A whimsical monument marks the highest point in Kansas, not that you could tell by the looks of it.
A low rise near the Kansas-Colorado border is home to Mount Sunflower, the highest point in Kansas, which is home to an outsider art shrine created by the ranchers who own the land.
Located at 4,039 feet above sea level, the point is located on a working cattle ranch, owned by Ed and Cindy Harold, who made a sign and a tall sunflower out of railroad spikes to commemorate the spot. Next to the flower is a mailbox where visitors (who are encouraged to visit the spot) can sign a registration book to their journey. A tongue-in-cheek plaque was also placed at the shrine that states, “Nothing happened here in 1897.” Looking at the area, one might also believe it.
Due to the gradual rise of the land surrounding the point on the “mount,” the shrine seems to rest on level ground or even below the surrounding ground. However despite its looks, the point still holds the record for high spot by elevation. The rusting metal flower is one of the more eye-catching monuments on a state high-point and is a favorite among enthusiasts who make a hobby of visiting the record setting spots (they are known as highpointers).
Unfortunately a vandal severely damaged the site in 2011, but the sunflower still stands, as does the existence of Mount Sunflower.
Know Before You Go
From US 40 near Sharon Springs, take Road 3 north for 12 miles, then turn left when you see the sign for Mount Sunflower. From Interstate 70 near Kanorado, take Exit 1 to Road 3 and go south for 24 miles, then turn right when you see the sign. These roads are dirt for the most part, so be careful in wet weather or winter.
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