Mount Sunflower (Kansas State Highpoint)

Kansas

Trip Date: Wednesday, May 6th, 2020
Last Updated: Saturday, May 9th, 2020
By Ricky Holzer

Hike Information

Rating ★★★☆☆(3/5)
Overall Difficulty Easy
Navigation Difficulty     Easy
Distance 0.1 miles roundtrip
Time 15 minutes
Terrain Mostly flat
Best Seasons All
Family Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes
Accessible Yes

Highlights

Hike Summary

Mount Sunflower was my 15th state highpoint, and yet another drive-up "summit". Standing at 4,039 feet above sea level, this flat spot near the Colorado border is the third highest highpoint in the Midwest and higher than the Appalachian highpoints in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and South Carolina. A visit here confirms that highpointing is about more than climbing big mountains: it's about exploring unique parts of the U.S. and celebrating the diversity of landscapes contained in this country.

The most difficult part of the journey is the drive, though Mount Sunflower is more readily accessible than most highpoints given its relative closeness to a major city (Denver) and short distance from an interstate. After braving some dirt roads in the middle of nowhere, you'll know you've finally reached your destination when you see the entrance pictured below.

The entrance to Mount Sunflower adorned with metal sunflowers

The entrance to Mount Sunflower adorned with metal sunflowers

Once on the property, you'll find a homemade summit monument with some cool ironwork celebrating Kansas, shown in the first picture below. Next to the monument, there's a covered picnic table with a Little Free Library (shown in the second picture below) where you can enjoy lunch and some light reading before another long drive to wherever you're going next.
Mount Sunflower's summit monument

Mount Sunflower's summit monument

The covered picnic table with a Little Free Library on it

The covered picnic table with a Little Free Library on it

Though Mount Sunflower is hardly a mountain, the surrounding treeless prairie provides distant views, as shown in the two pictures below. The remoteness of this highpoint makes this a serenely peaceful place where you can watch the clouds drift with nothing but the sound of a breeze in your ears.
Wispy clouds and endless prairie from the top of Mount Sunflower

Wispy clouds and endless prairie from the top of Mount Sunflower

A green patch of crops in the dusty springtime prairie

A green patch of crops in the dusty springtime prairie

Mount Sunflower is another example of a unique place that you'd never visit unless you were trying to collect all the state highpoints. Cross another one off your list and experience all this great country has to offer! Connect with me using the social media links below and share your adventures!



Important Information

Mount Sunflower is located on private property and is a functioning cattle ranch. Please respect this place so people may continue to enjoy access. Keep your dog on leash and clean up after you leave.

Directions

Mount Sunflower is about 15 miles from Interstate 70. Note that the last part of the drive is on dirt and gravel roads which may be impassible after heavy rains but are certainly drivable by a small passenger sedan otherwise. Despite occassional signage on the backroads, using navigation in your car is the easiest way to find this little spot in the middle of nowhere.

From the West
Take the exit on Interstate 70 in Burlington, CO for U.S. Highway 385, then turn right. After 11 miles, turn left onto County Road G, the start of your adventure on dirt roads. Turn right at the T-intersection ahead, then turn left after a mile and a half. Turn right onto Road 3, then turn right again after about 6 miles. There should be a sign here pointing to Mount Sunflower. After another mile, you'll see the entrance for Mount Sunflower.

From the East:
Assuming you're coming from anywhere further east than Oakley, KS along Interstate 70, take the exit for U.S. Highway 40, and turn left. Continue for about 70 miles, then turn right onto Road 3, a dirt road that should be signed as the turn for Mount Sunflower. If you cross the border into Colorado, you've driven too far. Continue straight for about 11 miles, then turn left at the sign for Mount Sunflower. After another mile, you'll see the entrance for Mount Sunflower.

Google Maps Directions

Parking, Fees, and Facilities

Parking is free! There is a summit monument and register as well as a covered picnic table and Little Free Library.

Nearby Hikes

Monument Rocks rising above the prairie
Monument Rocks
Kansas
★★★★☆(4/5)

External Links