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10 Waterfalls to Visit in Kansas

Here's what you need to know...
  • With numerous national parks and river-based boundaries, Kansas has plenty of sight-seeing and attractions to offer
  • Some of the most notable displays in the Sunflower State include waterfalls. Visiting Elk, Butcher, Alcove Springs, or Santa Fe Lake Falls provides a thrilling experience to nature-oriented individuals
  • Before engaging in a multi-day expedition of Kansas, one should be thoroughly prepared by making a visit plan and obtaining the right resources
  • Car traveling can be made effortless as long as the drivers are properly informed on a car’s functionality, applicable insurance laws, and road conditions

With Topeka as its capital, Kansas became a state opened to settlement in 1854 with the passing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The state facilitated some groundbreaking movements such as the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, a case that was decided by the Supreme Court of the United States.

It is also known for jazz and The Wizard of Oz. The more in-depth history of Kansas helped shape the overall U.S. development over the 20th century in many ways.

Kansas is known for its continental climate that causes heavy rainfall throughout the year. July is the warmest month as temperatures go north of 80 degrees, while January’s average high of 31 degrees makes it the coolest time-frame.

The state earned its “Sunflower” nickname due to the heavy presence of this plant which, alongside other natural resources, fortifies Kansas’ position as one of the more beautiful states.

10 Waterfalls to Visit in Kansas

Besides tall sunflowers, Kansas offers a wide range of attractions that people can enjoy. Some charms of this Midwestern land include:

  • Keeper of the Plains Bridge in Wichita
  • Auto races at Heartland Park
  • Rodeos
  • Historic cabins, and more

Most impressively, people visiting the area can experience some of the most beautiful waterfalls around the nation.

If you’re looking to visit Kansas soon and need better car insurance beforehand, enter your ZIP code above and compare at least three to four policies today!

#10 — Lake Kahola Waterfall

Location: Dunlap
Terrain: Moderate difficulty, Hill

Formed four miles away from Dunlap, this waterfall is close to a bridge on the lake of Kahola. Depending on the time of the year, one might expect to see a lot of water to no water whatsoever.

The entrance to the dam-covered waterfall is somewhat tricky, although once discovered, a person is able to enjoy drops over enormous limestone blocks.

With multiple falls on this location, one is not going to be forced to do extensive climbing since beautiful scenery can be accessed with minimum effort.

#9 — Bourbon Lake Falls

Location: Elsmore
Terrain: Easy, Semi-Forest

Located in the Bourbon Country, this waterfall is not as size-dominant as the previous one. Regardless, it is slightly more approachable as one can park on the outskirts of the falls and then follow the trail.

It provides a high current of water from April to June due to increased rainfall. Visitors can enjoy a water drop of thirty feet. Furthermore, one can engage in hiking activities as the terrain is forest-oriented.

#8 — Eureka Lake Falls

Location: Eureka
Terrain: Rocky

Similar to previous two falls, Eureka Lake will facilitate an impressive fall for only a part of the year. With precipitation, however, this might be among the most remarkable views that residents and tourists can take advantage of.

The waterfall was constructed under the Works Progress Administration in 1930, and people can hike and fish around this area whenever the weather conditions are convenient.

The most significant amount of water is expected during March, April, and May. This time frame is when the state of Kansas experiences the most rainfall, and Eureka Lake rises enough to have water pouring over large rocks.

#7 — Santa Fe Lake Falls

Location: Edgerton
Terrain: Arduous, Heavy Forest

This waterfall might be one of the “greenest” locations in Kansas. Being in the middle of a thick forest somewhat masks it, which makes Santa Fe Lake Falls slightly more challenging to get to.

Since the terrain is not easily approachable, one might have a better time dedicating their efforts to fishing. The lake offers bluegill, black bullhead, green sunfish, and many more species that people can go for.

Size-wise, the waterfall is tremendous compared to the previous options. It stretches over a couple of hundred feet of vicious current during heavy precipitation.

#6 — Butcher Falls

Location: Sedan
Terrain: Rocky-Flat

Located on the Red Buffalo Ranch, close to the city of Sedan, Butcher Falls is a combination of strong water current and impenetrable rocks.

Although the public must stay one hundred feet away from the falls, individuals visiting can still enjoy beautiful scenery when the weather allows it.

A unique offering located within this waterfall is a bunkhouse. This “Butcher Falls Bunk House” is open to the public during summer months where people can spend up to two nights. The ranch where the falls are spreads over 8,000 acres, thus hiking is possible!

#5 —Elk Falls

Location: Elk Falls
Terrain: Moderate, Rocky to Forest-like

Elk Falls is the only waterfall that carries the name of the ghost-city in which it is located. Inhabited by 200 people who are well aware of the seasonal potential, it might be one of the smallest real cities in the state and nation.

The falls are located on a somewhat flat land that is tangled with rocks and tall trees.

As far as the water itself, the drop is the smallest so far. One could make an argument that the falls compensate for what they miss in vertical drops by having massive horizontal water flows.

