Iowa December 06, 2020
7 Otherworldly Natural Wonders That Belong On Every Iowan’s Bucket List
We’re lucky to live in such a beautiful state! Iowa may be overlooked by much of the country, but those who live here know that it’s truly a stunning place to explore. Here are a few of our favorite natural wonders of Iowa – have you seen them all?
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Loess Hills, Western Iowa
The rolling hills of western Iowa are one of our state's signature features. Take a walk through Waubonsie State Park to enjoy a stunning view, or explore the hills through Loess Hills State Forest. If you prefer to stay in the car, the Loess Hills Scenic Byway is a great way to get out and see one of the most significant natural wonders of Iowa.
2. Mississippi River, Eastern Iowa
It's hard to talk about the natural features of the Hawkeye State without chatting about our border rivers! On the East, the mighty Mississippi River dominates the scene. Small towns along the river make picture-perfect destinations.
3. Missouri River, Western Iowa
On the other side of the state, the Missouri River sets the scene. The valley from the Loess Hills down toward Omaha is one of the most scenic spots in the whole state!
4. Bluffs of the Upper Iowa River, Decorah / Driftless Region
The best way to explore the unique topography of the Driftless region is by kayak! Drop in the Upper Iowa River and you'll find enormous bluffs and cliffs along your path. You'll find river access in the Decorah area, near the Malanaphy Springs trail.
5. Maquoketa Caves
Maquoketa Caves is one of the natural wonders of Iowa that has a whole state park dedicated to it! On a short hike through the park, you can explore more than a dozen caves. The largest one, Dance Hall Cave, is more than 100 feet tall!
6. Cliffs of Ledges State Park, Boone County
Ledges State Park is another one of the best little parks in Iowa. Visit to hike along the tops of cliffs or down along Pea's Creek to see picture-perfect beauty and the impressive work of erosion and glaciation.
7. Ice Cave, Decorah
The Decorah Ice Cave is one of the strangest natural wonders of Iowa. Even in the heat of the summer, the inner part of this cave is covered in ice! It's a great spot to go on a warm day to cool off, and it's just down the road from a beautiful waterfall at Dunning's Spring Park, too!
What are your favorite natural wonders in Iowa? Let’s talk about them in the comments below!
For more of the best scenery and history in the Hawkeye State, explore
These 10 Iowa Hiking Trails That Lead To Some Incredible Pieces Of History. Address: Loess Hills Trail, Missouri Valley, IA 51555, USA Address: Mississippi River, United States Address: Missouri River, United States Address: Upper Iowa River, Iowa, USA Address: Ice Cave Rd, Decorah, IA 52101, USA Address: 1515 P Ave, Madrid, IA 50156, USA Address: Caves Rd, Maquoketa, IA 52060, USA