Sandsage Bison Range
One of the most popular attractions in southwest Kansas is the Sandsage Bison Range. This expansive prairie is home to a herd of over 100 buffalo. The Sandsage Bison Range is a short drive from the center of Garden City. The Bison Range was established in 1916. The Kansas National Forest was granted land from then president, Woodrow Wilson. Now, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism teams with Finney County to sustain over 3,760 acres of wild prairie land. This awe-inspiring, nature reserve is managed by the ‘Friends of the Sandsage Bison Range.’ This foundation consists of dedicated rangers and volunteers that maintain the abundance of wildlife that are found there. They protect this special range; because it is one of the few expanses of land that has not been developed into cropland.
The bison herd was reintroduced to the area in October, 1924. They are not the only animals that you will observe there. The Sandsage prairie is home to jack rabbits, mule deer, kangaroo rats, western hognose snakes and scaled quail. This variety of species coexists and create a wonderful natural environment for tourists to visit. The range is sectioned into pastures. For the safety of the public, touring the pasture where the bison roam is not permitted.
The Friends of the Sandsage Bison Range offer tours daily to get up close views of this majestic animal. The park guides are passionate about educating the public on the rich history of bison in North America. They say that there is always something interesting to find in this unique ecosystem. These volunteer-run personal tours can be reserved from March 2 to October 31 each year.
Personal tours are not the only way to visit the bison range. Annual events such as ‘Stargazing on the Prairie’ are made possible by the volunteer organization. The Sandsage range is the perfect spot to view the stars without the interference of city lights. Spend a cozy evening gazing at the stars while bison graze in the pasture.
Spring is the perfect time for blossoms and baby buffalo. That’s right! The calving season is in late spring. Come visit ‘Spring on the Prairie’ to catch a glimpse of a fuzzy new-born buffalo. A wide range of wild flowers are in bloom during this season, making it a picturesque time on the prairie. These wildflower walks are held on weekends during the spring and summer.
Remember, tours are offered on volunteer availability from March to October. The Friends of the Sandsage Bison Range take reservations by phone on weekdays between 8am and 5pm. They ask that you kindly make a reservation, days in advance of the tour. This organization makes the range accessible to the public through volunteer programs. They are always looking for enthusiastic volunteers to assist with daily tasks.
Take time during your next vacation to get in touch with these majestic beasts. Come out and experience the unique nature of the Sandsage Bison Range.
Find the Sandsage Bison Range at:
785 S. Hwy 83,
Garden City, KS 67846
To schedule a tour or for more information call 620-276-9400