#4 — Chase Lake Falls

Location: Cottonwood Falls
Terrain: Moderate, Forest

Located in the largest city of the Chase County, Chase Lake Falls is another one of the less-accessible examples. It is directly related to the Chase State Fishing Lake that was constructed in 1964.

Since the terrain is very forest-like, individuals interested in hiking endeavors are advised to do the precautionary review of their equipment, physical shape, and more.

Once a person gets to the actual waterfall, a combination of green, tree-color mixed with rocks reflections can provide a magnificent view. To get to the falls, slightly challenging routes might need to be taken, although it pays out in the long term.

#3 — Geary State Lake Waterfall

Location: Junction City
Terrain: Hill and Forest

Continuing the trend of forest-oriented waterfalls that the Sunflower State has to offer, Geary State Lake is one of the most notable tourists’ attractions. During its active days in the spring, it has a massive current whose powerful drop can be heard from far away.

The accumulated height of the waterfall’s drop reaches a whopping thirty-five feet, hence the loud sound that is present.

Hiking is an option, although one must account for some mud that exists along the way.

#2 — Cowley Lake Waterfall

Location: Dexter
Terrain: Heavy Forest

As the list narrows down to the highest-grade options, Cowley Lake Waterfall is an elegant combination of red rocks that are splashed by water falling from twenty-five feet.

The accessibility is not one of the positive traits of this location as the terrain is quite dangerous, because of the steepness and broken glass along the way.

The amount of water also makes it impossible to facilitate safe hiking as a single splash could have potent consequences.

#1 — Alcove Spring and Waterfall


Location: Blue Rapids
Terrain: Flat

As the top pick for the list, Alcove Spring and Waterfall have been selected due to their full-year productivity, hiking opportunities, and pretty landscape. It is located in the flatter area of Alcove Spring that has a lot of green coverage.

In the past, the falls were a designated destination for Mormons out of Utah or gold seekers from California. Nowadays, this land is covered with a fruitful ground that tall trees bloom out of, and tourists from every state have been known to come around.

Preparing for This Trip

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When an individual decides to head towards Kansas’ waterfalls or any other state-wide attractions, planning stages of the process are crucial. Failing to create a thorough visit agenda may have detrimental effects on the quality of the trip.

Hence, tools like hike packs come in handy as long as one fills them up with the necessary goods. Some of those goods include:

  • Food & Water Supplies
  • Sunscreen
  • Map
  • Flashlight
  • Knife
  • Fire Starter Kit
  • First Aid Kit

Since a lot of the waterfalls on the list offer hiking, it is essential to also have quality shoes and a few pairs of socks. Water can penetrate the shoe in which case one will need to change their socks to avoid catching a cold.

Given that hiking may involve extensive walking on forest-like trails, wearing comfortable shoes is almost as important as the first-aid kit. Wearing comfortable shoes will ensure one avoids blisters and foot pain.

To ensure no incident will occur, one must do a quality research of the area and trails. Doing your research prior to the trip is how potential hazards, sinkholes, and forbidden access areas are discovered.

Is the car in good condition?


Depending on your starting point, you might have to travel hundreds of miles to get to Kansas. If this is the case, inspecting the vehicle will not only be helpful but borderline obligatory.

This way, one ensures their tires are properly maintained with a functional spare tire and replacement kit, brakes are in good condition, check-engine light is not on, the oil levels are good, the engine is functioning properly, and more.

— The Proper Insurance

Since the road can push the car to its limits, obtaining an insurance policy that will have coverage out of the state-of-origin and some type of 24/7 help service can save one a lot of time and money.

Kansas is set up as a no-fault state, meaning that a crash caused by another driver’s fault will not mean they pay for the damages.

Unless a civil case ensues, one will have to utilize their personal insurance to recover any damages that happened in Kansas. The time allowed to file any type of personal injury claim that occurred in this state is two years.

As far as the legal limits for insurance, drivers are obligated to possess a policy that covers:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury per person
  • $50,000 in total for multiple people
  • $25,000 personal property liability coverage

Therefore, doing online research that compares many insurance companies may enable one to match these requirements.

— Staying Safe


Kansas is known for its rainfall during the spring and winter season, which helps make the waterfalls beautiful, but it compromises road safety.

During the spring, fog and rain are an almost everyday occurrence, which is why drivers must use their headlights whenever necessary and avoid tailgating anyone in wet conditions.

The winter, however, is more focused on maintaining the vehicle. Since the low temperatures can cause fluids to freeze, one should keep an eye on the fluid levels to avoid any major malfunction. Some common tools to take include jumper cables, matches, canned food and so on.

Ultimately, getting informed is the first part of the process, which is not eligible for skipping. When a person is able to create a picture of their expectations, then a comparison of Kansas and that picture can be done.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors have found that Kansas has a lot more than might meet the eye.

If you’re planning to sight-see in Kansas, enter your ZIP code below first and start comparison shopping today!

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