The Flint Hills Ultra (FHU) is a roughly 1050 mile gravel cycling route showcasing the amazing Flint Hills of Kansas and upper Oklahoma. The route is entirely on public roads and is open to ride year round. FHUGR takes you through 16 counties. Fourteen of those counties are in Kansas and two are in Oklahoma. The two Oklahoma counties are Kay and Osage. Kay county is home to the Kaw Nation. Osage county is home to the Osage Nation. Towns in all 16 counties vary from "ghost" to few thousand folks. Emporia KS is by far the largest town on the route although many others are within a few hours pedal from the route.
The FHU route was designed with Emporia KS as the "starting location" because I live here. You can certainly "jump in" from any location. My only caution in doing this is making sure you plan well and be aware of where your first resupply might be. The exception is The TOUR which begins and ends in Emporia KS each Memorial Day weekend. More on this below. I advise you to plan well and do your research. Kansas looks flat until you begin to pedal. The route has almost 50,000 ft of climbing and it's spread out over the entire 1,000+ miles. Yes. 1,050 miles of pristine Flint Hills gravel lie ahead. Resupply spots are consistently placed but there are some spacious gaps here and there. A friendly church hydrant or local rancher may be welcomed options. Do your research and be prepared! The Flint Hills Ultra will be an amazing journey!
The FHU debuted in 2023. The first known riders rolled out of Emporia Kansas as part of the FHU Tour. The Tour is similar to a "grand depart" and will take place the Saturday of memorial weekend every year. 15 cyclists rolled out on the 1050 mile journey. Three completed the route. All 15 ended up with amazing memories and stories to tell.
Rain. Rain was a part of the experience for many from the start. You simply can not ride the Flint Hills without encountering minimum maintenance roads. These include field access roads, two lane dirt paths, large 2-5 inch boulder roads and the infamous dirt roads. Every inch handles rain differently and the cyclists got to experience many, many inches in 2023!!