Camp Pawnee is a County owned campsite on a 32.5-acre tract of grassland located 4 miles west of Larned along the Pawnee River. This tranquil location is an ideal campground with large open spaces, beautiful mature shade trees, and scenic beauty. It has electric and water hook ups for RV and campers. It also has a septic disposal site. This little known gem features a beautiful campsite nestled between the Pawnee river and the bluffs overlooking the campground to the northeast, a play-slide, climbing bars for kids, bathrooms, building for events, kayaking, basketball court, and a mile long loop for walking and exercise. The camping site is a perfect basecamp for you campers and RV'ers who would like to explore the local history of the area. Fort Larned National Historic Site (one of the best preserved western forts in the United States) is located 2 miles west, the amazing Santa Fe Trail Center Museum is 2 miles to the east. Other areas of interest are the Santa Fe Trail Ruts (actual ruts cut by thousands of covered wagons heading west to Santa Fe, New Mexico), Sibley's Camp, and Coon Creek Crossing. Once you have your camp situated, kick back and enjoy a fantastic sunset and imagine the silhouettes of proud warriors lining the bluffs over looking their territory and enormous herds of bison that once roamed the area.
Location & History
Camp Pawnee is situated in a small shaded area along the Pawnee River. The area was used by the Cheyenne, Kiowa, Comanche, Arapaho, and Pawnee Indians as a spring campsite to hunt bison. In 1865, a small trading post was built just to the southeast of the bluffs (now known as Jenkins Hill) and later became Boyd's Ranch. the first settlement between Strong City, Kansas and Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was the first ranch in the Arkansas Valley outside of the military reservation. Louise Seiple in her diary wrote "No one made the trip over the Santa Fe Trail with out stopping over night at Boyd's Ranch." The area was frequented by soldiers from the fort and Indians alike.
- 14 recreational vehicle (RV) camping sites available for rent with electrical hookups
- Lodge building with a full kitchen and screened in porch available for rent
- Restrooms located on site
- Water hydrant available
Rental Rates & Rules
Camp Pawnee is open each calendar year from April 1 through October 31. For more information concerning rates and rules, contact the Pawnee County Clerk's Office at 620-285-3721.