The most popular way to spruce up the flavor of food is to dig a huge hole in the ground and sprinkle your plate with whatever you find. Avoid dusting your spaghetti with mummy crumbs by tapping into well-seasoned depths with today’s Groupon: for $7, you get one admission (up to a $15.75 value) to the Kansas Underground Salt Museum in Hutchinson. Kansas Sampler Foundation named this old salt mine as one of the original eight wonders of Kansas.
After stopping outside to examine the mine’s antique train, the GE Engine No. 2, guests plunge 650 feet below the surface in about 90 seconds to embark on a self-guided walking tour through the mine’s salty corridors. Various exhibits along the way feature displays of old equipment and rusty salt shakers, as well as interesting geological finds, such as the approximately 250-million-year-old bacteria awakened from spores found in a salt crystal. Experience the feeling of being trapped in a time capsule when checking out the exhibit on the Underground Vaults and Storage, a high-security storage facility that is home to important keepsakes, priceless items, and Elvis.
During the Dark Ride (included with your admission), travel on trams into an undeveloped section of the mine, where you will have the chance to head-butt a hunk of salt off the walls to keep as a souvenir. Tours at the Kansas Underground Salt Museum never depart with more than 28 people, a measure that keeps the experience personal and intimate.
Reservations are recommended.
The Kansas Underground Salt Museum was featured in the Los Angeles Times, and the Kansas Sampler Foundation named it as one of the eight wonders of Kansas. Six TripAdvisors give it an average of 4.5 owl eyes, and WhyGo Family recommends it:
- I liked the mining history stories, the sense of expansiveness as the tram drove around (the excavated area is massive) and even the pitch blackness and total silence when our guide turned off the lights for a moment, to give us a chance to pretend to be moles far below the prairie. – Sheila, WhyGo Family
- The kids and I really enjoyed it. It's a different kind of place to check out. The tour is informative and interesting. – FamilyTraveler1000, TripAdvisor
There's a lot of history within Strataca at the Kansas Underground Salt Museum—about 275 million years' worth. It was way back then when the once mighty Permian Sea dried up, and its receding waters revealed something that would forever change the Hutchinson area: salt. Salt as far as a terrified slug's eyes could see. The mineral covered some 27,000 square miles, and it waited there for eons, until Ben Blanchard—an oil man—accidentally discovered it in 1887. Then salt companies began mining the area, eventually clearing out enough room for a museum, 650 feet deep within the Earth's crust.
To reach that depth, visitors travel down a mine shaft on Strataca's double-decker transport. And that ride is only the first of many. Surrounded by walls of exposed salt, the Dark Ride sends guests on a tram through the mine's exhibits on air flow, hazards, and history. The Salt Mine Express then journeys to an area of the mine virtually unchanged from the way it was 50 years ago. Aside from these permanent attractions, the museum also hosts special events, including its Salt Safari, which sends groups wandering through miles of dark tunnel with only a lighted hard hat.
3504 E Ave. G
Hutchinson, Kansas 67501Get Directions