Where Is Monument Rock In Kansas?

Where Is Monument Rock In Kansas
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What city is Monument Rocks in?

Monument Rocks (Kansas)

Monument Rocks
Location South of Oakley, Kansas, Gove County, Smoky Hills, Kansas, United States
Coordinates 38°47′26″N 100°45′45″W
Elevation 802 m (2,631 ft)
Established National Natural Landmark

How do I get to Monument Rocks in Kansas?

Monument Rocks are located just outside of Grinnell, Kansas. Here are the directions: Take exit 76 off of Interstate 70. After traveling two miles along US Highway 40 in the direction of Oakley, turn left onto US Highway 83. You will see a giant billboard guiding you in the direction of Monument Rocks after around 15 kilometers of driving.

Make a U-turn and get on the Jayhawk Road. To view the rock formations in front of you, drive to the end of the road, turn right, and continue driving until you reach the end of the road. The path of the road passes directly in between two rocky outcroppings. You won’t have any trouble finding a parking spot, and there is even space for larger vehicles.

Have you ever been to Kansas and checked out the Monument Rocks? or the Rock of Castle What recommendations do you have for anybody who is interested in going to this amazing natural and roadside destination in the state of Kansas?

Can you visit Monument Rocks in Kansas?

Where Is Monument Rock In Kansas Where Is Monument Rock In Kansas The rocks are on private property but are accessible to the public even though the land where they are located is privately owned. Observe the regulations that have been posted. There is a ban on camping, open fires, drones, and harassing the local species in any way.

  1. Simply put, show the rocks some reverence and you can help ensure that they will be around for many years to come.
  2. There are some sites in the United States that really stick out in your mind, despite the fact that we have visited many great locations here.
  3. Monument Rocks is one of those locations that will be ingrained in our memories forever.

Have you ever been here? If not, do you think I’ve persuaded you to include this destination on your list of potential road trips? Are you looking for further incredible destinations to visit in Kansas? Visit the 1901 CW Parker Carousel in Abilene if you have the chance!

Where are the chalk hills in Kansas?

Geography is the component of Rural Culture that is portrayed here. Both Monument Rocks and Castle Rock have been highly eroded into unusual spires and shapes, making them spectacular landmarks on the plains of western Kansas. Because of the scientifically significant fossils that these ancient chalk beds have produced, as well as the fact that they have been highly eroded into these shapes, they are a joint entry for the 8th Wonder of Kansas.

Monument Rocks are a collection of enormous, intricately sculpted chalk monoliths that are located on the southwestern border of Gove County. They are also referred to as the Chalk Pyramids on occasion. A National Natural Landmark status has been bestowed to the location in question. Castle Rock is a chalk spire that stands alone in the valley of Hackberry Creek in eastern Gove County.

However, just south of Castle Rock is a large outcrop of chalk that is topped by the younger Ogallala Formation. Chalk was laid down during the Cretaceous Period of geologic history, which occurred around 80 million years ago and coincided with a time when the interior middle region of the United States was covered by a sea.

There were single-celled organisms in the water that was several hundred feet deep that had floated to the ocean floor over the course of ages, causing a slimy slime to form. This material was ideal for capturing and preserving the remnants of species that had formerly lived in that ocean, including fish, turtles, sharks, swimming reptiles known as mosasaurs and plesiosaurs, gliding reptiles known as pterosaurs, swimming birds, and invertebrate animals like as huge clams.

These fossils are often unearthed from the chalk deposits in modern times. The well-known “fish-within-a-fish” fossil, which was discovered in these beds and is currently on exhibit at the Sternberg Museum in Hays, is perhaps the bed’s most well-known fossil.

Both locations are located on private property; nonetheless, the landowners welcome guests and do not require any further authorization or permission. Kindly show some deference! PLEASE TAKE NOTICE That the following activities are strictly prohibited: climbing, the search for fossils, camping, trash, and campfires.

It is impolite to honk at livestock. Please do not take anything other than photographs and leave nothing except your footprints. The Keystone Gallery, which is located next to Monument Rocks, is an excellent location to view fossils and learn more about them.

