Monument Rocks / Chalk Pyramids, Gove County, Kansas
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Monument Rocks on the Auction Block, Topeka Capital-Journal,  7/25/2012
Monument Rocks land has been sold, HutchNews,  1/11/2013

Finding it...
Take US Hwy 83 south at Oakley, Kansas exit from I-70, driving south 20 miles. Turn east onto gravel road at the sign, go 4 miles, then 2 miles south from the "T" intersection. Roads to this site are good.

spring solstice sunset through keyhole in rock

See also:
The Window, Roger's Skypix
Rock City, Minneapolis, KS
Mushroom Rock State Park
Castle Rock, Gove Co.

History
West of Castle Rock area in Gove County, Kansas, erosion has carved these chalk pyramids from what was once the floor of a vast inland sea. Also called Monument Rocks this site is the first natural landmark chosen by the US Dept. of the Interior as a National Natural Landmark. This landmark in on private land. The owners are generous to share this site with the public. Treat it with respect.

This limestone was once the floor of a great inland sea, existing some 80 million years ago. The sea dried away over time and the rock was carved by elements of nature to create these formations, which now stretch up to 70 feet in height.

Personal perspective...
Having heard about these wonderful rocks for most of my life, I have always hoped to visit. "Awesome" is barely adequate as a description of this site.

Visiting during the last hour of daylight at Spring vernal equinox, our day was clear, mild and still--perfect weather! (The stillness is very unusual for this area.) Our mild weather changed drastically overnight. The following day's low was 7 degrees, with a minus-zero wind chill index. Weather in early spring can be very unpredictable in Kansas!

Seeing these 70-foot projections is a religious experience. The quiet, the beauty, the scale and the naturalness of the site will be a lifetime memory.

This place can be yours for $15 million, 10/11/'12

Raking light

rock stands alone in landscape
sheer walls soar upward distance monumental rock stone archway in late afternoon
Across the road

Monuments are set in two groups, southwest and northeast of the gravel road. This second group are the ones northeast.
very large, very tall stand-alone rock soft lighting on fortress-like rock wall undulating rock
southern rock grouping cluster of rocks north of the road tall rock column mountain of rock tall, flat-topped rock
Through the keyhole
rocky point seen through keyhole Carol stands at the foot of the rockcloser view of rocky point

In full sun
Visitors can walk or drive completely around these rocks.

looking southeast across the dirt roadlooking east at the rocks west of the road

Max stands on the sunny side of the rocks
Soft lightsoft light within rock formation
close photo of rock strata looking westward through rocks looking north through rocks mountain of rock
Sunset
These photos were taken shortly before the sun disappeared, around 7:00 p.m. on Spring
vernal equinox.

sky at sunset
last light photoprairie at sunset
monolith at sunset spring solstice sunset through keyhole in rock tower of rock at sunset

Visitor's Comment:
   I just happened to look up your site and was pleased to find it since my husband and I took a mid-west trip a few years ago and looked up this "monumental site". Wow! and Awesome! just barely touch the feeling you get when you see these giants for the first time, reaching to the sky from the flat land of Kansas. We took the back way in, not knowing there were two ways to get to them. After miles of dusty road, we got to the rocks...no one was in site for miles and I really had to relieve myself. The moment I dropped my drawers, a vehicle with 2 men came out of nowhere. They foiled my plan for they parked in such a way that I could not hide, even with all the formations around. My husband drove to the next group and thinking I was safe this time, I again dropped my drawers when another car full of family bounced out. Somehow I managed to lighten my bladder and learned from that experience that I will never get lost....all I need to do is to drop my pants.
   
Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures. I hope they will be protected from vandals and graffitti artists. —Sandra      12/3/2005


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All photos © 2002 by Carol Yoho
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