5 Beautiful Backpack Camping Spots in Kansas

By Cindy Lockstone

5 Beautiful Backpack Camping Spots in Kansas

It is time to pack up your backpack, throw it over your shoulder and explore the Kansas outdoor landscapes. As diverse and wonderful as the citizens, backpacking can provide a necessary item to all adventure seekers, stillness, calming and incredible sceneries. It won’t matter where you start you will always find home again in Kansas. 

1. Cedar Bluff State Park

Cedar Bluff State Park near WaKeeney offers backpackers two unique areas to explore and camp. Backpack along the shorelines of the Cedar Bluff Reservoir and the wide-open spaces of the Bluffton area on the north shore. The second area is the Page Creek south shoreline. This side is not as developed, but offers large shade trees and sandier shorelines with both designated and undesignated primitive campsites. Both areas can provide outdoor adventure and relaxing solitude.

2. John Redmond Reservoir

Backpackers will enjoy the hiking trails and camping areas the John Redmond Reservoir offers throughout the year. Located in the Neosho River Valley, the area’s rolling hills offer backpackers acres of wheat, corn, and maize fields. The native tall-grass prairies and rolling hilltops open to seas of waving grasses and bottomlands that are coved by trees. Three recreation areas provide beautiful campsites.  

3. Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands

When life gets too hectic, head to southwest Kansas and backpack the Pike and San Isabel National Forests and the Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands near Elkhart. Birdwatch, fish, find an oasis all your own. After you spend time backpacking the area’s scenic, unspoiled grasslands, camp for the night at one of the 12 primitive campsites. Pitch your tent for a small fee under the park’s tall cottonwood trees and take in the peace and tranquility this park offers. 

4. Pomona State Park

Pomona State Park, east of Pomona, welcomes any skill level of backpacker. You are invited to leave the hustling metro plex of Kansas City and travel southeast to this quiet, serene spot and take in the view of the lake, the park, the grassy areas and the abundant trees. Perch yourself along one of the park trails and watch red-bellied woodpeckers, black-capped chickadees, and purple finches spend their days. Recreational activities during your stay could include fishing and boating, and enjoying a variety of wildlife. The park is open year-round. 

5. Kaw River State Park

Bring your camera, your binoculars, and set your backpack down and relax at Kaw River State Park near Topeka. Wooded trails follow alongside the Kaw River and provide incredible viewing of wildlife and even seasonal eagle viewing. Relax and enjoy the beauty this park has to offer as you backpack the river and the remote areas of the park, which are full of stunning natural wonders. 

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