Pike’s Peak in Iowa is a state park is a great place for a hike. It sits on a bluff which overlooks the mighty Mississippi River near McGregor, Iowa. We stopped here during our short fourth of July road trip.
About Pike’s Peak State Park
Pike’s Peak in Iowa is a large 500 foot bluff. It rises over the Mississippi River. The bluff is named for Zebulon Pike, the same explorer Pike’s Peak Colorado is named after! Originally inhabited by Native Americans who lived in the area as early as 800 AD. The Native Americans were woodland dwellers. They are most known for their effigies just above the ground. You can visit some of these effigies just north of here. These are actually burial sites in above ground mounds, some in the shapes of birds and bears. My next post will be about our visit to Effigy Mounds National Monument.
Iowa was part of the Louisiana Purchase and after this event the government was curious to discover what they bought. Therefore, they sent Zebulon Pike to explore the area for the purpose of exploring and finding strategic areas to build forts. In 1805 Zebulon Pike found the area of Pike’s Peak to be perfect for the government’s wish to build a fort. Instead, the fort was built on the other side of the river which is now present day Wisconsin.
In 1806 Pike was again sent to explore, this time to the Colorado area, including the area around present day Colorado Springs. He made an attempt to climb Pike’s Peak and is believed to be the first European to try this feat. Unfortunately, he did not summit. In contrast, Colorado’s Pike’s Peak is quite different than Iowa’s. At that time, people referred to the Colorado mountain as “Pike’s highest peak” and eventually just Pike’s Peak.
Pike’s Peak Lookout
The lookout at Pike’s Peak is pretty fantastic. It is a great view across the Mississippi River and you can see quite a ways. As a matter of fact, when you look across the river you are actually looking at Wisconsin.
Bridal Veil Falls Hike
There are over 11 miles of trails to hike in this state park. We choose to hike to Bridal Veil Falls and then loop back on the Weeping Rock Trail to the parking lot. For some reason my Fitbit didn’t map it but I would guess the hike was at least a mile and a half after looping around. You will walk through a pretty dense forest most of the hike but the path is easy to follow and well marked. There are also some wooden boardwalks and stairs to the falls. Furthermore, if you end up in a grassy area, Turn around and go back. This area leads to a road that did not appear to be in the park!
There are more trails to hike in the northern area of Pike’s Peak Park but we were wanting to keep on with our Iowa road tripping. We enjoyed Pike’s Peak and although the waterfall wasn’t the most spectacular in the world, it was nice. Moreover, the walk was peaceful and the park well kept.
Follow me on Instagram!!!!
Click Below for More to See if You are in Iowa:
The Bridges of Madison County, Feb. 2020
29 thoughts on “A Hike at Pike’s Peak, Iowa”
Thank you! We have a few great spots to hike at in Iowa, just have to drive a ways!!
Amazing landscape and pictures. Enjoy, dear !
I’ve always wanted to go there
Wonderful adventure! Our youngest girl was just up that area w/the grandson & says it’s just like that! ❤️ Tweet/shared! 😊
Thanks! It was a fun little get away!!
Thanks for telling me what all the Pike’s Peaks are named for. Glad you are getting out for some interesting walks. Thanks for sharing. Allan
We are getting out a bit more!! Thanks for reading!!!
I didn’t know there was a Pike’s Peak in Iowa. 🤷♀️
It is not quite as famous as the Colorado one!! Different view also!!😊
Great post I especially enjoyed the history of the naming if the two Pike’s Peaks, very interesting!
Thanks! I found it interesting as well!
Even though I’m not much of a hiker, this is one place that just might make me convert to a full-time one! What beautiful scenery. Thanks for posting these pictures so I can see what I’m missing!
Thanks for reading! It is fun to find places within our own state that are beautiful in their own way!!
that’s not how I usually envision the Mississippi. And I never knew that Iowa was part of the Louisiana purchase. The Bridal Veil trail looks like a nice hike…
I did not know it was part of the purchase either. It’s always fun when I learn something new on a trip!
or when reading a blog!
Yup!! That too!!
Looks like a very nice area to hike with wonderful views! Thanks for sharing 👍
Thanks for commenting!!
At so e point I need to make an eastern Iowa trek. The hill and dales there look very inviting. Jerry
We enjoyed it!! I hadn’t been to some of these places in years so it was fun!! Lori
Looks like a wonderful hike! I didn’t know there was a Pike’s Peak in Iowa but have been to the one in Tennessee many times. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for stopping by!!
We have a Bridal Veil falls in Utah. Very pretty as is yours. Hiking is my new favorite “get ot of the house” activity. Nothing beats being out in the fresh air and getting your heart going – both from the exercise and the scenery. Thanks for sharing.
I agree! Hiking is a great way to get out!!
You’ve given me a new location for an upcoming road trip with this post. Thank you.
This park appears to be largely uncrowded. Is that normal or just part of the Corona tourism slowdown?
I would guess the park is less crowded because of Corona but I have been here a couple of other times and it hasn’t been crowded. It seemed like most people just go to the view point and don’t hike so the trail was not at all busy. Visitor centers were all closed at the parks we went to. It was Fourth of July weekend and some of the small towns near here had the most crowds I’ve seen in months! We didn’t stop at the crowded ones but when this virus is all over I’d love to go back and visit these quaint little towns.