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Pikes Peak State Park, McGregor

4.8
#1 of 56 in Nature in Iowa
State Park · Nature / Park
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Pikes Peak State Park is a state park of Iowa, US, featuring a 500-foot (150 m) bluff overlooking the Upper Mississippi River opposite the confluence of the Wisconsin River. The park is operated by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. It is nearly a thousand acres (4 km²) in extent. The nearest city is McGregor, Iowa. Iowa Highway 76 approximately defines its northern boundary.

It gets its name from the Iowa incarnation of Pikes Peak, a particularly high point overlooking the gorge of the Upper Mississippi, and like Pikes Peak in Colorado, is named for Zebulon Pike. Pike visited the area in 1805 during his first expedition, camping just downstream near Clayton on Sept. 6 and across the river near Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin the next 3 nights. Pike climbed the bluff on Sept. 5, looking for a suitable location for a fort and marked what would become known as Pike's Peak because it was "level on the top, having a spring in the rear, and commanding a view of the country around."
There are hiking trails, campgrounds, and RV facilities. Mountain bikes are permitted in certain portions of the park. Aside from recreational development, the land in the park was never cleared and to a large extent remains as it was before the settlers.

It is part of a larger complex of parks, reserves, and refuges which include Effigy Mounds National Monument, the various components of the Yellow River State Forest, the enormous Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge and much smaller, much less well known Driftless Area National Wildlife Refuge. The Northeast Iowa Legacy Trail System is undergoing development and will connect elements of these sites.

It is nearby State Line Slough (Iowa).
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Pikes Peak State Park reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
352 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • We were surprised to learn there was a Pike's Peak in Iowa, named after the same guy as the one in Colorado. Zebulon Pike was checking out locations for forts. Free admission and an easy drive to... 
    We were surprised to learn there was a Pike's Peak in Iowa, named after the same guy as the one in Colorado. Zebulon Pike was checking out locations for forts. Free admission and an easy drive to...  more »
  • Paved and boardwalk to the overlook and falls. Pleasant wooded walk in and out or loop. Would recommend. 
    Paved and boardwalk to the overlook and falls. Pleasant wooded walk in and out or loop. Would recommend.  more »
  • This area is kept really clean and have nice views. Some parts are difficult to hike as so many people and lots of old style trails. 
    This area is kept really clean and have nice views. Some parts are difficult to hike as so many people and lots of old style trails.  more »
Google
  • Really special state park. We have visited here twice. Seeing the Hummingbirds here is a special treat along with all the spectacular river views we get to see. The view overlook is very well maintained and a great location. There are trails for hiking and lots of trees. Parking space is very nice too. So many friendly people come here with their families. Also safe and great for camping. We love this place.
  • Gorgeous views overlooking Mississippi River. The Bridal Veil trail is so well maintained, walking to the Bridal veil falls and back to the parking lot through hickory trail was such a breeze. Just can't image how much more beautiful the views will be during summer and fall, so we'll be definitely back again for sure.
  • Wow! What a beautiful view of the upper Mississippi River! This park is easily accessible and feature extensive improved walking/light hiking paths along the ridge and through the woods. It offer many panoramic views of the river. The campgrounds look very nice as well.
  • Must see! The outlook is a very short walk and really an impressive view. It was fun to watch the boats below and duck hunters in the distance. The trail to Bridal Veil Falls is just under 1/2 mile and is a nice wooden boardwalk with railings the whole way. The falls itself was a total letdown. I know it all depends on how much rain… but definitely don’t get your hopes too high. We saw a couple deer on our way back and it was starting to get kinda busy by 10am.
  • One of the most beautiful places I've been to on earth. Right here in our backyard, in Iowa. Absolutely gorgeous and worth the drive. Incredible Native American history with many burial mounds on site. A real place of beauty, reverence and respect.

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