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. 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 through the online reservation system for Maquoketa Caves State Park, and 25 percent of campsites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. *Exception: Maquoketa Caves State Park is 100% reservable.

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. Check out the online reservation system for Maquoketa Caves State Park.



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


Shower Building Reminder: Park staff generally start closing down shower buildings and turning off water and dump stations around mid-October depending upon the weather. Pit latrines located in the youth group camping area and frost-free hydrants in the modern campground are available for off-season camping. If you are interested in camping in mid to later in October, there is no guarantee modern facilities will be available. (9/6/21)
2021 Campground Changes: The campground is 100% reservable. Same day reservations will be accepted from April 1 - October 31 and until 9 pm on the day of arrival. A reservation is required to camp. (Posted 4/16/2021)
Starting April 1st 2021 parking will be limited to designated spots only, once they are full you must wait for a open parking spot to access the park, Please plan your trip to come earlier or later in the day and avoid peak times on the weekends from 11-4 pm. If arriving during peak times, you should have an alternate place to visit until the park is less busy. (Posted 4/16 2021)
AMENITIES AT A GLANCE
  • 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