Places to Visit—Scott Lake State Park

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color photo of stone bluffs above trees and vegetation marking location of spring
small drawing of Kansas map with Scott County highlighted in red

Scott County, Kansas

Like an oasis in the desert, the Scott Lake area stands out from the typical High Plains landscape of western Kansas. Situated in a valley carved into the steep bluffs of the Ogallala Formation, the 100-acre lake is surrounded by trees, canyons, and natural springs. The Ogallala bluffs, composed of cemented sands and gravels, are underlain by the Niobrara Chalk. Big Spring (represented by the lush vegetation in the foreground of this photo) and other springs in the area flow from this contact between the Oglallala and the Niobrara. In addition to providing fishing, swimming, camping, boating, and wildlife observation opportunities, Scott Lake State Park and Wildlife Area is rich in history. Near the west edge of the lake is El Cuartelejo, the northernmost pueblo in the United States, built by a group of Taos Indians fleeing Spanish rule in the 1600's. To reach Scott Lake, drive 10 miles north of Scott City on U.S. Highway 83, then turn west on Kansas Highway 95. Travel in a northerly direction about three miles to Big Spring, and another mile to Scott Lake (from The Geologic Record, vol. 5.3).

Other places to visit in the Kansas High Plains.

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