Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mt. Sunflower, Kansas (State High Point #24) 12/12/14

Mt. Sunflower (4039'), Kansas, December 12, 2014.

Mileage:  Drive-up

Directions to high point:   (Coordinates: 39.02190°N/102.037°W).    Mt. Sunflower is easy to get to thanks to the many signs along the way.  I drove this route get to the high point. Directions are taken from, with my comments: 

The high point is 38 miles from I-70 (about 21 of those miles on a wide dirt road). 

  • From I-70 take exit 17 in Goodland Kansas, which is route 27 South. 
  • 17 miles later, there is a sign to Mt. Sunflower. Take a right onto the dirt road (Blue Bird Road, Sharon Springs, KS -  follow the main dirt road. Several wide, well established roads shoot off of the main road - can be confusing).
  • The dirt road goes about 15.7 miles to another sign to the mountain.   (Before you get to this sign the road will curve to the left and the road name will change - keep going!).  Turn at that sign.
  • 6 miles later (across from Washboard Road) there is another dirt road with a sign that reads, "1 mile to Mt. Sunflower." This is a right turn.
  • One mile later, there is a sign at the approach to the high point - on the right. (I drove right to the high point.)
Alternate route: The high point can also be reached via I-70 to Route 40. My GPS chose this option (I returned to Denver this route). This way has only about 11 miles of dirt road but Route 40 is a two lane highway (with only two gas stations on the route) so you may be behind slower vehicles. 

  • I-70 to Route 40.
  • Drive to the CO/KS border (past Cheyenne Wells, CO).
  • About a mile past the CO/KS border is "3 Rd" (Rd Wa N3) in Weskan, KS.  There is a sign at the road "Mt. Sunflower."
  • Take the left onto the dirt road for ten miles then a left onto the road with the "1 mile to Mt. Sunflower" sign, on left.

Work brought me to Denver and I took the opportunity to get this high point.  It's about a three and a half hour ride from Denver airport, a somewhat monotonous trek down I-70 for most or all of the way (Route 40 is more interesting with some small towns and farms).  Miles and miles of flat.  I was glad to get to Goodland and see the sign to the highpoint.

Twenty-one miles on a wide dirt road.

Really wide road!
This wide road (signed as Blue Bird Road) is well maintained. I was anxious to get there and twenty-one miles of dirt wasn't appealing.  Blue Bird Road apparently ends and on a curve to the left the road name changes.  I kept going and found the next sign.

I followed the signs to the high point and the roads (all dirt) are well maintained.

This is the entrance to the short road up to the register.

In these conditions any vehicle can make it up the road to the register, though it's just a short walk.

Road to the register.

After a few photos I signed the register and looked around. There's a picnic table and this tribute.

A memorial to the original homesteaders of this property.


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