Cimarron National Grassland

Elkhart, Kansas

Cimarron National Grassland is a campground located in Elkhart. Cimarron National Grasslands is well known to wildlife enthusiasts who travel to Morton County to explore the rolling sandsage prairie.
Sand sagebrush is a conspicuous 3-foot-tall shrub with gray-green foliage. Local wildflowers include silky prairie clover, sweet sand verbena, sand milkweed, hairy gaura, field goosefoot, and wild begonia. Elk and pronghorns are found in the area. If you wish to see them, call the district office for the current location of the herds. While driving the roads be alert for porcupines.

Bird species normally associated with the arid southwest or the mountains are sometimes found here. Throughout the year Kansas listers search for rarities such as mountain chickadees, scrub jays, Steller's jays, roadrunners, bushtits, curve-billed thrashers, and western tanagers. Mountain plovers are sometimes found in early August. Nesting birds include Cassin's sparrows, lark buntings, scaled quail, and lesser prairie chickens. Several prairie chicken booming grounds, or leks, have observation blinds for public use. Call the district office to make reservations.

Several species of amphibians are commonly found on the grasslands. After rains in spring and summer, drive the roads at night and listen for the calls of plains spadefoot toads, Great Plains toads, Woodhouse's toads, and plains leopard frogs. Common reptiles include ornate box turtles, northern earless lizards, Texas horned lizards, and western rattlesnakes.

A self-guided auto tour is a scenic 50-mile drive that highlights many of the interesting wildlife features, including a prairie dog town. Portions of the historic Santa Fe Trail, marked by limestone posts, are visible in many locations. One stop is Point of Rocks, an important landmark on the trail and a great place to find rock wrens. Middle Spring provided trail travelers with a dependable, year-round source of water. Today, pools of water are dammed by beaver. The water and trees are an attractive oasis to wildlife of all kinds.

Local dining options close to Cimarron National Grassland include Pizza Hut, Big C’s, Daylight Donuts Elkhart, and El Aguage.

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242 Highway 56 East

Tel: (620) 697-4261

Fee for overnight camping, Water available, Restrooms, Fishing Pond. 14 campsites - no hookups. Primitive camping allowed.

The responsible entity for management of Cimarron National Grasslands is the US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. Their mailing address is:
242 Highway 56 East
PO Box 300
Elkhart KS 67950

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