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.


PLAN YOUR VISIT

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. Before entering the caves visit the interpretative signs for information on the bats and White Nose Syndrome (WNA).

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 through the online reservation system for Maquoketa Caves State Park, and 100 percent of campsites are reservable and a reservation is required.  The campground accepts reservations March - November and is closed December - February.  

Occupy 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. The two shelters are not reservable and are available on a first come first serve basis.  



MAKE A PARK RESERVATION
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Maquoketa Caves State Park
9688 Caves Rd.
Maquoketa, IA 52060
Phone: 563-652-5833
Fax: 563-652-0061
Maquoketa@dnr.iowa.gov


Winter Closures: The Caves are closed for bat hibernation you can still walk trails and view the caves but you may not enter or go through them. They will reopen on April 15th 2023. (Posted 10/18/22)
The modern restrooms and shower building have closed for the season and will reopen on April 15 2023. (Posted October 18 2022)
Campground Closure: The campground will be closed and not accepting reservations from November 13 - 30, 2022. The campground will not reopen until March 1, 2023. (Posted September 23, 2022)
PARKING UPDATE - Parking in the park is limited to designated parking spots only and will be enforced. Peak park visitation times are weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to explore the park weekdays or during non-peak hours in the morning or late afternoon on weekends. (Posted 4/19/2022)
AMENITIES AT A GLANCE
  • Museum and interpretive display
  • Visitor center
  • Restrooms
  • Showers
  • Playground
  • Shelters
  • Standard electric campsites
  • Walk to/non electric campsites
  • Youth group only campsites
  • Hiking trails