Our Review of Pikes Peak Iowa State Park, Camping & Hiking
Located across the river from Prairie Du Chien, Wisconsin Pikes Peak is one of our favorite campgrounds along the Mississippi Great River Road (see our reviews of other best River Road Campsites). It is located high on a bluff above the quaint river town of McGregor, Iowa. Convenience to McGregor, whose Main Street features lots of neat antique shops, restaurants, and specialty boutiques scattered among nicely restored 19th century buildings, is one of several attractive features of Pikes Peak. Another area attraction we enjoy is the visitor center and hiking/nature trails in nearby Effigy Mounds National Monument.
The most popular features of Pikes Peak are its outstanding scenic overlooks of the Mississippi River valley, its varied hiking and mountain biking trails, and its campground.
Pikes Peak Campground Review
The campground offers 66 campsites, including 49 with electric service. When we first discovered Pikes Peak, all of the campsites were first-come, first served (no reservations). But now they do have a reservation system, but have pulled out 10 campsites that are available only in person. The washroom/shower facility is modern and kept nicely cleaned. There’s also an RV dumpsite and two water hydrants for refilling your tanks. The park roads are paved and the campsites adequately graveled and mostly level. However, there are some 50 amp sites which will require levelers.
Here’s a campground map (pdf)
The park day use area with a camp store, picnic pavilion, a kids play area and scenic lookouts are only a short walk from the campground. Ditto for the network of hiking and mountain biking trails.
Pikes Peak Hiking Trails
The park has over 11 miles of varied hiking trails, some of which are also designated for Mountain Biking. They travel the wooded bluff terrain through valleys and along ridge tops, with stairways assisting on steeper terrain. Some portions of the trails run by Indian Mounds and others provide overlooks of the Mississippi River. One trail passes over a waterfall, Bridal Veil Falls.
The wooded portions of the trails have a decent selection of northern hardwood trees that offer shade on hot days and will provide some outstanding fall color in Autumn.
This picture gives you an idea of what to expect during fall color season.