Explore Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park

little jerusalem badlands state park

Welcome to Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Kansas. As an outdoor enthusiast, I couldn’t help but be captivated by the stunning landscapes and unique geological formations that make this park truly one-of-a-kind.

Located in Logan County, between Oakley and Scott City, Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park spans over 330 acres, offering visitors of all ages an unforgettable outdoor adventure. Whether you’re a nature lover, hiker, or photographer, this park has something for everyone.

Get ready to discover awe-inspiring views, embark on thrilling hiking trails, hunt for fossils, and spot an array of wildlife in their natural habitat. Join me as we explore the beauty and wonders of Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park!

Key Takeaways:

  • Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park is a hidden gem in Kansas, offering stunning landscapes and unique geological formations.
  • The park is located in Logan County, between Oakley and Scott City, and spans over 330 acres.
  • Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views, hiking trails, fossil hunting opportunities, and abundant wildlife.
  • Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park is a must-visit for nature lovers, hikers, and photographers.
  • Discover the park’s rich geological history and immerse yourself in its natural beauty.

Location and Access

Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park is nestled in the scenic Logan County, Kansas. Conveniently located between the cities of Oakley and Scott City, this captivating park offers visitors an easy escape into the rugged beauty of the badlands of Kansas.

To reach Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park, travelers can take County Road 400 or Gold Road, both of which provide picturesque routes. Whether you’re planning a day trip or an extended visit, the park’s accessibility makes it a must-see destination for nature enthusiasts and adventurers alike.

With its stunning landscapes and unique geological formations, Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park promises a memorable outdoor experience that showcases the captivating beauty of the badlands of Kansas.

Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park

Park Regulations

All Kansas State Park regulations apply at Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park. As a visitor to the park, it is important to adhere to the park rules and regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Exploration and Guided Tours

Photography

While photography is allowed for personal use, professional or amateur photography sessions are not permitted within Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park. Visitors are welcome to capture memories and take pictures of the park’s breathtaking landscapes, unique geological formations, and abundant wildlife, but please refrain from using professional equipment or engaging in commercial photography without proper authorization.

Drone Use

Drone use is strictly prohibited at Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park. The use of drones can disrupt wildlife, disturb other visitors, and violate park regulations. To protect the park’s tranquility and preserve the natural environment, drones are not allowed within the park boundaries.

By following these regulations, we can ensure that Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park remains a pristine and protected natural area for future generations to enjoy.

Hiking Trails

Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park offers two permanent hiking trails that will take you on a breathtaking journey through the park’s stunning landscapes and geological wonders. Lace up your hiking boots and get ready to explore nature’s masterpiece.

The Overlook Trail

The Overlook Trail is a quarter-mile long and features a crushed rock surface, making it easily accessible for hikers of all skill levels. As you traverse the trail, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the little jerusalem badlands state park, showcasing its unique rock formations and expansive vistas. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture these awe-inspiring moments.

The Life on the Rocks Trail

If you’re up for a longer adventure, the Life on the Rocks Trail is the perfect choice. This trail winds along the rim of the rocks for 1.5 miles, giving you a closer look at the park’s geological features. Along the way, you’ll encounter two scenic overlooks that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Be prepared to be amazed by the natural beauty that surrounds you.

No matter which trail you choose, you’ll be immersed in the tranquility of nature and have the opportunity to spot the park’s abundant wildlife. Keep an eye out for bison, deer, and a variety of bird species as you hike through this remarkable terrain.

hiking trails in little jerusalem badlands state park

Trail Tips:

  • Wear comfortable hiking shoes and dress appropriately for the weather.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and energized.
  • Don’t forget your camera to capture the stunning views along the way.
  • Stay on the designated trails to protect the fragile ecosystem of the badlands.
  • Follow all park regulations and leave no trace of your visit.

Embark on an unforgettable outdoor adventure at Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park and experience the beauty of the Kansas outdoors firsthand. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual nature enthusiast, these hiking trails will provide an unforgettable journey through the park’s mesmerizing landscapes.

Guided Tours and Events

If you want to make the most of your visit to Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park, I highly recommend taking advantage of the guided tours and events offered by the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks. These experiences provide a deeper understanding of the park’s natural beauty, geology, and wildlife, making your trip even more memorable.

The tour and event schedule at Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park varies by season, so be sure to check the Little Jerusalem Calendar from KDWP for the most up-to-date information. They also regularly add new tours and events, so you may discover something exciting during your visit.

Reservations for the guided tours can be made by emailing sarakay.carrell@ks.gov. Booking in advance ensures your spot and allows you to plan your visit accordingly.

