Kansas: Wagon Bed Springs National Historic Marker


While at the Historic Adobe Museum we learned about the Wagon Bed or Lower (Cimarron) Spring. This spring was used by those traveling along the Santa Fe Trail. Due to modern farming methods the spring itself has gone dry but you can visit the estimated location of the spring – as long as you don’t mind driving on a dirt road and through a pasture!

Lower Spring is in the bottom left hand corner of Kansas – image from the National Parks Service website.

On the main highway leaving Ulysses there is a overlook point and historic sign that gives an overview of the Lower Spring but a few miles up the road are a few signs that point you on towards more of an adventure.

After about 2.5 miles the nice paved road turns to dirt then you see:

As we were driving through this pasture on either side of the road a tall poles with Santa Fe Trail carved into them. These indicate the trails path and in some place wagon ruts can still be seen. The historic landmark itself is enclosed within a fence that people can get through easily but not cattle.

We tried to register but were unable to, there was no paper and it was partially full of water.

Trail marker!

This stop is nothing fancy but its free and it is a way for us to learn and to preserve our history. We can see and walk upon the land that our ancestors rode across in wagons, on horse back and on foot. The country is beautiful, sparse and unforgiving to those who did not use proper caution. I suggest a visit.

Thank you KW Photography for allowing me to use your wonderful photos!


6 comments on “Kansas: Wagon Bed Springs National Historic Marker”

  1. Places like Wagon Bed Springs are fascinating aren’t they? Real history and they seriously have to be looked after and retained for future generations. Really interesting place to visit. Ever thought about driving the whole trail?

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