Kansas Nature January 19, 2023
Life On The Rocks Trail In Kansas Is Full Of Awe-Inspiring Rock Formations
Kansas may not be known for its rugged mountain peaks, but the Sunflower State has its own distinctive, stunning geological landscapes to explore. Want proof? Take a trek along Life on the Rocks Trail, a 2.5-mile out-and-back trail located at Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park in Logan County. This is one Kansas hiking trail that is sure to leave you impressed.
Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park is home to the largest Niobrara chalk formation in Kansas, stretching about a mile long, with cliffs and spires reaching up to 100 feet. It’s been theorized that the badlands got their name because, from a distance, these cliffs and spires resemble the ancient city of Jerusalem.
The stunning chalk outcroppings are left over from when most of the now-landlocked state was covered by a great sea, millions and millions of years ago. Spectacular fossils of all sorts of fascinating marine creatures have been found preserved in the soft chalk of western Kansas, revealing the state’s underwater past.
Today, the Little Jerusalem Badlands is home to a variety of wildlife, including ferruginous hawks, bats, snakes, toads, and lizards. You’ll also find Great Plains wild buckwheat here, a type of plant found only in western Kansas. Keep an eye out for some beautiful wildflowers, too!
There are two trails to choose from at the park: Life on the Rocks Trail and Overlook Trail. Life on the Rocks Trail is the longer of the two, leading to two different overlook points and providing some lovely views along the way. This is a gentle, easy route almost anyone can manage.
Feel free to pause at one of the benches at the overlook points and take in the unique beauty of the Badlands.
There’s something about this landscape that will set your imagination alight and remind you that Kansas is full of surprises.
For more information about
Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park – including a map of the trails, more about the history of the landscape, and how to book a guided tour – visit its website.
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Address: Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park, County Road 400 and Gold Road, Oakley, KS 67748, USA