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Loess Hills of Iowa
Preparation Canyon State Park Iowa
Preparation Canyon near Onawa is typical of the Loess Hills terrain
Preparation Canyon State Park Sioux City Le Mars Onawa IOWA
Loess Hills Resources
Plymouth – Woodbury – Monona Counties
Some of the best things in life are right under our noses.  The Loess Hills of Western Iowa are one of them. These geological gems are rare around the globe.  You could go to China to find loess hills as extensive as those found in our backyard.  These lumps of earth extend from Western Plymouth County in Iowa into Northern Missouri.  Some of the  best are minutes away from Le Mars. They actually are dunes of Missouri River bottom soil blown by prevailing westerly winds after the glaciers of
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Loess Hills Resources
Some of the best things in life are right under our noses.  The Loess Hills of Western Iowa are one of them. These geological gems are rare around the globe.  You could go to China to find loess hills as extensive as those found in our backyard.  These lumps of earth extend from Western Plymouth County in Iowa into Northern Missouri.  Some of the  best are minutes away from Le Mars. They actually are dunes of Missouri River bottom soil blown by prevailing westerly winds after the glaciers of around ten thousand years ago.  So you could say we have a good bit of Montana and the Dakotas underfoot.  The ecology reflects it.  Cactus, rattlesnakes, prairie grasses and  assorted varmints.  Legend has it the James gang hid out at Joy Hollow near Westfield on their Northfield Minnesota raid.  I’m not sure whether that was before or after they jumped the chasm on Split Rock Creek at Garretson, SD. But enough of that.  While some of you may be interested in the dirt, more of you are looking for some great scenery, perhaps a little exploration and recreation.  What do these hills have to offer?  If you're a cyclist you won't find a better place to tour.  Take advantage of Iowa's great farm to market road system, ride the curves and roar through the hollows.  There are hundreds of miles of "black topped"
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Get off the beaten track, get lost and you’ll be rewarded. p.s. while you’re hardly far from civilization you will find a few mobile phone dropouts at the most inopportune times.  It adds to the adventure.  Be sure to toss your GPS, too.
Gnarly, hardened old oak trees are prevalent.
Flaring Sunset Iowa Loess Hills near Climbing Hill
a good day is often sandwiched between a beautiful sunrise and sunset.
around ten thousand years ago.  So you could say we have a good bit of Montana and the Dakotas underfoot.  The ecology reflects it.  Cactus, rattlesnakes, prairie grasses and  assorted varmints.  Legend has it the James gang hid out at Joy Hollow near Westfield on their Northfield Minnesota raid.  I’m not sure whether that was before or after they jumped the chasm on Split Rock Creek at Garretson, SD. But enough of that.  While some of you may be interested in the dirt, more of you are looking for some great scenery, perhaps a little exploration and recreation.  What do these hills have to offer?  If you're a cyclist you won't find a better place to tour.  Take advantage of Iowa's great farm to market road system, ride the curves and roar through the hollows.  There are hundreds of miles of "black topped" roads lacing the hills from Westfield to Pisgah and all the way to Missouri. If camping is your thing check out some of the tucked away campgrounds.  The best are managed by County Conservation
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Get off the beaten track, get lost and you’ll be rewarded. p.s. while you’re hardly far from civilization you will find a few mobile phone dropouts at the most inopportune times.  It adds to the adventure.  Be sure to toss your GPS, too.
Flaring Sunset Iowa Loess Hills near Climbing Hill
roads lacing the hills from Westfield to Pisgah and all the way to Missouri. If camping is your thing check out some of the tucked away campgrounds.  The best are managed by County Conservation Boards and well maintained.  Plymouth County’s Hillview Park just west of Hinton and Woodbury County’s Southwood Conservation Area  are two of the best. There are also two State Parks in the Northern Loess Hills area.  Stone Park on the north edge of Sioux City offers limited camping and lots of drive through traffic.  Preparation Canyon near Moorhead in Monona County offers a more remote experience with few improvements.
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Boards and well maintained.  Plymouth County’s Hillview Park just west of Hinton and Woodbury County’s Southwood Conservation Area are two of the best. There are also two State Parks in the Northern Loess Hills area.  Stone Park on the north edge of Sioux City offers limited camping and lots of drive through traffic.  Preparation Canyon near Moorhead in Monona County offers a more remote experience with few improvements.
Southwood Conservation Area – Woodbury County
Deer in Beans Broken Kettle Creek Five Ridge Prairie in Plymouth County Iowa Thistle at Seed A Pale Horse Loess Hills Wild Flowers Smithland Iowa in the Loess Hills Sunset in Broken Kettle Iowa Prairie grass at Five Ridge Prairie Iowa
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Danish Church Loess Hills