St. Jacob's Well and Big Basin

Springs, Lakes & Parks

Wagon Bed Springs, Santa Fe Trail, Ulysses,KS

Travelers longed and looked for this watering hole that became their life source for many as they traversed through the most dangerous and arduous portion of the Santa Fe Trail. One of the most famous groups of travelers to drink from the Springs was a 500-man group of Mormon soldiers on their way to California to fight in the War of 1846 after a 50-mile foot trek through the desert. The Springs, named after a wagon box set seeping in water, gained national recognition in 1961 when the National Park Service deemed it an Historic Landmark.

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St. Jacob's Well, Clark County, KS

Approximately 15 miles south of Minneola on U.S. 283 is the Little Basin - about 280 yards in diameter and 35 feet from rim to floor. Within Little Basin is a small permanent pond known as St. Jacob's Well. St. Jacob's Well is a pool of water about 84 feet in diameter that has never been known to go dry.

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Clark State Fishing Lake, Clark County, KS

Approaching through flat farmlands and pasturelands, visitors are pleasantly surprised to discover Clark State Fishing Lake nestled in the deep Bluff Creek canyon. Several short drives or walks, on both sides of the lake, provide scenic vistas of this rugged western Kansas treasure. The lake is attractive to ducks and geese, and ospreys are common during the fall migration. Herons, gulls, and terns are also seen. During summer, both eastern and western kingbirds nest in the campground trees and noisily defend their territories.

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Lake Coldwater, Coldwater, KS

Until development of Horsethief Reservoir in Hodgeman County, Lake Coldwater has been the only city, county, or state lake in southwest Kansas that permitted water-related sports. It is a 250 acre man-made lake in a 930 acre park within the Coldwater City limits.

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Horsethief Reservoir, Jetmore, KS

Hook up your camper, load up the boat, buy your bait and come to the Lake! Camping, Boating, Skiing, Swimming, Picnicking, Fishing and Hunting are just some of the great opportunities that will be enjoyed by HorseThief users in 2012. The camping area opened up April 15, 2011 and has 42 camping sites with water and electric.

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Lake Scott State Park and Wildlife Area, near Scott City, KS

Eleven miles north of Scott City on Beaver Creek, Lake Scott State Park and Wildlife Area is a surprising oasis nestled in the prairie of Western Kansas. From some directions, you can look across Ladder Creek Canyon from a few hundred feet away and see no hint of the 1100 acres of lush diversity. Descending into the canyon, you will discover Scott State Fishing Lake, natural springs, rocky bluffs, and groves of ash, cedar, elm, walnut, and willow trees.

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Meade State Park and Fishing Lake

In addition to a scenic fishing lake and well-developed campground, Meade State Park and Fishing Lake offers much to wildlife watchers. Birders regularly turn up unusual sightings at the area, including the brown pelican and magnificent frigatebird.

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