On U.S. Route 83, approximately 26 miles south of Oakley or 18 miles north of Scott City, depending on which direction you’re coming from. DIRECTIONS: Take the I-70 Quinter exit 107 (Castle Rock Road), then go 15 miles south to the intersection of GO 80 and GO K, then travel 4 miles east to the Castle Rock sign, and then travel north over a cattle guard.

This will bring you to Castle Rock (dry weather road only). To get to Monument Rocks, drive 20 miles south of Oakley on US-83, then head east for 4 miles on Jayhawk Road, then head south for 3 miles and head east for 1 mile (dry weather road only). Alternately, 18 miles north of Scott City, then east on Dakota Road for 2 miles, then north for 1 mile, then east for 3.5 miles, then north for 2.5 miles.

Is Monument Rocks the same as Little Jerusalem?

A brief look into history reveals that Dr. Samuel W. Williston, a professor of paleontology at the University of Kansas in the 1870s, was the one who gave the name “Castle City” to what is now known as “Little Jerusalem.” It is made of of Niobrara chalk, which has been around for 80 million years, and its uppermost layer is the same marking unit as Monument Rocks and Castle Rock.

Where are the Chalk Pyramids?

Photograph taken by Miles Elliot ( www.mileselliot.com ) The Chalk Pyramids are located in Gove County, Kansas, to the west of Castle Rock and to the east of Highway 83. They are also referred to as the Monument Rocks. The rocks, which are protruding from the earth, were formed by the process of erosion from what was once a massive inland sea.

Where is Castle Rock Kansas?

Castle Rock
Castle Rock in 2005
Highest point
Elevation 2,434 ft (742 m)
Prominence 70 ft (21 m)
Coordinates 38°51′40″N 100°10′11″W  /  38.8611219°N 100.1698516°W Coordinates : 38°51′40″N 100°10′11″W  /  38.8611219°N 100.1698516°W
Castle Rock Location in U.S.
Age of rock Cretaceous
Mountain type Erosional remnant

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We beg you, in all modesty, to refrain from scrolling away from this page. If you are one of our very few donors, please accept our sincere gratitude. In Gove County, Kansas, in the United States, the monument known as Castle Rock is a chalk pillar that stands 70 feet (21 meters) tall.

How tall are the Monument Rocks in Kansas?

Monument Rocks/Chalk Pyramids –

A school group stands on the base of “Old Chief Smoky,” (also known as the Kansas Sphinx) an outcropping that fell down in 1986. Photo courtesy Fick Fossil Museum

This historic site is also known as “the Kansas Pyramids,” and both titles are used to refer to the same geologic formation. They were formerly known as Monument Rocks, and on October 31, 1968, the Department of the Interior designated them as the first National Natural Landmark to be located in the state of Kansas.

The location may be found in Gove County, Kansas, and is situated on private property. The Chalk Pyramids, as they are known in their hometown, formerly comprised a spire structure known as the Sphinx, which was intended to play off of the Pyramid moniker. When viewed from the side, this geological structure, which is also known as Old Chief Smoky, resembled the profile of a person.

The history of this region is extensive. Travelers on the Butterfield Overland Despatch path utilized Monument Rocks as a landmark to help them navigate the surrounding area. In addition, Fort Monument was constructed close by in order to safeguard the path.

2004 brought an unusually wet spring. The cliff swallows, which are abundant in this area, found a new home. The swallows use mud to build these nests on the sides of the rock formations, then lay eggs and rear their young inside. They are active flyers, prolific bug consumers, and have amazing flying skills.

The area around Smoky Hill Valley has a rich history, and Monument Rocks plays a significant part in that history. Since many years ago, it has been a popular location for vacationers. These monolithic buildings are visited by people from all over the world, and the surrounding area is frequently utilized for school field trips, stargazing, and picnics.

The county road that runs between the many rock formations at Monument Rocks makes the area accessible to the general public. Make use of our map to determine the best route to take to reach the rocks. One may walk in between them and get a sense of the texture of an ancient sea that was there 80 million years ago.

