Recreation on the Cimarron National Grassland

Opportunities on the Cimarron include  hunting,  fishing, camping, hiking, biking, horseback riding, photography and bird watching. There are hiking trails, ten fishing ponds, three picnic areas and one campground. Also located on the Grassland are twenty-three miles of the Santa Fe National Historic Trail. This is the longest portion of the trail located on public land. Another important recreation opportunity is the trails and areas for riding ATVs. The Cimarron NG is one of only a few designated areas within the vicinity that allows this type of use. All help to diversify the local economy. Maps of the Cimarron National Grassland are available at the U. S. Forest Service District Office for $10.00 each (cash, check or money order made out to the USDA Forest Service) or send your request and funds to P. O. Box 300, 242 Highway 56 East, Elkhart, KS 67950.


Camping on the Grassland falls into two categories: established site or primitive dispersed camping. Established site camping is available at the Cimarron Recreation Area located 4 miles E of Hwy 27 along the gravel road FS700, south of the river. The nightly fee for a campsite is $7.00 and reservations are not available. Only charcoal fires and gas camp stoves are permitted in this area, no open campfires. No hook-ups.

Primitive dispersed camping is permitted on the Grassland, anywhere except in the  Cimarron Recreation Area and on the Cottonwood & Middle Spring Picnic Grounds and Point of Rocks. There is no fee for this camping.

There is a maximum of 14 days of camping occupancy in any one spot for both primitive dispersed and developed site camping. After 14 days, campers must move their campsite.


Fishing ponds are open year round with light to moderate use. Winters are moderate, with snow common but not usually severe. Summers are hot with dry winds. Trout are stocked in some of the ponds in the winter and channel catfish are stocked during the summer. Please refer to Kansas Dept of Wildlife and Parks for further information regarding licensing, size limit and etc.

Mallard Pond

Travel east of the Recreation Area on FS700 for one mile to a small sign indicating the location of the pond. Facilities are not available.

Wilburton Pond

Travel east past Mallard Pond approximately one mile. Cross the paved road and continue east approximately 1/3 mile to pond on north side of the road. Facilities are not available

Point of Rocks Ponds

Travel 7 miles north of Elkhart on Highway 27 and turn west on FS600 (just north of the Cimarron River Bridge), continue west approximately one mile; signs indicate the location of the ponds. Facilities include a SST toilet.