Kansas has its own Rock City tourist stop near Minneapolis, Kansas. It's a five acre park filled with several naturally-formed boulders as large as houses and hundreds of car-sized rocks spread out over an area the size of two football fields. The huge rocks look oddly out-of-place in the flat Kansas landscape. The scenic Solomon River Valley provides a beautiful backdrop for the park. It is by far the largest example in the world of its kind. This is a interesting diversion for people making the long trip across Kansas along interstate I-70. It's also a popular field trip destination for children.
Geologists think the rocks were formed millions of years ago from Dakota Sandstone, which had been deposited when areas of Kansas were covered by an inland sea. After the sea water receded, the bottom of the sea became the land surface. Ground water containing dissolved calcium carbonate seeped through the porous sandstone, cementing the sand grains together in a process known as concretion. The rocks slowly increased in size as additional layers of sand were cemented together. Over time the looser surrounding sandstone was eroded by wind and rain, lowering the land surface. This left many of the concretions totally exposed, while others still remain partially embedded.
Rock City is run as a public park by a local non-profit corporation named Rock City, Inc. A gift shop at the park sells crafts from local artisans. It's open 9am to 5pm daily from May 1 to September 1. Admission is $3 for adults and $. 50 for children.
The neatest thing about the park is that visitors, including children, are allowed to lean, sit, stand, or climb on any of the rocks. Children can spend hours playing on the odd structures.
Rock City, Inc.
1051 Ivy Road
Minneapolis, KS 67467-8755
Directions: From interstate highway I-70 take US-81 north to KS-18 west to KS-106 north. You will see Rock City signs on I-70 that will point out the way.
3.6 miles southwest of Minneapolis, Kansas
20 miles north of Salina, Kansas
109 miles north of Wichita, Kansas
131 miles west of Topeka, Kansas
193 miles west of Kansas City, Missouri