You may look at the geological terrain and imagine what the Native Americans utilized as a hunting place for buffalo. The height of Monument Rocks is around 50 feet, and the total land area of the national landmark area is only a few acres. These rocks are what’s left over from the western Interior Niobrara seaway, which once stretched all the way from the Gulf of Mexico up through Canada.

What is Oakley KS known for?

When it comes to pheasant hunting, Kansas is routinely listed as one of the top three states in the country by Outdoor Life magazine. The Oakley area provides an excellent environment for ring-necked pheasants thanks to the presence of both native grass and a wide variety of agricultural crops.

Are there cliffs in Kansas?

The cliffs of Kansas If you travel the back roads and byways in Western Kansas, you could be surprised to find some breathtaking and unanticipated beauty. A rough badlands environment with yucca-studded cliffs, caverns, and gullies can be seen along Parks Road, which is located in the most northern part of the state. The Arikaree Breaks are a two-mile wide “break” in the terrain.

Are there castles in Kansas?

2022-07-06 – castles in the state of Kansas The young Jennifer Which castle in Kansas is rumored to be haunted due to the number of urban legends surrounding it? The state of Kansas is home to a sizeable number of castles, one of which is widely held to be inhabited by ghosts.

The ancient Sauer Castle may be found in Kansas City, and it is referred to as “this castle.” The story that one of the castle’s previous owners murdered his whole family, including his wife and their children, is one of the urban legends that gets the most attention. After that, he disposed of them by burying them in the backyard.

Because he was overcome with remorse, he ultimately took his own life by jumping out of the tower. Within the confines of the house, there has never been a single homicide committed. The Sauer Castle in Kansas, which is often thought to be haunted, is not, despite popular belief.

Despite the fact that there have been tales of ghosts inside the estate as far back as the 1930s, there have been no reports of genuine spirits inside the home. Have you ever considered the possibility that Sauer Castle is, in fact, home to a ghost? The instant you lay eyes on it, it’s reasonable to presume that it’s haunted, but there’s no need to be alarmed about it.

It’s not at all! At the very least, there is no evidence to support such assumption. What is it about the Coronado Heights Castle in Kansas that makes it such a remarkable location in the state’s history? The Coronado Heights Castle may be found in the general vicinity of Lindsborg, Kansas.

During his search for the fabled “Seven Cities of Gold,” the Spanish adventurer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado is thought to have traveled through the uncharted wilderness of Kansas sometime in the 1540s. He was so disheartened by his failure that he ultimately gave up his search and went back to Mexico.

The Coronado Heights Castle is a little stone structure that may be found perched atop a hill in the Coronado Heights Park. It is thought that Francisco Vasquez de Coronado looked out over the flatlands from the location where the castle now stands, which was constructed in the 1930s.

What kind of rock is chalk made of?

Chalk from the Niobrara in Logan County The sedimentary rock known as chalk is a softer variety of limestone. Because it is not properly cemented, chalk tends to be powdery and fragile in appearance. The silt that is deposited in an environment containing saltwater gives it its characteristic color spectrum, which can range from white to light gray to buff in appearance.

  • Chalk deposits frequently include fossils of marine creatures of varying sizes.
  • These deposits are composed mostly of the mineral calcite and were generated primarily from the remnants of floating microbes and algae.
  • About 80 million years ago, deposits of Niobrara Chalk, which date back to the Cretaceous period and may be found in western Kansas, were laid down in a huge inland sea that stretched from north to south over west-central North America.
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The chalk that makes up Monument Rocks and Castle Rock, two sets of chalk spires that rise above the plain in Gove County, was produced when a vast volume of ooze settled on the surface of a Cretaceous sea floor. Both Monument Rocks and Castle Rock may be found in Gove County.

  1. The Niobrara Chalk was later buried beneath layers of silt and compacted into rock; nevertheless, it was finally revealed at the surface when rock layers that were covering it were worn away by erosion.
  2. The remnants of the exposed chalk at Monument Rocks and Castle Rock were saved since the more resistant, localized beds that were located above them helped conceal the softer layers that were located below.

In the 19th century, the western Kansas chalk beds rose to prominence due to the discovery of largely complete fossils of giant swimming and flying reptiles known as mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, and pterosaurs. These beds also yielded fossils of aquatic birds with teeth, fish measuring 20 feet in length, and clams measuring up to six feet in diameter.

