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Dodge City
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Comprising a portion of Kansas, Colorado, and Oklahoma, the Dodge City Destination is located in the central part of the United States. While a number of urban areas and small cities are scattered throughout the destination, fairly spacious desert lands constitute the majority of the topography. The namesake, Dodge City, occupies 14.77 square miles of land in southwestern Kansas.[1] Currently home to 27,592 residents, population statistics indicate that the total number of people that live in Dodge City decreases annually by -0.18%.[2] With regard to the tourism aspect of the city, the area is primarily known for its Old Western culture, as a number of historic sites are established throughout Dodge City.[1] Visitors can see the reconstructed design of what the Front Street buildings of Dodge City would have looked like in 1876.[10] The Santa Fe Trail is another site notable for its historic background, as tourists can explore a route that pioneers walked along in the past.[4] For those who plan on visiting Dodge City, it is suggested to tour the city from late May to late September should they hope to engage in warm-weather activities.[5]

What Dodge City is known for

The Dodge City Destination encompasses a portion of Colorado and Kansas, as well as the northwestern region of Oklahoma—also known as Oklahoma’s Panhandle. The destination’s namesake, Dodge City, is located in Kansas and serves as the county seat of Ford County.[1] As of 2023, it has been reported that Dodge City has an estimated population of 27,592 residents. The city’s population has decreased by -0.53% since the most recent census in 2020, which recorded a total population of 27,739 people.[2]

Many of the attractions that are found in Dodge City are dedicated to its historical significance and its Old West heritage, an aspect of the city that it is generally known for in American culture. As such, Dodge City has several old western-themed nicknames, which are as follows: “Cowboy Capital of the World,” “Wicked Little City,” and “King of Cowtowns.” Numerous museums, landmarks, and historical sites are established throughout the city, with one of the most prominent being the Boot Hill Museum in the downtown district. This museum displays a collection of exhibits and artifacts that portray the early history and culture of Dodge City. A few notable exhibits that one can expect to see at the Boot Hill Museum include the Kansas Cowboy Hall of Fame; Front Street, which is a partial reconstruction of downtown Dodge City, resembling its former appearance from 1876; the Saratoga Saloon; and the Long Branch Saloon and the Long Branch Variety Show.[1] Moreover, the Santa Fe Trail in Dodge City can cater to both outdoor enthusiasts and those who are hoping to learn more about the city’s history. This trail dates back to 1821 when it first began serving as the pioneer highway, linking the east with Santa Fe, New Mexico.[3]

For those who take an interest in the artistic and musical elements of the city’s culture, The Carnegie Center for the Arts gives local artists the opportunity to utilize their gallery space. Another gallery, known as the Second Avenue Art Guild, showcases pieces that were made by regional artists who produce ceramics, photography, and other similar forms of art.[1] 


Aside from urban areas, such as Lamar, Dodge City, Ulysses, Garden City, Hugoton, Liberal, and Guymon, the Dodge City Destination’s topography primarily composes spacious desert land. A particularly notable natural area in the destination is the John Martin Reservoir State Park, which is situated in the central northwestern region of the destination in the Colorado portion. On account of the walleye, saugeye, bass, crappie, wiper, catfish, and perch that inhabit the John Martin Reservoir, the state park is often frequented by anglers. Travelers who enjoy lake recreation have also visited the park to engage in boating, camping, waterskiing, and bird watching. Over 400 species of birds reportedly reside in Bent County as well. Bald eagles and piping plovers are a couple of species that have been seen near John Martin Reservoir State Park, depending on the season.[6]

Approximately five miles north and eight miles east of Dodge City is the Hain State Fishing Lake. The lake itself covers an expanse of 35 surface acres, while the land area consists of 20 acres of uplands. With a fairly shallow depth, Hains Lake is considered a significant wetland habitat. One of the main undertakings that takes place in Hain State Fishing Lake is waterfowl hunting. Boats are permitted on the lake, though it should be noted that due to the shallow waters, the lake has very few fish for fishermen to pursue.[7]

