US 36
Get started St. Francis
End St. Joseph
Length 379 mi
Length 610 km
  • Colorado
  • St. Francis
  • Atwood
  • Oberlin
  • Norton
  • Philipsburg
  • Smith Center
  • Belleville
  • Washington
  • Marysville
  • Seneca
  • Fairview
  • Hiawatha
  • Troy
  • Missouri

According to allcitycodes, US 36 is a US Highway in the US state of Kansas. The road forms an east-west route through the north of the state, from the Colorado border at St. Francis to the Missouri border at St. Joseph. The route does not pass through major towns along the way, nor does it cross any Interstate Highways. The route is 610 kilometers long.

Travel directions

Western Kansas

West of St. Francis, US 36 in Colorado enters the state of Kansas from Denver at an elevation of about 1,100 meters through a flat area with no trees and lots of meadows. This part of Kansas has some shallow river valleys, and is one of the more undulating areas of the state. There are no real height differences. The distances are great here, and there are no great places for miles around. One crosses the Republican, Beaver and Sappa rivers. After 130 kilometers, the first major intersection is in the village of Oberlin where it intersects US 83, the main road from Garden City in the south to North Platte in Nebraska. The road here runs straight for 75 kilometers. Then comes 50 kilometers to Norton, where a second intersection follows, now with US 283, the road from Dodge City in the south to Lexington in Nebraska.

After Norton the road continues east, following small rivers. In Philipsburg you cross US 183, the main road from Hays to Kearney in Nebraska. The road continues eastward across the prairies, and from Smith Center doubles as US 281, the road from Great Bend in the south to the town of Grand Island in Nebraska. The area is quite monotonous, and larger towns are usually more than a two-hour drive from US 36. At Belleville, US 36 follows the main intersection with US 81, the 2×2 trunk road from Salina and Wichita to York, Nebraska.. US 81 is one of Kansas’s major north-south routes.

Eastern Kansas

US 36 near Oneida.

There is then another long straight of 70 kilometers to the east without a single bend. Just before Marysville, the road widens briefly to 2×2 lanes, then intersects US 77, the road south from Manhattan to Lincoln, the capital of Nebraska. The road then continues straight for 100 kilometers to Fairview, a village where one crosses US 75, the road from Topeka, the capital of Kansas, to Omaha, the largest city in Nebraska. The area then becomes less arid, but forest is still rare. In Hiawatha, one crosses US 73, a secondary north-south route from Kansas Cityto Falls City in Nebraska. After that, US 36 is a grade-separated Super Two, a two-lane expressway of one lane each. After that, the area becomes more hilly, because all kinds of small tributaries of the Missouri are crossed. The last major town before the Missouri border is Wathena, after which US 36 becomes a highway, crossing the Missouri River. US 36 in Missouri then continues east through the town of St. Joseph as a highway.


US 36 was created in 1926 and then had its western end at Colby in western Kansas, on what was then US 40N, and now US 24. In 1929 the route was changed and extended further into Colorado. The eastern portion of US 36 follows the historic Pony Express, a high-speed mail route from St. Joseph to Sacramento, California that existed in 1860 and 1861 until the completion of the transcontinental telegraph. Despite the fact that the Pony Express only existed for a year and a half, it has a mythical status. The more than 3,000 kilometers long route was covered in 10 days by the Pony Express.

In 1932 no part of US 36 was paved, although some sections were already improved gravel roads. During the 1930s, thousands of miles of Kansas roads were paved, as was US 36, which was completely paved by the 1940s. It is Kansas’s northernmost thoroughfare, east-west, and is further away from Interstate Highways built in the 1960s. Despite this, the US 36 has not been developed to a high standard in most places, simply because the route does not visit important places. Only in the far east of Kansas is a 26-kilometer stretch from Hiawatha to Highland constructed as a grade -separated super two. The easternmost portion of US 36, actually the last few miles to the Missouri border, is a four -lane freeway that leads to the city of St. Joseph. The first bridge over the Missouri River was built in 1929, and the current Pony Express Bridge opened in 1983.

Traffic intensities

About 500 vehicles cross the Colorado border daily, with intensities ranging between 700 and 1200 as far as Norton, and 1200 to 1600 further east to US 81. Farther east, there is slightly more traffic at about 3000 vehicles around Seneca and Hiawatha. 17,000 vehicles cross the Missouri border at St. Joseph every day.

US 36 in Kansas