  • Resources 2003 Geology and paleontology of northern Kansas: Public Field Trip: Kansas Geological Survey, Open-File Report 2003-25, 13 pages Brosius, L., McCauley, J., Sawin, B., and Buchanan, R.
  • Buchanan, R., 2010, Kansas Geology: An Introduction to Landscapes, Rocks, Minerals, and Fossils, 2nd edition: University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 240 pages Buchanan, R., 2010, Kansas Geology: An Introduction to Landscapes, Rocks, Minerals, and Fossils, 2nd edition: Roadside Kansas: A Traveler’s Guide to Its Geology and Landmarks was published in its second edition in 2010 by the University Press of Kansas in Lawrence, Kansas.

The book has a total of 392 pages. Buchanan, R., and McCauley, J.R. Everhart, M.J., Oceans of Kansas: A Natural History of the Western Interior Sea, published in 2005 by Indiana University Press with 322 pages. Hattin, D.E., 1982, Kansas Geological Survey Bulletin 225, Stratigraphy and Depositional Environment of Smoky Hill Chalk Member—Niobrara Chalk (Upper Cretaceous) of the Type Area, Western Kansas: Kansas Educational Series 2 from the Kansas Geological Survey, titled “Rocks and Minerals.”

What is the Kansas chalk?

To the utter astonishment of everyone I’ve told about it, I spent my recent vacation in the state of Kansas (they think Kansas is flat and covered with corn). The excursion turned out to be fantastic. I went to the late Cretaceous chalk, which is well-known for having an abundance of marine fossils as well as bizarrely beautiful carved rock composed of minuscule shells.

  1. My mind took me to Kansas 85 million years in the past, when it was submerged beneath the ocean and I was able to experience life there.
  2. The sea level in Kansas was at its highest point during the formation of chalk.
  3. The oceans did not only inundate the coastlines; rather, they advanced inland and created shallow seas as they did so (vs.

deep ones in ocean basins). One of these epicontinental seas was known as the Western Interior Seaway, and it reached all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico from the Arctic Ocean. It covered a large portion of the middle of North America, including the state of Kansas.

At its peak, the Western Interior Seaway was 2000 miles long and 600 miles at its widest. Added X marks western Kansas (USGS).

The temperature was extremely mild, and there was no ice to speak of. There were no ice caps or sheets in the polar regions, and there were no glaciers in the alpine regions. However, the melting of ice alone cannot account for the extremely high sea levels, which are expected to reach between 100 and 170 meters (300 and 500 feet) higher than they are currently.

Even if all of the ice that exists now were to melt, the global average sea level would only rise by around 70 meters (Miller 2009). There is a strong likelihood that the ongoing disintegration of the supercontinent Pangaea also contributed to the rise in sea level; however, the mechanism behind this contribution is not well understood.

There is a possibility that seawater was displaced as a result of the formation of underwater mountain chains along rifts. Another possibility is that the increased rates of seafloor spreading that occurred during the late Cretaceous period created hotter, expanding crust, which displaced saltwater (Miller 2009).

By Late Cretaceous, today’s continents were recognizable but hadn’t yet moved to current positions ( source ).

Although it did not have a very deep profile, the Western Interior Seaway was quite extensive. Between 87 and 82 million years ago, when it was at or near its peak, the seafloor that would become western Kansas was located far away from land, out of reach of terrestrial debris such as sand, silt, and clay.

Emiliania huxleyi ( source ), a ubiquitous modern coccolithophore. huxleyi honors TH Huxley, who in 1868 presented the now-famous lecture On a Piece of Chalk to the workingmen of Norwich.

One category of plankton is known as the coccolithophores. The calcareous armor they wore is reduced to its individual coccolith components when they die. In the late Cretaceous period, they existed in such large numbers that the coccoliths they produced fell to the ocean floor in such large amounts that they formed vast layers of limey muck.

The filth eventually transformed into rock as a result of time and pressure. Coccoliths, on the other hand, do not compress very easily, and the rock that results from this process is chalk. The European Epicontinental Sea is where the most well-known chalk from the late Cretaceous period originated. This is the chalk that may be found on the White Cliffs of Dover and in the Champagne region of France, which is part of the Parisian Basin.

