Trip Planner:   USA  /  Iowa  /  Nature  /  Maquoketa Caves State Park
Maquoketa Caves State Park, Iowa
(4.8/5 based on 130+ reviews on the web)
Maquoketa Caves State Park is a state park of Iowa, US, located in Jackson County. It stands northwest of the city of Maquoketa.The park contains more caves than any other state park in Iowa. A trail system links the caves, formations, and overlooks while providing a scenic hiking experience. Many areas on these trails have seen new construction, making the journey to the caves safer. Most of the caves may be entered by persons of average physical ability, but some are more advanced. However the park's caves were closed to humans between 2010 and April 2012 in the hopes of protecting the resident bats from white nose syndrome.The park is in the Driftless Area of Iowa. This region escaped being glaciated in the last ice age, while regions to the east and west were not spared. The park has been subjected to hundreds of thousands of years of natural non-glacial erosion.The park's caves, limestone formations and rugged bluffs represent a step back in geological time of thousands of years. Stalactites once hung from the ceilings and stalagmites rose from the floor. Souvenir hunters have robbed the caves of this rare beauty, but many formations remain.Today a modern interpretive center outside the park entrance provides maps and other informational materials. Inside the park, a central map kiosk includes charts of some of the more interesting caves.
Plan your Maquoketa Caves State Park visit and explore what else you can see and do in Maquoketa using our Maquoketa vacation route planner.
Source
Create a full Maquoketa itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Maquoketa

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Iowa by other users

6 days in Poughkeepsie & Des Moines BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, beaches, hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 4 days in Forest City & Minneapolis BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Harpers Ferry BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 2 days in Okoboji BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: November, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in West Bend BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES November, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: November ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 5 days in Iowa BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, popular PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 27 days in United States & Niagara Falls BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM July, teens, culture, outdoors, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens, culture, outdoors, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Ames BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 4 days in Ames BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 7 days in Council Bluffs BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 15 days in Iowa BY A USER FROM VIETNAM November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: November, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Our family (3 boys ages 10, 8, and 3) spent a fun afternoon here, we only had 2 hours to explore, but could have easily spent another hour or two exploring. 
  • We spent one night in the campground. The park is beautiful, but the bathrooms were awful. Unfortunately people visiting the caves use the campground bathroom to wash up, leaving it very dirty and wit...  more »
  • I took my 3 girls - 9, 7 and 4 - to MCSP and we spent a fantastic morning exploring the caves. We got there early enough that there were only 2 or 3 other cars there so it was pretty quiet. By the tim...  more »
Google
  • This is a small park, tucked away off the main roads. Nice picnic grounds, and bathrooms with flushing toilets and running water. There are a string of 16 caves, but the first 10 will require you to crawl to get through some low areas. You will get dirty! The remaining six can be accessed by walking, but you'll still have to duck in a couple places. There are also a lot of stairs. Beautiful place, but you need to be in at least moderately good physical shape -- not for extreme couch potatoes! Be sure to wear comfortable non-slip walking shoes that you don't mind getting wet or muddy if it has rained recently.
  • Really enjoyed being here. Its a public park (free). I spent almost 3 hours here and i believe i saw most of the park. Was really nice being able to walk all the way through a cave and come out the other side. Some of the caves have concrete walk paths so you can go through without stepping in the water that flows through them. I still recommend wearing old shoes though. Also they had a visitor center, but no gift shop.
  • Quiet, serene, dark yet calming caves. Let the smooth cool air rush over you as your senses are overcome with wonder... not the typical kind of wonder either, but the kind that makes you think you've lost something.. you look behind you, "Where is my family?" you ask yourself. Startled for a moment you look around to no avail, they must have gotten lost... "I don't care" you say to yourself, as you let the caves take you...
  • Absolutely amazing. Excellent place to take the family for a day trip. Beautiful landscape as well as views. You can access the caves without a guide, just dress appropriately as some of the caves are shallow and may be muddy.
  • The area is beautiful and the people are friendly. But we did not pass a single group that was not as equally lost in the poorly marked trail system as we were. The map was horrible and there were no identifications to identify which trail was which. We passed several outposts and gazebos that weren't even on the map. Also, there is no marking if the level of ability for each trail. But besides the lack of information, the caves were stunning and the area was beautiful even when you got lost.