Pikes Peak Campground


Pikes Peak Scenic Lookout

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.

Scenic View from Pikes Peak State Park
View of the Mississippi and Prairie Du Chien from one of the scenic lookouts

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.

campsites at Pikes Peak State Park
Paved roads, lots of mature trees providing shade for campsites.
Pikes Peak Campground
Modern Bathhouse with parking lot and rest area with benches.

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.

Pikes Peak Hiking Trails
The stairway to Bridal Veil Falls from the picnic area
Hickory Ridge Trail
The Hickory Ridge Trail offers shade on hot days and decent fall foliage during color season
Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls
Pikes Peak Trail Map
Trail Map, click for larger image

This picture gives you an idea of what to expect during fall color season.

fall color at Pikes Peak Park
The southern scenic lookout at Pikes Peak Park
Historic District McGregor Iowa
Nearby McGregor Iowa with its historic district and unique shops

Scenic Travel Links