It is so unique and widely recognized that it is sometimes referred to as simply “the Chalk,” and it is also the eponym for its epoch, which is known as the Cretaceous Period (creta is Latin for chalk).

White Cliffs of Dover ( source ).

img class=’aligncenter wp-image-189362 size-full’ src=’https://www.trailsattheridge.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/kivunagageheny.jpg’ alt=’Where Is Monument Rock In Kansas’ /> Where Is Monument Rock In Kansas It is reasonable to anticipate the presence of chalk in other parts of North America given the size and scope of the Western Interior Seaway. In point of fact, it does, in several areas ranging from western Canada to Texas and Alabama; but, it seldom does so in such a picturesque manner as it does in Kansas, where peculiar chalk pinnacles and monuments (1) erupt from the grassland.

  • Monument Rocks, commonly referred to as the Chalk Pyramids, may be seen from above and below.
  • The Smoky Hill Member of the Niobrara Formation is the chalk that can be found in western Kansas.
  • This member of the Niobrara Formation got its name from the valley of the Smoky Hill River, which is where it was initially documented.

The sediments that make up its makeup were deposited between 87 and 82 million years ago, during a time when chalk could have formed in the Western Interior Seaway because of the circumstances present at the time. Coccoliths have been falling from the sky for the past five million years.

  1. Sometimes deceased creatures would sink to the bottom, and when the limey muck would ultimately convert to rock, the dead creatures would be kept there as fossils.
  2. The rock record suggests that by 80 million years ago, the Western Interior Seaway had already decreased sufficiently to stop the creation of chalk.
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The presence of the Pierre Shale above the Smoky Hill Chalk is evidence that dry land occurred in the area; terrestrial debris predominated in the layers of the seabed. The shift was most likely caused by an uplift in the western hemisphere, which marked the beginning of a huge mountain-building event known as the Laramide Orogeny, which tilted the Great Plains and gave rise to the Rocky Mountains.

  1. The Western Interior Seaway was vanished by the time that passed 60 million years ago.
  2. Over a period of millions of years, the chalk was entombed behind layers of shales, siltstones, and sandstones, all of which were composed of lithified debris that had been eroded off of the mountains to the west.
  3. Then, for reasons that are still not fully understood, streams began to engage in erosion rather than deposition.

They turned themselves into sculptors, cutting and sculpting sedimentary rocks to create drainages that were adorned with picturesque bluffs, cliffs, pinnacles, monuments, and hoodoos. This was one of the most memorable parts of my journey. Additional pictures of the Monument Rocks: The Hill of the Smoke The composition and degree of brittleness of chalk can vary. Where Is Monument Rock In Kansas Where Is Monument Rock In Kansas

The topmost layer is a protective cap of tough chalk.

img class=’aligncenter wp-image-189362 size-full’ src=’https://www.trailsattheridge.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/kygymusekexivi.jpg’ alt=’Where Is Monument Rock In Kansas’ /> From both the top and the bottom, his headgear is falling apart. When exactly will the monument be destroyed? Where Is Monument Rock In Kansas

Fallen chalk is quickly weathered and eroded, appearing to melt into the ground.

The fossils found in Kansas chalk are what have brought the state its greatest notoriety. These fossils include things like oysters, clams, fish of various sizes, sharks, giant marine reptiles, birds, dinosaurs, and more. My search for fossils consisted of little more than looking at many minuscule coccoliths and noticing a few scattered thin layers of shell fragments here and there.

Famous fish-within-a-fish fossil, 14 feet long; Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays.


Vi Fick’s unique fossil artwork is on display at the Fick Museum in Oakley (click on image to examine trees made of fish backbones and small shells).

img class=’aligncenter wp-image-189362 size-full’ src=’https://www.trailsattheridge.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/lowyhenugefoqi.jpg’ alt=’Where Is Monument Rock In Kansas’ /> A week before I was to leave for my vacation, I ran into two friends who are the active and adventurous sort but have retired. I said, “Do you have any trip plans?” She responded by saying that Tibet, China, and Everest Base Camp were on the itinerary for their trip.

