Plan Your Visit
Browsing the Visitor Center
The Monument offers wonderful opportunities to view magnificent vistas, diverse wildlife, plants and trees (including 81.5 acres of prairie), and hundreds of ancient Indian cultural mound features. Visitor center hours vary seasonally, however, park grounds are open sunrise to sunset, year round. Use the links on the left side of this page to find detailed information on operating hours, touring options and ranger-led programs or park sponsored special educational public events.
Varied landforms, 14-miles of relatively steep hiking trails and hundreds of preserved Indian mounds combine to make it hard to estimate exactly how much time will be needed to visit the Monument.
Accessible trails are available which allow for visits to a wetland habitat, a number of burial mounds.
A brief one-hour visit allows for viewing the film, museum exhibits, bookstore and three burial mounds. A short walk can also be taken along the accessible boardwalk (wetland) trail.
Visitors can access all of the park walkways and trails, sunrise to sunset, on their own (self guided). There is no requirement to be accompanied by a Ranger - only the option and opportunity to join a ranger when advertised.
Did You Know?
An important figure in the documentation of Iowa's effigy mounds was Ellison Orr. Born in 1857, Orr worked other jobs while pursuing research in archeology. After retiring at the age of 73, Orr began a career as an archeologist spending the next 20 years conducting surveys and excavations.