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An aerial view of Lake ScottLake Scott State Park

First State Park in Kansas—1928

Lake Scott State Park remains hidden as one drives across the western Kansas prairie on US 83. Not a hint of the canyon can be seen until you encounter the rolling hills of the Ogallala formation.

Many visitors to our gallery have asked if the park is worth visiting. Our reply is that “it is not a puddle in a pasture,” but a beautiful canyon with a spring-fed lake—well worth the visit.

Many years before the homesteaders came to western Kansas this was a favorite spot for Indians and the site of the northernmost pueblo in the United States. El Cuartelejo is situated within the park. The house of Herbert and Eliza Steele, the first homesteaders, is also located there. If you look closely, you can find benches and bridges the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) built throughout the park around 1934.

There are many different options available for recreation. Our rental cabin is actually one of the original rock cabins built on private land adjacent to the lake. It was used as a poker cabin by local men who helped organize the effort to purchase the land for a state park.

Highway 95 will take you into the canyon for a great view and access to the park’s facilities. Visit the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks website (off-site link) for more details or admission prices. 620-872-2061

©2015 Keystone Gallery / Photos © Barbara Shelton unless otherwise noted

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