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Monument Rocks Kansas



Monument Rocks Kansas

Also known as  “Chalk Pyramids”  this is a sight that you are not expecting to see in the flat plains of western Kansas.  The area is so unique that it  was the first natural landmark chosen by the U.S. Department of the Interior, as a National Natural Landmark in 1968.  The formations were formed 80 million years ago when the area was a vast inland sea.  The region provides some of the best fossils to be found anywhere in the world.  Monument Rocks  served as a landmark by the Butterfield Overland Dispatch trail, a Pony Express-type mail route.  The limestone formations stick straight up out of the prairie to a height of 70 feet, which looks much larger when surrounded by the flat fields surrounding the site.

Monument Rocks is listed as one of the  8 Wonders of Kansas by the Kansas Sampler Foundation.

What to Photograph:

The rock formations along with the flat fields surrounding them.

Best Time for Photographers:

The area is accessible day or night and most anytime can make good photos.  As with many subjects outdoors early morning or late evening with the sun low in the sky can give the beautiful golden hour warmth to your images.

Where it is:


Western Kansas, 25 miles south of Oakley and I 70.

Directions:  The Smoky Hill River crosses U.S. 83 about 25 miles north of Scott City.  North of the river 2.5 miles a sign directs visitors another 4 miles east and 2 miles south to Monument Rocks.


Interactive Google Map

Use the map  + – controls to zoom in and out, click and drag the to move the map, use the Map drop-down to change to “Map”, “Satellite”, “Hybrid”, or “Terrain” views.  Drag the little man icon from the upper left corner to a map location for street level view.

Map by Keystone Gallery


There are no fees. The area is privately owned but open to the public.



There are no facilities.

Camping not allowed.


 Keystone Gallery, a Fossil Museum and art gallery located in a historic church building near Monument Rocks.

Fick Fossil and History Museum in Oakley Kansas

Sternberg Museum in Hays Kansas

8 Wonders of Kansas

Location Contact Information:

 Keystone Gallery, 620.872.2762;


Nearest City or Town:

Oakley 25 miles North.

Scott City 25 miles South.

Tips for the Photographer:


You can use just about any equipment for photographing the Monument Rocks, there is plenty of room to move around and get back as far as you like to get the composition you want.  A polarizing filter to help cut the midday glare and add to the deep blue of the sky is a good choice.

Photography Tips:

If you are photographing during the middle of the day the contrast between the light and dark areas will be very extreme and using a High Dynamic Range (HDR) technique will help recover all of the detail.  The formations take on a new shape with just a few steps in any direction so move around a lot and shoot from different angles.

Be cautious walking around in the area as there are rattlesnakes in this part of the country and they love rocky places to hide.




Find more about Weather in Scott City, KS
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Monument Rocks Photo Gallery

Click Here for full page gallery


More Photographic Destinations in Kansas:

Interactive Google Map

Use the map  + – controls to zoom in and out, use the Map drop-down to change to “Map”, “Satellite”, “Hybrid”, or “Terrain” views.  Drag the little man icon from the upper left corner to a map location for street level view. Click on a pushpin for more information about the Photographic Destination, then click on the title to go to the location page.

Click Here for Photographic Destinations by State




Greg Disch is a freelance photographer located in Fort Smith, Arkansas.  Greg specializes in nature, scenic, wildlife, and other outdoor subjects in Arkansas and other areas of the country. Greg also shoots portraits and event photography and is available for assignments.  Greg teaches photography classes and workshops in Arkansas and other locations.  Most of the images on this site are available for sale as prints, personal use, or rights managed stock photos.



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Greg Disch
1918 N. 7th Street
Fort Smith, Arkansas 72904

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