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Maquoketa Caves State Park, IA

Status: Open year round.   Season Dates
Max reservation window: Wed Oct 28 2015   Later Dates


Maquoketa Caves State Park is one of the biggest attractions in Jackson County and is a great place for spelunkers and hiking enthusiasts. The caves in the area were formed after millennia of water erosion on limestone bedrock. This park contains more caves than any other state park in Iowa. The park itself covers 370 acres nestled among hardwood trees and high bluffs. With approximately thirteen caves, a great experience awaits you at this interesting and unique state park.

Dancehall Cave is approximately 800 feet long with three entrances upper, middle, and lower. Dancehall is the largest cave within the park and allows a person to walk upright most of the way through it. The cave opens up into a very large room in the lower entrance where dances were once held, giving the cave its name. Dancehall also has several examples of flowstone formations and growing stalactites, and is home to the brown bat during winter months.

An interpretive center is located in the park with information about the geology of the cave formations and park history, as well as relics of the park, early Native American inhabitants.


Maquoketa Caves has six miles of trails that wind throughout the park and bring you to cave entrances and passages known for their crawling capability and unique flowstone and dripstone formations. These trails run through the eastern valley past the Natural Bridge up toward several caves including Up-n-Down and Hernando's Hideaway. Then the trail curves around bringing you back to the highlight of Maquoketa Caves State Park's Dancehall Cave.

After visiting Dancehall, hike along the trails through the western valley of the park. These trails lead to more of the highlighted caves of the park, such as Rainy Day, Ice and Barbell. The trail then continues further west, with a hike up to the restored prairie with its vast array of plant life.


The unique beauty of Maquoketa Caves State Park provides a lovely setting for picnicking. A childrens play structure is located between the campground and picnic area. There are two open picnic shelters which may be reserved online.

This campground offers both electric and non-electric sites as well as modern restroom and shower facility.

Nearby Attractions:

The Maquoketa River is within one mile of the park, and there are local vendors who rent inner tubes and canoes to float the river.

Nearby Towns
Maquoketa is seven miles southeast of the park.

Services & Amenities:

Within Facility
  • Bird Watching
  • Cave Exploring/Spelunking
  • Dump Station
  • Geological Formations
  • Hiking
  • Modern Restroom
  • Park Office
  • Parking
  • Playground
  • Showers
  • Trash Dumpster
  • Visitor Center
  • Water Hydrants
  • Wildlife Viewing
Greater Than 1 Mile
Within 10 Miles
  • Antiquing
  • Medical Clinic
  • Nature Center
Alerts and Important Information
No rock climbing, repelling or mountain biking is allowed at the park. The interpretive center is open on weekends during the summer and by special arrangement with the park office.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
42.1175, -90.78056
42°7'3"N, 90°46'50"W

Maquoketa Caves is located seven miles northwest of Maquoketa on County Road Y-31.Coming from Maquoketa, go north about one mile on Highway 61 and turn west onto County Road Y-31. Go six miles and turn west onto 98th Street. This will lead you directly into the park.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

Maquoketa Caves State Park
10970 98th St
Maquoketa   IA  52060

Phone Number:

Information:  (563) 652-5833