Arikaree Breaks Wildlife
Arikaree Breaks - all photos by Steve Sorensen
|This scenic drive through the far northwestern corner of Kansas takes
travelers into the unique "badlands" near the Arikaree River and gives them a
view of the eroded breaks. The scenic road (which may not be passable if muddy)
travels up and over the rock formation locally known as Devil's Cap.
|Only 3 miles of the Arikaree River are within the state's borders.
The river runs from Colorado, across the extreme corner of Kansas, and into
Nebraska. Here the shortgrass prairie is dotted with yucca and prickly pear cactus.
Tracks of mule deer and coyote are frequently seen in the sand along the roads.
Lesser earless lizards are also common in these sandy areas.
Upland habitat along the Arikaree
The most common birds are horned larks, vesper sparrows, western meadowlarks, mourning
doves, and American kestrels. Rock wrens are found along the rocky outcroppings of
Devil's Cap. Small mammals found in the area include thirteen-lined ground squirrels
and Ord's kangaroo rats. Watch for their diggings along the roadways, and
badgers hunting for them. A black-tailed prairie dog town, complete with a few
burrowing owls, can also be seen along the drive. The owls usually stand at the
burrow entrances or perch on fence posts.
Discover what to see, eat and do in Kansas.
Plan your trip today, at TravelKS.com!
There are no developed trails, but hiking along
seldom-used country roads can be very
Click the icon to find a birding list for Cheyenne county.
Click the icon to locate nearby Geocaches
From St. Francis (35 miles north of Goodland) go 2 miles west to the intersection of K-27.
Travel north 17.5 miles on K-27 to an intersection (red arrow)
that is 4 miles south of the Nebraska border and 1.2 miles north of the Williams Natural
Gas pump station. From this intersection go 2 miles west and turn north. A
16-mile loop drive begins from this intersection. Travel north 1.2 miles to the
prairie dog town (which is on private property, so view it from the road). Continue
north, turning left at every road intersection. The most scenic breaks are about 2.5
miles past the Arikaree River valley.
|An interesting side trip starts along a county road next to the Republican River just west of St.
Francis. Turn south then travel southwest for about six miles to the river bridge.
A four-mile drive north returns to US-36. Alternately, travel west at this point and
take only left turns and there is an eleven-mile loop drive in riparian habitat with groves
of large cottonwood trees along the way. Watch for deer
and turkeys along this route. |
|Another side trip goes north from St. Francis, and may
be downloaded in pdf format
Funded by the
Chickadee Checkoff Program
Click here for a brochure!
Kansas web site
the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks
Re-publication of site content in any form other than for personal use
requires written permission. If you are a Kansas resident, please
assist with this and other wildlife viewing and conservation programs
by contributing to the Chickadee Checkoff on your state tax form.
Questions or comments about Natural Kansas may be directed to
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism