Places to Visit—Red Hills

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color photo of red-toned buttes with waterway winding through midground
small drawing of Kansas map with Clark County highlighted in red

Clark County, Kansas

The buttes and mesas of the Red Hills don't quite fit the stereotypical image of the Kansas landscape. The Red Hills, seen here along Keiger Creek in western Clark County, just north of U.S. Highway 160, extend across Clark, Comanche, Barber, and Harper counties. Their red color comes from the iron oxide in the shales, siltstones, and sandstones that were deposited during the Permian Period, about 270 million years ago.

This part of Clark County is also characterized by sinkholes, formed when underground salt and gypsum deposits were dissolved by water and the land above fell into the empty space. One of these, Big Basin, is a mile across and about 100 feet deep. East of Big Basin, in a smaller sinkhole, is St. Jacob's Well, a pool abut 50 feet wide that has never been known to go dry. The road to St. Jacob's Well is about three and a half miles south of the junction of U.S. Highway 160 and 283 (from The Geologic Record, vol. 4.1).

Other places to visit in the Kansas Red Hills.

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