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This Epic Hill Formation In Iowa Will Drop Your Jaw

We may not have mountains here in Iowa, but that doesn’t mean our state is flat. In fact, anyone who’s been to western Iowa can tell you that the land is anything but flat – particularly the 220-mile stretch of hills known as The Loess Hills.

During the Ice Age, glaciers moved across the Midwest, grinding the rock into a dust-like substance (Loess) as they went. When the glaciers started to melt, the valleys flooded and the sediment formed deposits that dried out and eventually became covered by grass. Because of this long process by Mother Nature, we now have the beautiful Loess Hills.

The hills span through seven counties in western Iowa: Plymouth, Woodbury, Monona, Harrison, Pottawattamie, Mills, and Fremont. They cover over 650,000 acres of land, and rise 200 feet above the Missouri River valley.

Loess deposits can be found in other states throughout the country, but the only other place in the world with Loess deposits as deep and extensive as Iowa’s is in Shaanxi, China.

Aside from the 220 miles of beautiful rolling hills, The Loess Hills area is also home to the Broken Kettle Grasslands Preserve, which is Iowa’s largest surviving prairie. The prairie covers over 7,000 acres of land, and is home to many native flora and fauna.

The Loess Hills are also a great place to go hiking. Preparation Canyon State Park in Moorhead (shown above) is one of the most popular spots.

Check out this video by loess hills video for an interesting and informational guided tour through the Loess Hills of western Iowa:

Iowa truly is a fantastic place to live, and we’re beyond lucky to have so many amazing places to see right here at home!

Michaela Kendall
Michaela is a born and raised Iowan. She writes for a newspaper by day, and writes content for websites by night. In her spare time, she enjoys reading a good book, or just binge watching Netflix.