Rivers and Mountains in Iowa

According to Abbreviationfinder, with population of 3,155,070, Iowa is the 32nd largest state among U.S. 50 states, and IA is the two letter abbreviation for Iowa. Here, we provide a list of major rivers and mountains in the state of Iowa.

Rivers and Mountains in Iowa

Rivers in Iowa

Missouri River
At 4,130 km, the Missouri River is the longest river in the United States. Together with the James River, which meets it in the north, the Missouri River forms the border between Iowa and Nebraska. Iowa accounts for two percent of all freight traffic in the Missouri. The most important city for trade in the state is Sioux City, which is located right on the river and was able to prosper because of it.

Des Moines River
The 845 km long Des Moines River is a tributary of the Mississippi River. It rises not far from the Iowa and Minnesota border, flows once across the state of Iowa and eventually ends southwest in the Mississippi. A small stretch of the Des Moines River forms the border with Minnesota. Its entire catchment area covers 38,340 km². The capital of Iowa was named after this river and had to be evacuated several times due to some flooding.

Big Sioux River
The Big Sioux River is approximately 470 km long and another tributary of the Missouri River. It rises in Roberts County in South Dakota and flows north at Sioux Falls in Iowa in the Missouri River. The city was named after him because of the foaming waterfall that it forms in Sioux City. Just like the Des Moines River, the Big Sioux River is also prone to flooding.

Iowa River
The Iowa River is a 502 km tributary of the Mississippi River. It springs from two springs in Hancock County in the north of the state and merges after 61 km in Belmond, Wright County. The Iowa River is particularly popular with anglers and outdoor lovers for recreation. Particularly popular is the Pine Lake State Park in Eldora in central Iowa, which attracts numerous campers every year.

Cedar River
The Cedar River is a 554 km tributary of the Iowa River. It originates in Dodge County Minnesota and then flows northeast through Iowa before flowing into the Illinois border. Its name comes from the numerous Virginian junipers in the area around it (English: red cedar). It is an important waterway for the state of Iowa.

Mountains in Iowa

Loess Hills
Dienur approx. 70 m high Loess Hills were formed during the ice age from loess sediments that were removed by the wind and are now an important recreational and conservation area. The Hills are located between Westfield in Iowa on the west side of Mound City in Minnesota and are right on the Missouri River. They are the last area in Iowa where rattlesnakes still exist.

Hawkeye Point
At approximately 510 m, Hawkeye Point is the highest point in Iowa, just 7 km from the Minnesota border. It only differs from its surroundings in 20 m and was equipped with a marker stone. The area around Hawkeye Point is mainly used for agriculture; There is a grain silo at its summit.

Lakes and reservoirs in Iowa

Spirit Lake
Located in Dickinson County is Spirit Lake, which together with the two West and East Okoboji Lakes makes up the Iowa Great Lakes. At 23 km², Spirit Lake is the largest of the three glacial lakes and also the largest in area in Iowa. It measures approx. 7 m at its lowest point. On its north side, Lake Spirit joins the Minnesota border. Around 40 different species of fish frolic in Lake Spirit, which makes it a popular fishing destination.

West Okoboji Lake
Just like Lake Spirit, West Okoboji Lake is located near Dickinson County in northwestern Iowa. Like Lake Spirit and East Okoboji Lake, it also belongs to the group of three Iowa Great Lakes that were once glacial lakes. The West Okoboji is approximately 15.7 km² and once its coast was home to the Santee or Dakota Sioux. To this day, it is known by its original name Minnetonka, which means “big water” in German. In contrast to Spirit Lake, West Okoboji is around 30 m deeper and measures up to approx. 40 m at its lowest point, which makes it particularly popular with water sports enthusiasts.

East Okoboji Lake
With a size of 7.4 km², East Okoboji is the smallest of the three large lakes of Minnesota. Since – just like the Lake Spirit – it is relatively shallow at only 3-7 m depth, it is hardly suitable for water sports. Swimmers in particular are put off by the many aquatic plants and algae, but these make the water an excellent starting point for anglers. Especially catfish are bustling in East Okoboji and there are regular competitions every year to find out who catches the largest specimen.

Clear Lake
In northern Iowa, almost on the Minnesota border in Cerro Gordo County, is Clear Lake, which connects to the village of the same name. It is approx. 15 km² in size, a maximum of approx. 9 m deep and measures a coastline of almost 45 km. Above all, wealthy families from Des Moines or Minneapolis have lived on the coast and built their weekend houses there since around 1870. Numerous yachts are in the docks and the area around Clear Lake has often been recognized as one of the best vacation spots in the United States. Since a detoxification in 2004, its water quality has been excellent and pulling.