Sunset Ridge Trail

Location: Western Iowa
Trip Starts: Overlook Parking Area
Trip Ends: Overlook Parking Area
Total Distance: 2 miles
Hike Type: In & Out, Backtrack Hike
Hike Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Trails Used: Sunset Ridge Trail
Trail Traffic: Moderate
More Information:

Waubonsie State Park
2585 Waubonsie Park Rd
Hamburg, IA 51640
(712) 382-2786


Waubonsie is located in the unique “Loess Hills”, a landform found only along the Missouri River in Iowa and Missouri, and in China. As the glaciers melted 14,000-28,000 years ago the Missouri River became a major channel for water and sediment during the summer.

In the winter, when the water level was reduced, these deposits were exposed to the wind. These fine particles, called loess, were carried by strong winds and deposited when the winds encountered the steep slopes of the east valley wall. This created the distinctive loess hills topography visitors can see today. The park topography resembles the “badlands” of the west and harbors plants like yucca that are normally found in more arid climates.

This hike starts at the parking area for the main overlook in the park. It follows the ridgeline next to the road then takes a right turn to the west and follows the trail through a strand of hardwoods. There are outstanding views to the valley floor below – especially in the winter.

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