Southwest Kansas Day Trip
The preserve is 1,818 acres of native grass prairie, open to the public and home to St. Jacob’s Well and a herd of bison. Within Big Basin is Little Basin, a circular depression approximately 280 yards in diameter and 35 feet deep. St. Jacob’s Well is a small, permanent pond about 84 feet in diameter. A short hike from the parking area brings you to the well. The well has never been known to have gone dry. The bison herd is usually visible from the various gravel roads or view points located in Big Basin. Drive slowly, stay on the gravel roads, and do not approach the bison on foot.
Head back north to the intersection of Highway 283 and Highway 160 to arrive in Meade.
10:00 am Arrive in Meade & Dalton Gang Hideout
P.O. Box 515
Meade, KS 67865
Phone: (620) 873-2731
Toll Free: (800) 354-2743
Email Dalton Hideout
The Dalton Gang Hideout was formally the home of Eva Dalton Whipple, sister to the infamous Dalton Gang. Eva Dalton came to Meade in the mid 1880s, and was married to J.N. Whipple, a Meade merchant, in 1887. Whipple built the house for his bride, which still stands at the corner of Pearlette and Green Streets in Meade. Years after the couple left Meade a deep rain wash covered with timbers and earth was discovered. A tunnel from the house to the barn built into the hillside below was discovered. Legend has it the tunnel was used by the gang to come and go undetected by the law.
Admission is $5 and the hideout is open year round. Hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Monday to Saturday and 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sunday.
11:00 am Depart for Montezuma Gray County Wind Farm & Stauth Museum
11:30 am Stop for a closer look at the Gray County Wind Farm
Built in 2001, it was the first wind farm in the state. Its 170 wind turbines covering nearly 20 square miles are designed to gather energy from wind and convert it into electricity. Each tower is 207 feet high and weighs 147,000 pounds. Each blade is 77 feet in length and weighs 3,300 pounds. All in all, it’s an amazing sight. For more information, see the kiosk at the outlook point just off the highway.
12:00 Noon Lunch
We suggest Brianna's in Montezuma for good home cooking.
203 N. Aztec St.
Montezuma, KS 67867
Monday - Friday: 7 am - 2 pm and 4 pm - 8 pm
Saturday: 7 am - 8 pm
Sunday: 10 am - 3 pm
1:00 pm Tour Stauth Museum
Located in Montezuma, Kansas, the Stauth Memorial Museum features the travel adventures of Claude and Donalda Stauth, long-time residents of southwest Kansas. Journey with Claude and "Donnie" as you stroll through the permanent exhibit 'Around the World'. Browse colorful displays of handicrafts and arts from every corner of the earth. Experience famous sites and everyday places from around the world through video and slide programs based on the Stauths' trips.
There is no admission fee, but suggested donations of $1 per person are appreciated. The museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00 am to noon and 1:00 to 4:30 PM and Sunday from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. The museum is closed on Mondays and major holidays
111 N. Aztec
P.O. Box 396
Montezuma, KS 67867
Phone: (620) 846-2527
Stauth Memorial Museum Website
2:30 pm Depart for Cimaron
2:45 pm Stop for a look at Cimarron Crossing Park
Located on South Main, just north of the Arkansas River bridge. In 1822, William Becknell, “father” of the Santa Fe Trail, first traveled what would become the trail’s Dry Route, or the route heading straight south to the Cimarron River. Although it was the most direct passage to Santa Fe, it was the most dangerous section of the trail. In 1878, Cimarron was settled and named for the Dry Route’s destination. Historical markers for the Santa Fe Trail and a map of the route can be found in the park.
3:00 pm Take a break at Clark Pharmacy
Located on the corner of U.S. 50 and Main. A pressed tin ceiling, a 1920s soda fountain, tile counter, and shiny spigots create an old-fashioned ambiance to this full-service pharmacy. It’s a cool oasis on a hot summer day.
Monday - Friday: 8 am - 6 pm
Saturday: 9 am - 3 pm
Phone: (620) 855-2242
Clark Pharmacy website
3:30 pm Tour Cimarron Hotel
The venerable Cimarron Hotel, located at 203 North Main, opened in 1887, under the name of the New West Hotel. For a century it was used almost continuously as a hotel, its three-story brick facade of Second Empire style and its shady front porch welcoming guests to the comforts of its once plush interior. Today it stands as Cimarron’s only reminder of its boom town days in the 1880s. Call for appointment at (620) 855-2244.
4:30 pm Depart for Dodge City
5:00 pm Arrive at bunkhouse to freshen up
Enjoy dinner at one of the many fine restaurants (PDF) in Dodge City and an evening of fun.