During the guided tours, knowledgeable and passionate guides will lead you through the park, sharing fascinating insights about its geological formations, history, and the diverse wildlife that calls it home. You’ll get to explore the park’s hidden gems, learn about its conservation efforts, and have the opportunity to ask questions along the way.

These tours not only enhance your knowledge and appreciation of Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park but also offer a chance to connect with fellow nature enthusiasts and create lasting memories. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a frequent traveler to the park, the guided tours and events are a fantastic way to immerse yourself in the beauty and wonder of this unique natural treasure.

So, don’t miss out on the opportunity to join one of these guided tours or events during your visit to Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park. It’s an experience that will undoubtedly enrich your understanding of the park’s natural wonders and make your visit truly unforgettable.

guided tours at Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park

Facilities and Fees

When visiting Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park, it’s essential to be aware of the park’s facilities and fees to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. While the park offers limited facilities, it provides visitors with all they need to explore the natural wonders of this unique destination.

Park Facilities:

  • Two restrooms are available for visitors’ convenience. Please note that these restrooms may be closed during freezing months, so it’s advisable to plan your visit accordingly.

Park Fees:

  • A daily Kansas State Parks vehicle permit is required for entry to Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park. The current price for the permit is $5. Visitors can easily obtain the permit at the park entrance. Alternatively, if you plan on visiting several Kansas State Parks throughout the year, you may want to consider purchasing an annual Kansas State Parks vehicle pass.

To make the most of your visit to Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park, it’s essential to come prepared. Since there is no potable water available at the park, be sure to bring your own supply of water. Additionally, pack any necessary snacks or meals to keep you energized during your exploration of the park’s breathtaking landscapes.

park facilities

Wildlife and Nature Photography

Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park is not only a haven for outdoor enthusiasts but also a paradise for wildlife spotting and nature photography. As you explore the park’s breathtaking landscapes and unique geological formations, you may come across a variety of fascinating creatures that call this area home.

One of the park’s star attractions is the majestic bison. These iconic animals can often be seen grazing peacefully on the grassy plains, providing an incredible opportunity to capture their beauty and power through your camera lens. Keep a safe distance and admire them in their natural habitat.

Another magnificent bird that frequents the park is the ferruginous hawk. With its distinctive feather patterns and impressive wingspan, it is a sight to behold. The park’s diverse range of habitats also attracts golden eagles, soaring high above the expansive skies.

If you’re lucky, you may even spot mule deer gracefully traversing the rugged terrain. With their elegant movements and striking features, they offer an excellent subject for nature photography.

Remember to take advantage of the park’s unique rock formations and scenic overlooks when searching for the perfect photography spot. These stunning backdrops provide a picturesque setting to capture the beauty and essence of Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park.

nature photography

Nearby Camping Options

If you’re looking to extend your stay and experience the natural beauty of the area surrounding Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park, there are nearby campsites available for camping enthusiasts. Although camping is not permitted within the boundaries of the park itself, you can find suitable camping options nearby.

One option is the Butterfield Trail Campground, conveniently located close to Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park. This campground offers various amenities such as RV hookups, tent camping sites, picnic areas, and restroom facilities. Set up camp and enjoy a peaceful night under the starry sky after a day of exploring the park.

If you prefer a larger camping area with additional recreational opportunities, you can visit the Historic Lake Scott State Park. Located a short distance away, this state park offers camping facilities, including both electric and non-electric campsites. Enjoy swimming, boating, and fishing in the picturesque lake or explore the park’s hiking trails and historical sites.

For more information and to make reservations for camping, you can contact the park office at (620) 872-2061.

Why Choose Camping?

Camping near Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park allows you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area. Wake up to the sounds of birds chirping, enjoy stunning sunsets, and experience the tranquility that comes with being surrounded by nature. Camping also gives you the opportunity to spend more time exploring nearby trails, participating in outdoor activities, and creating lasting memories with your loved ones.

With convenient camping options nearby, you can make the most of your visit to Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park and enjoy a memorable outdoor adventure.

little jerusalem badlands state park camping

Geology and Fossils

The dramatic landscapes of Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park showcase unique geological formations that date back 80 million years. During this time, a vast sea covered much of Kansas, depositing layers of chalk sediment that have since been carved into awe-inspiring structures. These geological wonders have also preserved well-preserved fossils, making Little Jerusalem a renowned destination for fossil hunting enthusiasts.

