Kansas Underground Salt Museum


Useful Information

Location: 3650 E Ave G, Hutchinson, KS 67501.
Near the intersection of Hwy 50 and Yoder Road.
(38.043402, -97.868050)
Open: All year Wed-Sat 9-17, Sun 13-17.
Check in 15 minutes prior reserved tour time.
Last tour 15.
Online booking strongly recommended.
Fee: Adults USD 23, Children (4-12) USD 16, Children (0-3) not allowed, Seniors (60+) USD 21, Military USD 21, Reno County Residents USD 17.
Classification: MineSalt Mine Permian evaporites
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: L=240 km, VR=200 m, T=20 °C, H=45-50%.
Guided tours: D=2 h, VR=200 m, MinAge=4.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: partly
Address: Kansas Underground Salt Museum, 3650 E Ave G, Hutchinson, KS 67501, Tel: +1-620-662-1425, Fax: +1-620-259-6134, Free: 866-755-3450. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


26-SEP-1887 salt discovered in Reno County.
1923 the first salt mine in Hutchinson opened by the Carey Salt Company.
1958-1961 experiments about storage of nuclear waste by the Atomic Energy Commission.
1923-1965 mine tours to the Carey Salt Company mine.
1959 Underground Vaults and Storage Inc. starts using the halls for storage.
01-MAY-2007 opening of the museum.


Kansas Underground Salt Museum tells its visitors about the salt mining history of Kansas and the still active mines. The museum is located in the mine, so the visit includes an elevator ride, going down 200 m. The mine is toured on a tram, which is the guided part of the visit. There is also an underground museum which is visited on a self-guided tour. The museum is operated by Strataca, a non-profit association.

The tour starts with a hoist ride down to the mine. The 6 ton cage has two levels and transports up to 30 persons at once. The Permian Room shows the layers in the salt and explains the geology of the salt deposit. The mining gallery shows original mining tools and machinery, also personal items of the miners. The Dark Ride is a 30-minute tour on a tram through the mine passages. The Salt Mine Express is a miniature replica of a steam train, this ride shows the passages which were mined 50 years ago. Rather new is a third ride, which is called Salt Safari and shows "unique historical salt formation". There are actually different tickets for the different rides, but the so-called Salt Blast Pass includes all of them. While the mine is actually wheelchair accessible, there might be restrictions for the train rides.

Kansas has salt mines since 26-SEP-1887, when salt was discovered in Reno County during the drilling for oil. This was important, as there were no known salt deposits in the area, and salt had to be transported to Kansas from far away. A salt boom started in Hutchinson, and 26 different processing plants were built, all based on the salt dissolution technique. There are two different technologies used, underground mining and solution mining by dissolving the salt with water. Today there are three working underground mines at Kanopolis, Hutchinson, and Lyons.

The mine where the Kansas Underground Salt Museum is located, is still active and is owned and operated by Hutchinson Salt Company. However, there are enormous abandoned parts of the mine, parts are leased by the museum, another one by the Underground Vaults and Storage Inc. (UV&S), who sell secure storage space. One of the biggest customers is Hollywood, most of the major studios use huge vaults to store copies of movies. Most of the best-known movies of all-time, along with reels and reels of film that never made the final cut. The reason is the constant temperature and the dry air, which is ideal to preserve any stored good. Another important reason is the security, both from theft and from terrorist attacks. The vaults have only one entrance and are easy to protect. After 9/11 the revenue of the company almost doubled.