The summer season in Dodge City has been characterized as “hot and mostly clear,” with temperatures reaching above 83°F on average. This season generally lasts from June to September, and July tends to be the hottest month of the year, as temperatures rest around 93°F. Based on the subjective opinion of tourists who have previously visited Dodge City, it is recommended that future visitors explore the city between late May and late September for moderate climatic conditions. Winter in Dodge City often starts near the end of November and lasts until the end of February, during which temperatures drop to around 53°F. The coldest month is most commonly January, as temperatures range between 23°F and 45°F. Winters have been described as “cold, snowy, and partly cloudy.” The city generally experiences windy conditions year-round, and the highest amount of precipitation occurs in June, with an average rainfall of 3.2 inches.[5] 


Dodge City’s nickname as a “wicked little city,” derives from notable historic figures that had visited the city, namely Wyatt Earp, Big Nose Kate, Doc Holliday, and Clay Allison. Near the present site of Dodge City, a fort known as Fort Dodge was established in 1865. Around this same time period, the pioneers faced conflict, which involved several negative encounters and attacks from marauding Native Americans. The Santa Fe Trail between Franklin, Missouri, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, was utilized by thousands of pioneer wagons. Eventually, Dodge City’s first business was constructed—a saloon that was built of sod and boards. It wasn’t until 1872 that plans for developing the townsite began to form, as businessmen from Fort Dodge, Riley, and Leavenworth organized the Dodge City Town Company. Initially named Buffalo City, it was decided that Dodge City would be named after Fort Dodge, as there was already a town by the name of Buffalo City.[8]

The Long Branch Saloon is one of the most historically significant sites that was established over the course of Dodge City’s history. The saloon’s construction is an outcome of a wager between soldiers and cowboys who were playing ball. Multiple bets were placed, and it was decided that if the cowboys beat the soldiers, then the soldiers had to provide building materials for the saloon. From 1874 to 1885, the establishment was fairly well known in town, with notable owners such as Chalk Beeson and Luke Short, the latter of whom was a gunfighter. The saloon was mainly visited for live entertainment and gambling; however, the Long Branch Saloon became the site of several shoot-outs, altercations, standoffs, and gunfights.[10] One of the most renowned gunfights that took place at the Long Branch Saloon was the 1879 Long Branch Saloon Gunfight, when Frank Loving killed Levi Richardson. For years, the saloon operated, receiving numerous patrons, though, in 1885, the original establishment was burned and never rebuilt.[9] Today, tourists can visit a reconstructed version of what had previously been the arrangement of Front Street’s buildings where Long Branch Saloon was based. These buildings were erected in an effort to create a representation of Dodge City’s appearance in 1876.[10]

3.7 (127 Reviews)

Situated on the southern end of Dodge City, Kansas, is Riverside RV Park. In total, 94 RV sites are offered, with additional sites reserved for tent camping. Every site is equipped with full hookups and pull-through capabilities. Other amenities offered include indoor restrooms with showers and 24-hour laundry facilities, as well as a store that sells various items one may need. Staci, the park’s manager, says that she and her staff “go above and beyond” to help guests should they need it, from guiding the guests to their site to providing recommendations for local attractions. Some of the most popular locations in town include Boot Hill Museum and Boot Hill Casino and Resort. She continues to say the demographic of guests is fairly broad, as they host patrons ranging from couples and families looking for an overnight stop to workers staying in the area for months at a time.

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0 (0 Reviews)

Situated in the southwestern corner of Kansas, Prairie RV Park & Wash is currently under the ownership of Kent and Diana Boaldin. The business has 20 RV sites for visitors to reserve as well as a car wash service that is adjacent to the RV park. Despite the property's location in a fairly small town, a few attractions can be found near Prairie RV Park & Wash, including Point Rock Golf Course and Morton County Museum. On occasion, the RV park receives families and academic groups that host reunions or other similar gatherings. Whether visiting as a family, a couple, or individually, Kent and Diana hope that guests find the RV park's community to be friendly.

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