Geography of Kiowa County, Colorado

Kiowa County, located in southeastern Colorado, is a region characterized by its vast plains, rugged terrain, and agricultural heritage. From its expansive prairies and rolling hills to its historic towns and scenic waterways, Kiowa County offers residents and visitors alike a glimpse into the heartland of America.

Geographical Overview:

According to Timedictionary, Kiowa County is situated in the southeastern corner of Colorado, bordered by the counties of Cheyenne, Bent, Prowers, and Crowley. It covers an area of approximately 1,786 square miles (4,625 square kilometers) and is home to several communities, including the county seat of Eads and the towns of Haswell and Sheridan Lake.


Kiowa County experiences a semi-arid climate, characterized by hot summers, cold winters, and low precipitation throughout the year. The region’s climate is influenced by its inland location and relatively flat terrain, which allows for wide temperature fluctuations and limited moisture.

Summer temperatures in Kiowa County typically range from the 80s to 90s Fahrenheit (around 27-37 degrees Celsius), with occasional periods of triple-digit heat. Winters are cold, with average high temperatures in the 30s to 40s Fahrenheit (around -1 to 4 degrees Celsius) and average low temperatures dropping below freezing.

Precipitation in Kiowa County is relatively low, with most of it falling as rain during the spring and summer months. Snowfall is common during the winter months, although accumulations tend to be light compared to other parts of Colorado.

Plains and Agriculture:

One of the defining features of Kiowa County is its vast plains and fertile agricultural lands, which support a variety of crops, including wheat, corn, sorghum, and alfalfa. The county’s rolling prairies and expansive grasslands are ideal for ranching and farming, with many residents engaged in agriculture and related industries.

Agriculture plays a central role in the economy and culture of Kiowa County, with farming operations ranging from small family farms to large commercial enterprises. The county’s agricultural landscapes provide scenic vistas, rural charm, and opportunities for agritourism, with farm markets, festivals, and events celebrating the region’s farming heritage.

Rivers and Streams:

Kiowa County is intersected by several rivers and streams, which provide habitat for fish, wildlife, and plant species, as well as opportunities for recreation and irrigation. The most notable river in the county is the Arkansas River, which flows through the northern part of Kiowa County before continuing on its journey through Colorado and beyond.

The Arkansas River provides opportunities for fishing, boating, and wildlife viewing, as well as irrigation for agricultural purposes. Its flow is regulated by several dams and reservoirs upstream, which help control flooding and provide water for irrigation and recreation.

Other rivers and streams in Kiowa County include the Horse Creek, the Big Sandy Creek, and the Rush Creek, each of which contributes to the region’s diverse ecosystems and natural beauty.

Lakes and Reservoirs:

In addition to its rivers and streams, Kiowa County is home to several lakes and reservoirs that provide recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. The most notable reservoir in the county is John Martin Reservoir, located in the northern part of Kiowa County near the town of Hasty.

John Martin Reservoir offers fishing, boating, camping, and wildlife viewing opportunities, with its expansive waters and scenic shoreline attracting outdoor enthusiasts from across the region. The reservoir is known for its abundant fish populations, including walleye, bass, catfish, and crappie, making it a popular destination for anglers of all skill levels.

Parks and Natural Areas:

Kiowa County is home to several parks, natural areas, and wildlife refuges that showcase the region’s diverse ecosystems and provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and conservation. The John Martin Reservoir State Park, located near Hasty, offers camping facilities, hiking trails, and water-based recreation on its 16,000-acre reservoir.

Other notable natural areas in Kiowa County include the Comanche National Grassland, the Carrizo Canyon Wilderness Study Area, and the Two Buttes State Wildlife Area, each of which provides habitat for migratory birds, pronghorn antelope, and other wildlife species. These areas offer opportunities for birdwatching, hiking, hunting, and nature photography, allowing visitors to experience the natural beauty and tranquility of southeastern Colorado.

Historic Sites and Landmarks:

Kiowa County has a rich history dating back to the pioneer era, with several historic sites and landmarks that reflect its cultural heritage and significance. The town of Eads, the county seat, is home to several historic buildings and structures from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including the Kiowa County Courthouse and the Eads City Hall.

Other notable historic sites in Kiowa County include the Koshare Indian Museum, located in the town of La Junta, and the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, located near the town of Chivington. These sites offer insights into the region’s Native American history, pioneer settlement, and cultural heritage.

Kiowa County, Colorado, offers a diverse and scenic landscape characterized by its plains, rivers, and agricultural heritage. Its semi-arid climate provides four distinct seasons with hot summers and cold winters, making it an ideal destination for outdoor recreation and rural living. Whether fishing on the Arkansas River, exploring John Martin Reservoir, or discovering historic landmarks, Kiowa County invites residents and visitors alike to experience the natural beauty and cultural richness of southeastern Colorado.