What are your thoughts?” “I’m going to Kansas” I said. There was a little gap there. Do you have any family in that area? “No” I said. “I want to see the chalk, the late Cretaceous chalk that’s the same age and composition as the White Cliffs of Dover, the chalk that’s so rich in fossils that it made western Kansas famous!” “I want to see the chalk, the late Cretaceous chalk that’s the same age and composition as the White Cliffs of Dover.” There was again another delay before he said, “sounds fascinating.” That was the case.

In point of fact, the trip was so engaging that it would be impossible for me to cover everything in a single paragraph. There will be more later. Notes (1) It is hard to locate a definition of the word “monument” when it is used in the way that it is being used here.

  • However, it is a useful phrase to know.
  • Pinnacles are characterized by having a top that is both narrow and pointed, however many of these landforms lack this attribute.
  • I thus refer to it as a “monument,” just like the locals do.
  • 2) Even on the timeline of humans, chalk monuments have a relatively brief lifespan.

In the past twenty years, a number of historically significant ones have collapsed, including as the Sphinx and the highest point of Castle Rock. Sources RC Buchanan and JR McCauley published the second edition of their book “Roadside Kansas: A Traveler’s Guide to Its Geology and Landmarks” in 2010.

Press of the University of Kansas (for the Kansas Geological Survey). Diffendal, Jr, RF.2017. Geology of the Great Plains Press affiliated with the University of Nebraska. Everhart, MJ.2005. A natural history of the western interior sea is presented in the book “Oceans of Kansas.” Press of the Indian University.

Hattin, DE.1982. stratigraphy and depositional environment of the Smoky Hill Chalk Member, Niobrara Chalk (Upper Cretaceous), of the type region in Western Kansas. Publication 225 of the Kansas Geological Survey Bulletin. Available online, Hull, PM.2017.

  1. The development of contemporary marine habitats (Primer).
  2. Current Biology, Volume 27, Issues R466 and R469 doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.04.041.
  3. Huxley, TH.1868.
  4. To be written on a piece of chalk (a lecture given to the workingmen of Norwich).
  5. Macmillan’s Magazine.
  6. Available online,
  7. Auffman, EG.1977.
  8. An summary of the region’s geology and biology: the Western Interior Cretaceous Basin The Mountain Geologist, Volume 14, Issues 75-99 Liggett, GA.2001.

Journeys across time, beginning with dinosaurs and ending with dung beetles Sternberg Museum of Natural History, located in Hays, Kansas. McPhee, J.2010. “Season of the chalk” refers to the time of year in Silk Parachute. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. Miller, KG.2009.

What is Oakley KS known for?

When it comes to pheasant hunting, Kansas is routinely listed as one of the top three states in the country by Outdoor Life magazine. The Oakley area provides an excellent environment for ring-necked pheasants thanks to the presence of both native grass and a wide variety of agricultural crops.

What monument is made up of sedimentary rocks?

All different kinds of rocks, including sedimentary, metamorphic, and volcanic rocks, were used to construct the monuments. Rocks that are classified as sedimentary include a variety of sandstones, claystones, limestones, and so on. Marbles of every variety, quartzite, and other varieties are examples of transformative rocks.

Which are the rocks used to build monuments?

Mount Rushmore is located in the state of South Dakota. Mount Rushmore, which is located in South Dakota, is often considered to be the most well-known granite monument in the world. Granite is the rock that is found in the greatest abundance on the surface of the planet; as a result, it has been utilized by cultures from all over the world to construct monuments, constructions, and buildings that will stand the test of time.

Granite was exposed throughout the mountain that Mount Rushmore was cut from to create the monument. The heads of four former United States presidents are carved into the face of Mount Rushmore: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. Despite the fact that work on this monument began in 1927, it was not completed for another 14 years.

During the erection of this granite monument, over 450,000 tons of rock had to be removed. The project was supposed to be far more elaborate than it ended up being because they ran out of money and decided for the faces instead. If you haven’t been to Mount Rushmore yet, you are missing out on a very amazing experience. Where Is Monument Rock In Kansas