In the 19th century, the western part of the Great Plains were referred to as the “Great American Desert” because it was treeless and uninhabited. Freedom’s Frontier was a last oasis before travelers on the Santa Fe, Oregon and California trails crossed that “great desert.”
Despite the “desert” moniker, the grasslands of the plains support a wide variety of wildlife. You can learn about life in the plains at the KU Natural History Museum and the Flint Hills Discovery Center. Roam the plains and discover grassland life for yourself on the trails at Tallgrass Praire National Preserve and the Konza Prairie Biological Station.
If you have a bit more wanderlust, visit our friends at the Great Basin National Heritage Area to learn about life in a different kind of desert!