Sculpture of three giant mule deer bucks outside Cabela's Store, Village West area.

The Great Plains

To best comprehend this vast and underappreciated region in the heart of the US, you need to split up the name. The first word, 'great,' is easy. Great scenery, great tornadoes, great people: all apply. The problem is with 'plains.' 'Humdrum' and 'flat' come to mind. Neither word applies. Amid the endless horizons are cosmopolitan oases like Kansas City, alpine wonders in the Black Hills, and soaring bluffs along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. There are also illuminating tales of comings and goings, from Okies fleeing the Dust Bowl along Route 66 to Lewis and Clark navigating the American frontier and the Five Civilized Tribes marching westward on a Trail of Tears.


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A rainbow stretches over a country road. Image by Fuse / Getty


The Heartland’s best hits: top Kansas sights along I-70

Jan 14, 2015 • 6 min read

Go Beyond

The Great Plains and beyond