Where is Pikes Peak State Park
32264 Pikes Peak Road
McGregor, IA 52157-8558
Located near McGregor, Iowa, on the northeastern edge of the Hawkeye State, Pikes Peak State Park is just a 5-minute bridge crossing away from the state of Wisconsin.
Located along the scenic byway, this park happens to be one of Iowa’s premier destinations for nature lovers. In an area often called the “driftless” region, Pikes Peak US State Park is noted for its hills and valleys, spring-fed streams and splendid vistas. It may take a while to get there from a major city, but no doubt, the adventure is worth the effort.
How Big is Pikes Peak State Park
Pikes Peak State Park is located on approximately 1000 acres of undisturbed Iowan landscape at a height of 994 feet above sea level. It is operated by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, who proudly takes care of all trails and overlooks that the location has to offer. Pikes Peak’s 500-foot highest bluff overlooks the confluence of the Mississippi and Wisconsin Rivers. With over 11.5 miles of easy access trails to hike and plenty of restrooms on site, this park is ready and waiting for you to explore.
Pikes Peak State Park Weather
Plan your visit to the park any time of year. It is always open. For mid-western visitors looking for glorious fall leaf-viewing hikes, this is a “must-see!” Year round you can explore the history of this area by fossil hunting and discovering over 200 mounds built by Native Americans from the Woodland era. Some mounds are in the shape of animal effigies and were thought to be used for ceremonial or burial purposes centuries ago Because northeastern Iowa experiences all four seasons, summers are hot and humid and winter temperatures often dip below freezing. The peak visiting time is during the summer months, but make sure to come for a visit in the winter, as well, for winter hiking and cross-country skiing.
When did Pikes Peak Become a State Park
This untouched landscape looks much as it did hundreds of years ago when Native Americans inhabited the area between 800 and 1200 A.D. Following the Louisiana Purchase in 1805, explorer Zebulon Pike discovered it as he was searching the Mississippi Valley for a government fort location. Later, in 1935, this land was gifted to the federal government by its then owner and named after the explorer who discovered it.
Things to do in Pikes Peak State Park
Perfect for leisurely walks and outstanding views, visitors also come to Pikes Peak State Park for a unique Native American history lesson. Our State Park Visitors Guide highlights all the fun activities Pikes Peak has to offer.
The 11.5 miles of trails offered at Pikes Peak State Park come complete with wooded bluff and valleys, walls of limestone and fossils from history long ago. Mountain bikes are allowed on parts of the trail system and cross-country skiing is also available in snowy conditions.
Pack a picnic and enjoy a meal with a view! A rustic shelter is located in the main overlook area as well as two gazebo shelters. There is a playground located nearby and wheelchair accessible access to the picnic areas and main viewing spots.
Portions of the campsite are available on a first-come, first-serve basis, but it is best to make reservations for one of the 70 RV-friendly campsites offered at Pikes Peak. You will find a modern shower facility, restrooms, electrical sites and a dump station for your convenience.
When to go to Pikes Peak State Park
It is always a perfect time to visit Pikes Peak State Park. The park is open daily to non-campers from 4am-10:30pm and 24 hours a day for campers. There is no entry fee to visit the park, so stop by even if you have just a few hours to spare. Autumn color lovers enjoy hiking the trails in search of amazing views throughout late September and October. Snow lovers love to come for a cross-country skiing day of exercise and invigorating exploration. Summer vacationers enjoy the sunshine and leisurely hours in the sun while sitting back and having picnics with family and friends. Summer is definitely the most crowded season of the year.
Must-Have things to Bring to Pikes Peak
There are not too many things you will need for a leisurely stroll at the Pikes Peak State Park. List of Parks suggests a backpack full of basics should do the trick.
Depending upon your plans for the day, you will need to bring the correct outdoor gear to assure your time at the park an enjoyable one for the entire family. Hiking shoes, sunglasses, sunscreen, water bottles and bug spray are all important things to carry in for a day at the park.
The views are wide and vast, and you don’t want to miss a single one. Wildlife moving through the desert and birds flying overhead are all things you will want to see up close and take a photo of to keep them in your memory forever.
Food and Water
Running water is available on site in the restrooms and showers, but make sure to bring your own water bottles and snacks. Whether a protein bar for your hike or an entire picnic spread, bring with you all you will need for the day.
Make sure you bring everything you need for your RV stay at the park. There are no places on site to purchase supplies, but you can always drive a few miles into town to stock up on everything you need.
Where to stay in Pikes Peak State Park
Choosing to stay at the campground is a great option, but if you prefer a hotel or bed and breakfast stay, it only takes 5 minutes to drive into the surrounding towns McGregor or Marquette. Garnavillo and Guttenberg are also small towns located about 10 miles from the park where you can find even more overnight options. We suggest Grumpsters Log Cabins located at 535 Ash Street in McGregor, Iowa, or the Hickory Ridge Bed and Breakfast at 17156 Great River Road, also in McGregor.
Food Nearby Pikes Peak
There are no food options inside of Pikes Peak State Park, but a quick drive to neighboring downtown McGregor or Prairie du Chien will provide you with lots of great dining options. We suggest having breakfast at Simply Cafe cross the state line in Prairie du Chien or giving lunch at Cafe McGregor a try. For dinner, definitely enjoy a hearty meal at Jones’ Black Angus.
Airports Near Pike Peak State Park
Prairie du Chien Municipal Airport is the closest airport to Pikes Peak State Park. In 20 minutes, you will be able to make the easy drive across the Wisconsin/Iowa state line to the park’s entrance after landing. This active airport is operated by the city of Prairie du Chien and offers taxi rides from the airport for its passengers.