Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

When Is the Best Time

Hike 24/7 year-round. It’s never crowded. May-Sept. is best for wildflowers and birds. Wild sunflowers bloom mid-Aug.-Sept. The grass is tallest Sept.-Nov., depending on rainfall. Winter is beautiful when it snows; bleak otherwise.

Hike over 40 miles of easy trails through 11,000 acres of gorgeous, unspoiled prairie with endless skies, colorful wildflowers, wildlife (including bison!), a forested creek, and a one-room schoolhouse. On the historical ranch, there is an educational visitor center, a beautiful limestone house with a hand-carved walnut staircase, and a three-story limestone barn (complete with a horse and a barn cat). There are free prairie bus tours in the summer. If you want to get away from the city and fill your lungs with fresh air and experience nature and peace and quiet, this is the place for you!


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2 thoughts on “Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve”

  1. the bison are there year-round, so I would say the best time to spot them is — daytime! Calves are born in May and June. It’s a big place, so if you go when the visitor center is open (8:30 or 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.), a ranger might be able to point you in the direction where they were last seen. A word of caution: The bison have been known to charge people if they get too close, so bring binoculars and give them at least 100 yards.

  2. July and August are slow due to the summer heat and humidity. The quietest time is December through March when there are no tours, the weather is cold, the grasses are brown, the wildlife is scarce — in short, when the preserve is at its least attractive. Although when there is exceptionally warm weather (such as Thursday, Friday and Saturday this past week when temps. have been in the 70s Fahrenheit (20s Celsius)!), there is a spike in visitation. In the winter my favorite time to go is on a sunny day after a decent snowfall (see photo), which we haven’t had yet this winter.

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