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Strataca - Kansas Underground Salt Museum

3650 E Ave G, Hutchinson, Kansas 67501 USA

122 Reviews
$
Budget
Closed Now
Opens Sun 1p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
    Accepted
  • No Wifi
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“Become a citizen of this working salt mine!”

A journey into the exotic world of a working salt mine is possible in very few places on Earth.The KUSM has a broad appeal for all who seek an indelible experience, and provides the only opportunity of this kind in the Western Hemisphere. Via a rickety elevator, visitors descend 65 stories underground to visit enormous salt galleries. It’s a 90-second trip to the Kansas Underground Salt Museum 650 feet (200 m) below the Kansas prairie. Visitors ride in a double deck elevator that holds fifteen people on each level. Therefore it also created an invaluable resource for Salt Museum curators. They scoured the 67 miles (108 km) of mined caverns at the Hutchinson Salt company. The artifacts they were able to collect have significantly contributed to the scope of the museum displays. The train was used to transport salt, miners and supplies.      The weather in Kansas may be erratic and unpredictable, but conditions underground are very predictable and constant. The mine naturally maintains a temperature of 68 degrees with a relative humidity of around 45%.The mine chambers are very large, ranging in size from 2,500 to 15,000 square feet with ceiling heights ranging from 11 to 17 feet. Since 1954, anyone going into the mine has been required to wear a hard hat and rescue breather. In the history of Hutchinson’s salt mine, no visitor or mine employee has ever needed to use the breather. The Mine Safety and Health Administration, which regularly inspects all aspects of the operation, considers the Hutchinson mine one of the safest in the world. It's true The material used for much of the museum flooring is very similar to concrete; but instead of sand, salt is used with the cement and water. Thus, it is known as Saltcrete. With the ready availability of the salt, it is definitely practical and cost effective for the museum. Saltcrete does leach – emitting a fine dust of salt – until it is cured, which takes approximately one year. It has limited applications because water makes Saltcrete blister and disintegrate. A tram tour, the Dark Ride, is an optional opportunity that takes visitors through a maze of chambers beyond the museum area to see various features of the mine environment – with a brief pause to experience the sensation of complete darkness. The tour also includes a stop at a salt pile for a souvenir – filling a sample bag with salt crystals. While the 26-acre facility is a secured site in another area of the Hutchinson Salt Company mine not open to the public, Underground Vaults & Storage (UV&S) has replicated the look and set-up of its operation for the Kansas underground Salt Museum. The company is internationally known for its highly protective, secured storage capabilities, including being home to the original camera negative of many movies, like Gone with the Wind and Ben Hur, as well as television show masters. UV&S also stores medical records, oil and gas charts, and a host of other valuable documents and other materials from all 50 states and many foreign countries. Businesses prefer this storage because of the constant temperature and relative humidity, the high security level created by “shaft only” access, and the mine’s safeguard from natural disasters like tornadoes, floods, hurricanes or earthquakes. Underground Vaults and Storage and the Kansas Underground Salt Museum have been loaned several artifacts and actual costumes from popular movies. The temporary exhibit includes such notable memorabilia as Batman and Mr. Freeze costumes from Batman & Robin, James Dean’s shirt from Giant, the Snowman from the 1998 film Jack Frost, and Agent Smith’s costume from The Matrix. Perhaps the most interesting part of the Kansas Underground Salt Mine is the ability to become a "resident" of STRATACA. The process involved receiving an actual photo ID card that proclaims the residency of the underground mine, but provides yearly discounts to it's facilities and exhibits.

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Photo of Patrice U.

Reviewed by
Patrice U.

Great place to go enjoyed it a lot I would really love to go back sometime I learned a lot Read more

Photo of Anony M.

Reviewed by
Anony M.

SO MUCH FUN!! It was more than I was expecting! The dark ride was super cool! I would definitely recommend and go again! Read more

Photo of Matt M.

Reviewed by
Matt M.

We had a blast! This place was dynamite! Wish I could buy this place and make it mine. All the puns fully intended. The kids and family all had fun down here. Traveling the country and figured... Read more

Strataca - Kansas Underground Salt Museum

3650 E Ave G
Hutchinson, Kansas
67501 USA
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Hours

Closed Now
  • Sun: 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  • Tue - Sat: 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

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    Wifi
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