine Lodge

Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway

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.

Gypsum Hills Scenic Drive

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.

Indian Peace Treaty Pageant

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.

Carry Nation Home

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.