Trip Planner:   USA  /  Minnesota  /  Winona  /  Nature  /  Great River Bluffs State Park

Great River Bluffs State Park, Winona

(60+ reviews on the web)
Geologic Formation
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.
Put Great River Bluffs State Park on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Winona trip builder.
Source
Create a full Winona itinerary
map

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.

Plans in Winona by other users

22 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 2 days in Winona BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM TURKEY June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 31 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM BRAZIL July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in California, Minnesota & Washington DC BY A USER FROM NORWAY June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 16 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 17 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, kids, relaxing, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, relaxing, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 55 days in New York City, India & Minnesota BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in Minnesota BY A USER FROM CAYMAN ISLANDS March, romantic, popular PREFERENCES: March, romantic ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This park is just off the main highway and there are a number of short hikes as well as longer ones. To the east there are 2 with excellent viewing points over the Mississippi, particularly clear at t...  more »
  • This MN State Park will give you breathtaking views of the Mississippi River valley that you will not find anywhere else. The pathways are wide and well groomed, the deciduous trees are all around the...  more »
  • We were very happily surprised by this state park. It has a nice collection of short and medium hiking paths. The views of the river are nice and you don’t see too many people. Hint #1: There is a $5 ...  more »
Google
  • It's pretty at the end of the bluff, but there isn't much to the park. One main trail and a hand full of campsites is about what you'll get. It's a good place if you're nearby, but not worth the drive if you bypass other parks that have more to offer.
  • I stopped here on a trip, and I was glad I did! The north and south overlooks(which are awesome views) have short paths that lead to them take about 5 minutes to get to from the parking lot. There are also longer paths available if you wanted to spend more time here.
  • Good camping experience. Site 23 is not very flat, hard to use for a larger tent.
  • Very well maintained campsite. The wood they make you buy is subpar though. It's like 1x2 boards that burn in minutes. 1 or 2 logs would last longer. Views are nice, rattlesnakes are huge, watch out.
  • Good place to go camping or hiking. There's some gorgeous views of the Mississippi once you get into the park a bit. Campsites are far enough away from each other and are well maintained.