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Maquoketa Caves State Park

With more caves than any state park, Maquoketa Caves is one of Iowa’s most unique outdoor attractions. Enormous bluffs tower throughout the park, and a six-mile trail system winds through geologic formations and forests brimming with natural beauty. As one of the state’s earliest state parks, Maquoketa Caves has been a popular destination for picnickers and hikers since the 1860s. Grab your hiking shoes and a flashlight before traveling to Maquoketa Caves, because this state park is nothing short of adventure.


Hike the six-mile trail system linking the caves and scenic overlooks throughout the park. Trails provide access to caves and park facilities while weaving through the rich landscape. Highlights of the park include the “Natural Bridge” standing 50 feet above Raccoon Creek and the 17-ton “Balanced Rock.”

Explore the 1,100-foot “Dancehall Cave” and many others such as Hernado’s Hideaway, Shinbone Cave and Wye Cave. About 13 caves can be found in the park, some of which can be explored by walking, while others are better suited for serious spelunkers who are used to crawling in tight spaces. In summer months, naturalists conduct a White Nose Syndrome (WNA) Awareness Program for visitors before entering the caves. This program is required for anyone planning to explore the caves.

Learn about the geology of cave formations and park history at the new interpretive center, formerly known as Sager’s Museum. The facility is open on weekends during the summer and includes a video tour of the park as well as park history.

Enjoy camping among beautiful pine trees in the newly upgraded campground, or choose one of the primitive hike-in sites. Camping reservations can be made online, and 25 percent of campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Reserve one of the two picnic shelters or bring your children to the playground structure located between the campground and picnic area. The historic CCC shelters were constructed in the 1930s and often serve as are a meeting location for the park’s summer nature programs.

Maquoketa Caves State Park
9688 Caves Rd.
Maquoketa, IA 52060
Phone: 563-652-5833
Fax: 563-652-0061

STATEWIDE FACILITY CLOSURES: All pit latrines and port-a-potties are closed until April 15, 2020. Due to lack of restroom facilities, all camping cabins and shelters are closed until April 15, 2020. Campgrounds are open but campers must provide their own self-contained bathroom until park restrooms are available. Self-contained includes bathrooms in RVs/travel trailers/5th wheels and portable camping toilets. All modern restroom and shower facilities are currently closed for the winter season. Many parks try to have modern campground facilities open in mid-April, weather permitting. Some parks open modern camping facilities mid to late April, weather permitting. All lodges are currently closed through April 30, 2020. Playgrounds are not cleaned and sanitized. DNR strongly recommends visitors avoid playgrounds to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 - user discretion is advised. (POSTED 3/30/2020)
Nonmodern and modern restrooms are currently closed. The caves are currently closed for bat hibernation so please do not enter them. Trails remain open. Please contact the park office with specific questions at (563) 652-5833. Posted 3/25/2020
2020 Campground Updates: The campground will be 100% reservable with the exception of campsite #1 and campsite host #6. There will also be a one day reservation window in effect rather than a two day reservation window. (Posted January 1, 2020)
  • Museum and interpretive display
  • Visitor center
  • Restrooms
  • Showers
  • Playground
  • Shelters (2)
  • Standard electric campsites (24)
  • Walk to/non electric campsites (6)
  • Youth group only campsites (3)
  • Hiking trails