Kanopolis State Park RV & Campground Guide

Kansas

Kanopolis State Park

in Kansas is along the Prairie Trail Scenic Byway, northwest of Marquette. It’s the first state park in Kansas, and features rolling hills, bluffs, and woods in the Smoky Hills region of the state. See towering Dakota sandstone bluffs and the caves of Horsethief Canyon (guess how that place got its name!) It’s split into two areas – north and south of the dam. 

The park is pretty dry, with scarce rain for most of the year. May is the rainiest month, with about a week and a half’s worth of rain for the entire month. The weather can get very cold in winter, with lows down to 17F. Summer highs don’t go much above 90F.

National Park Sample Image
Weather
Spring 30 F – 75 F
Summer 61 F – 92 F
Fall 30 F – 81 F
Winter 17 F – 45 F
National Park Sample Image
Nearby Cities
Ellsworth, KS
National Park Sample Image
Trip Planner
Use our FREE RV trip planner to begin customizing the perfect RV trip. Continue
National Park Sample Image

RV Resorts & Campsites in Kanopolis State Park

Kanopolis State Park has utility and primitive campsites; some with water, some with sewer hookups, and some electric-only sites. If you choose to rent an RV to camp, consider renting with RVshare. All rentals come with nationwide insurance, 24/7 roadside assistance, and a team that is eager to help you make sure you get the perfect RV for your travel plans and for your family.  

There are other campgrounds nearby you can try as well:

Minooka Park

Minooka Park Campground is on Wilson Lake. It was named after the Otoe Indian word meaning "Good Earth," and it has many campsites with scenic lake views and shoreline access. 

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: no
  • Wi-Fi: no
  • Pet friendly: n/a
  • Other amenities: beach access, boat ramp

Wilson RV Park

This RV park in the nearby town of Wilson – which is known as the Czech capital of Kansas – is situated close to the park, with a playground, and coin-operated laundry. 

  • Water hookup: yes
  • Electrical hookup: yes
  • Sewer hookup: no
  • Wi-Fi: n/a
  • Pet-friendly: n/a
  • Other amenities: showers, laundry, playground

RV Rentals Near Kanopolis State Park

Nearby RV Rentals

Restaurants

What to Do at
Kanopolis State Park

Inside Kanopolis State Park

There are more than 30 miles of trails available to hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. The 3,500-acre lake offers even more opportunities for outdoor fun and exploring, and the 12,500-acre wildlife area promises an exciting adventure as well. 

Other activities you can do inside the park include: 

Fishing: Fish for crappie, catfish, wiper, and walleye in the Kanopolis Reservoir. The reservoir allows motorboats. 

Hiking, Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding: Trails snake through the Smoky Hill Wildlife Area, and range from easy ½ mile walks to multi-day treks. Horsethief trails loop through canyons and trees, and farther to the north and west, the Prairie trails wander through the high prairie and Red Rock Canyon. The Alum Creek trails take visitors across vast prairie and through many water crossings. 

Faris Caves: The caves were excavated by a Colorado miner in the 1880s. They were first put to use as his home...and were then used over the years as a spring house, storage room, generator room, and a schoolhouse. 

Wildlife Photography: There are many opportunities for wildlife watching and photography. During winter, bald eagles and ospreys fish in the river. Wildflowers begin to bud in spring, and songbirds flit through the park.

Outside Kanopolis State Park

The terrain in this part of Kansas makes for interesting formations and places to explore...and the history of the area means there are plenty of ways to learn more about the area. 

Restaurants

Renaissance Cafe

An old-world atmosphere permeates this restaurant, which serves up Northern Italian cuisine with a contemporary influence. Try an adventurous braised duck gnocchi, or a more traditional carbonara classica and pair either with one of their Italian wines.

Type: Italian

Location: Assaria, KS

Oliver’s Beef & Brew

This family-owned and operated bar & grill welcomes adults and kids, and offers homemade food including steak, catfish, gizzards, and “dirty” fries. They also have a great selection of beer & cocktails.

Type: Bar & Grill

Location: Little River, KS

Hopp’s Sno Shack

Hopp’s offers tropical sno cones and other tasty summer treats. There are an endless number of flavors, and it’s the perfect way to top off an adventurous day in the sun!

Type: Sno Cones

Location: McPherson, KS

Shopping

Kansas Originals Market & Gallery

The Kansas Originals Market & Gallery showcases artists, authors, photographers, and craftsmen from the great state of Kansas. Shop for Fine & Folk Art, crafts, food products, gift baskets, calligraphy works, quilled paper products, and more.

Location: Wilson, KS

Sightseeing

Mushroom Rock State Park

It may be Kansas’ smallest state park, but Mushroom Rock has some fascinating rock formations that are worth visiting. The rocks, as their name implies, form odd mushroom shapes which drew the notice of Native Americans and pioneers alike...some of them even left 19th century graffiti in the limestone and sandstone.

Location: Marquette, KS

Kansas Motorcycle Museum

The Kansas Motorcycle Museum houses over 100 vintage and rare motorcycles of various makes and models. The museum is also home to motorcycle racing memorabilia, photos, posters, and more.

Location: Marquette, KS

Strataca

Strataca is a salt mine museum, previously known as the Kansas Underground Salt Museum. It’s built within one of the world’s largest deposits of rock salt and is 650 feet beneath the earth’s surface. 

Location: Hutchinson, KS

National Park Sample Image

How to Get to
Kanopolis State Park

From Hays, take I-70 E/US-40 E to Venango Rd. US-75. Take exit 206 for KS-232. Turn right onto KS-232 S/2nd Rd. Turn left onto Old U.S. 40. Continue on to KS-140 E. Turn right onto KS-141 S. Turn right onto Venango Rd. Continue on to Horsethief Rd. 

Entering Kanopolis State Park

There is a fee of $5 per vehicle to enter the park. 

Vehicle Entrance Fee : $5

There’s no better way to create memories with those you love than by heading out on an adventure in an RV. Renting an RV with RVshare makes the trip easy and stress-free. Whether you choose to rent an RV near your home and make the trek, or fly into Kansas and rent an RV for camping, you’re sure to have an adventure you won’t soon forget! We would love to see pictures of your travels - be sure to send us photos of your trip to [email protected] and tag us on social media. Your memories could be featured on our blog, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page!