Visitors to the park can marvel at the intricate layers of sediment that have been exposed over time, revealing a glimpse into the area’s ancient past. The stunning rock formations, with their white and yellow hues, create a striking contrast against the blue sky, providing a picturesque backdrop for exploration and discovery.

In addition to geological formations, the park’s fossil-rich nature offers a unique opportunity for visitors to glimpse remnants of prehistoric life. While collecting or hunting for fossils is strictly prohibited within the park, visitors can still appreciate the fascinating fossils on display, which provide valuable insight into the region’s former inhabitants.

fossil hunting at Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park

Whether you are an amateur paleontologist or simply intrigued by the primordial world, Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park offers a captivating experience that allows you to witness the wonders of geological history and the fascinating secrets it holds.

Smoky Valley Ranch

Adjacent to Little Jerusalem is Smoky Valley Ranch, owned by The Nature Conservancy. This 17,290-acre working cattle ranch offers additional outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking and horseback riding. The ranch features chalk bluffs, a rare remnant of shortgrass prairie, and the scenic Smoky Hill River. Visitors can explore two trail loops, one mile and 5.5 miles in length, and experience the natural beauty of this expansive ranch.

Hiking and horseback riding are popular activities at Smoky Valley Ranch. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced outdoor enthusiast, the diverse trails offer something for everyone. Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside as you hike along the trail loops. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature and take in the sights and sounds of the beautiful landscape.

Exploring Smoky Valley Ranch provides a unique opportunity to connect with the natural surroundings and witness the vibrant ecosystem that thrives in this area. Keep an eye out for wildlife and admire the native plants that contribute to the ranch’s rich biodiversity.

The Smoky Valley Ranch is a perfect complement to your visit to Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park. Extend your outdoor adventure and discover the beauty of both locations. Whether you’re hiking or horseback riding, the Smoky Valley Ranch offers a memorable experience that will leave you with lasting memories of the Kansas wilderness.

Conclusion

Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park in Kansas is a true hidden gem that offers visitors a unique and unforgettable outdoor adventure. From its breathtaking landscapes and captivating geological formations to its diverse wildlife and scenic beauty, this park has something for everyone. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a nature lover, or a passionate photographer, Little Jerusalem is a must-visit destination that will leave you in awe.

Exploring the park’s well-maintained hiking trails allows you to immerse yourself in the pristine natural surroundings and witness the beauty of Kansas in all its glory. As you embark on your journey, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views and the opportunity to capture mesmerizing photographs of the park’s enchanting vistas.

But it’s not just the outdoor enthusiasts who will find joy in Little Jerusalem. The park’s rich geological history and well-preserved fossils make it a fascinating destination for those interested in the earth’s past. As you explore the park, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the unique chalk sediment formations and the ancient sea that once covered this land.

So, whether you’re seeking an outdoor adventure, a peaceful retreat in nature, or simply a place to appreciate the scenic beauty of Kansas, Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park is a hidden gem that will captivate your senses and leave you with lasting memories. Discover the wonders of this extraordinary park and experience the magic of Kansas in all its splendor.

FAQ

Are pets allowed in Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park?

No, pets are not allowed in the park to ensure the safety of visitors and wildlife.

Can I collect or hunt for fossils in the park?

No, fossil collection or hunting is not permitted in Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park. However, you can appreciate the well-preserved fossils on display.

Is camping allowed in Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park?

No, camping is not permitted within the park boundaries. Nearby campsites are available at the Butterfield Trail Campground and Historic Lake Scott State Park.

Are there restrooms available in the park?

Yes, there are two restrooms available in Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park. However, these restrooms may be closed during freezing months.

Is drinking water available in the park?

No, there is no potable water available in the park. Visitors are advised to bring their own supplies.

Can I fly a drone in the park?

No, the use of drones is strictly prohibited in Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park.

How much does it cost to enter the park?

A daily Kansas State Parks vehicle permit, currently priced at $5, is required for entry to the park. Visitors can purchase the permit at the park or have an annual Kansas State Parks vehicle pass.

Can I go off-trail exploring in the park?

No, off-trail exploration is prohibited unless accompanied by park staff on a guided tour.

Are there photography restrictions in the park?

While professional or amateur photography sessions are not allowed, visitors are welcome to take pictures for personal use.

What wildlife can I spot in Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park?

Visitors may spot various wildlife species, including bison, ferruginous hawks, golden eagles, and mule deer.

Can I join guided tours at the park?

Yes, the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks provides guided tours at Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park. Visitors can check the Little Jerusalem Calendar from KDWP for the most up-to-date information and make reservations by emailing sarakay.carrell@ks.gov.

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