Great River Bluffs State Park, Winona

4.5
#5 of 15 in Things to do in Winona
Great River Bluffs State Park is a state park of Minnesota, United States, on the Mississippi River southeast of Winona. Originally known as O. L. Kipp State Park, it was renamed in the late 1990s to describe better its resources. The park preserves steep-sided bluffs rising 500ft above the river and the narrow valleys between them, which support rare and fragile plant communities. Two of the bluffs have received further protection as King's and Queen's Bluff State Natural Area.GeologyThe region lies on sedimentary rock layers deposited on the floor of a shallow sea 500 million years ago. The lower, older layer is sandstone overlain by more recent dolomite rock. Much later a deep channel was carved into this stone by the ancient Mississippi River, which 10,000 years ago was greatly swollen from the melting glaciers to the north. The softer sandstone was eroded more easily, undercutting the dolomite on both banks of the river. The dolomite fractured off along vertical joints, leaving sheer rock faces still visible today. Side streams flowing into the Mississippi cut gullies into the river banks, creating a series of bluffs capped with erosion-resistant dolomite. Located in the Driftless Region of southeast Minnesota, the area was missed by the most recent Wisconsonian glaciation, and therefore is a region of deep river valleys dissecting the upland plains.
Great River Bluffs State Park is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our custom trip planner, Winona Edition.
Source
Create an itinerary including Great River Bluffs State Park
map
Great River Bluffs State Park Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
74 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • August 8, 2017
    We stopped in here to catch some views of the beautiful Mississippi River. After a few short trails, (we had our senior dog with us) we got to take some gorgeous photos. There were longer trails and c...  more »
  • August 8, 2017
    One of the most beautiful parks we have ever been too and would go again except it doesn't even have a dump station so it is too primitive for us in our senior years. The date we were there was not on...  more »
  • August 5, 2017
    If you are planning on camping here, make your reservations well in advanced. We arrived 3pm on a Friday (with a reservation) and it was completely sold out. If you are from Minnesota, bring your own ...  more »
Google
  • June 29, 2017
    Great park. We stayed in the cart in spots. Easy and very private. Beautiful views a short walk from the campsite
  • June 24, 2017
    Nice state park with good camping and hiking options. It rained while we were there but everything was marked and easy to find.
  • July 4, 2017
    Well kept park, with good separation between campers. although the camping spots a little small for tenting.
  • May 17, 2017
    Perfect for the well provisioned car campers. Nice outhouse facilities and close enough for a morning drive to quick trip for the squeamish, ha.
  • June 18, 2017
    It is a beautiful park and there's tons to explore. My only issue is the cost of a camp site seems pretty expensive for a primitive site.

Plan your trip to Winona

  • 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.

Where to stay in Winona

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Winona by other users

13 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, slow & easy, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Slow & easy 12 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA March, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 4 days in Winona BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 32 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 32 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Winona BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Winona BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Winona BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM INDIA February, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular PREFERENCES: February, culture, romantic, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans