Called the Gyp Hills towards the eastern portion and the Red Hills further west, this special landscape exhibits the antithesis to the common perception of a flat Kansas--not that there's anything bad about that though! But this two million acre area of southcentral-southwest Kansas portrays scenes of beauty rarely matched anywhere. Harboring the second largest intact prairie in Kansas, the mixed-grass, this landscape harbors a corresponding complement of unique plant and animal species. Natural resource experts have labeled the Red Hills as the second most important biological Kansas ecosystem as well, second only to the vast Tallgrass Prairie in the eastern part of the state and into northern Oklahoma. The Red Hills region boasts clear, spring-fed streams, bountiful white-tailed deer, cougars, Lesser prairie-chickens, spectacular wildflower displays, caves with bats, unique geological features, fossils of the Cretaceous seas of 100 million years ago and amazing scenery--all featured in earlier Natural Wonders of the Red Hills in this blog. Without further justification, let the pictures tell the story which presents the "landscape" as the 8th and perhaps the most definitive Natural Wonder feature of the Red Hills. Gyp Hills or Red Hills--my easy way to characterize the naming conundrum is that if gyp is showing, it's the Gyp Hills; otherwise "Red Hills" suffices well and is typically the name applied to the greater area typically known for the canyons, rolling hills, intact grasslands and special features of this Land of Enchantment.
|Bear Creek Ridge greets the fortunate visitor just South|
of Sun City, Barber County. In the fall, Sand Lily dresses up the prairie.
|The most iconic feature of the Red Hills|
is Flower Pot Mountain, here shrouded in morning fog.
|The incised canyons of southwest Barber County exhibit|
the characteristic Blaine Formation layer of gypsum.
|Livestock is an integral and very important aspect to|
the Red Hills forming a critical relationship
between well-managed grazed range and a healthy landscape.
|Big Round Cap is a treasured capstone on the eastern edge|
of the Red (Gyp) Hills. Being closer to Medicine Lodge, one
must be careful to use the Gyp Hills moniker which is
the more common name used in these parts.
|Cheyenne sandstone sports colorful lichens with a foreground|
of Prairie Gaillardia in a beautiful area in southeast Kiowa County.
|After several years of drought, the Red Hills explode in|
green beauty in this part of western Clark County. While
called Gyp Hills further east, here they are
specifically called "Red Hills."
|A butte on the eastern edge of the Red (Gyp) Hills reflects|
through fog in one of the many ponds characteristic of this landscape.
|A little bit of gyp, a splash of smooth sumac, with a backdrop of|
rolling hills and the small town of Medicine Lodge adorn this image.
|The fall colors of sumac with still-green leaves against|
the contrasting gypsum layer accent any images.
|A landowner and resource specialist admire the|
positive effects of the Anderson Creek Wildfire occurring
in March of 2016 and review benefits from prior cedar
cutting efforts performed by the rancher.