K-181 is primarily a north–south state highway which runs through several counties in the north central part of the U.S. state of Kansas.
K-181 begins at K-232 near the Wilson Lake Dam at the Lincoln/Russell county line. The highway actually begins by traveling to the east for about 6 miles (9.7 km) before turning north and crossing the Saline River in the town of Sylvan Grove. The road continues north into Mitchell County to town of Hunter. From there, K-181 stairsteps to the northwest through Tipton and into Osborne County, where it crosses the North and South Forks of the Solomon River just above where the two forks converge at Waconda Reservoir. At Downs, the road intersects US-24 and continues north into Smith County. K-181 ends in Smith County at the junction of US-281 and US-36 just south of the town of Lebanon.