Hike the Fire Point Loop Trail, Effigy Mounds National Monument



1.7 miles

Elevation Gain

301 ft

Route Type


Added by Grant Whitty

Effigy Mounds National Monument is Iowa's one and only National Monument. The Monument preserves Native American burial mounds that are found in this region of the Mississippi River Valley. The park also boasts many great viewpoints that overlook the Mississippi River Gorge.

To get to Effigy Mounds National Monument travel to the town of Marquette, Iowa. If you drive north of town about three miles, the road will curve to the left, and the park entrance will be on the right. 

After you park, you may take a stop in the Visitor Center to grab a map or any souvenirs. From the Visitor Center, follow the deck to the left side of the building to the bridge. 

Once you cross the bridged area, you will soon hit the dirt. The trail will instantly begin to climb up the bluff at a mildly-steep pitch. Once you reach the top of the hill, the switch-backs begin; there are about four or five switchbacks. 

When the switchbacks end and you crest the top of the bluff, the hard part is now over. Atop the bluff, the hills are minimal.  

There will be a fork in the road on top of the bluff. This is the beginning of the loop. Take the route on the left to start making your way towards the Little Bear Mound Group. Notice how some of the mounds are bear-shaped, and some are circular. When approaching the mounds, DO NOT WALK ON THE MOUNDS! These mounds are burial locations for Native Americans; these grounds must be respected. 

After the Little Bear Group, there will be another fork in the road. Continue to the right towards Fire Point. You will soon arrive at Fire Point. Take a minute to enjoy the view and take some photos. 

After some time at Fire Point you will round the corner and the trail will wind through the woods. You will pass Eagle Rock (another view point), and continue down towards the top of the switch-backs. Be carfeul of cliff edges, make sure you have a good footing. Take a left, and return down the switch-backs, down the hill, and back to the Visitor Center. 

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Know for

Easy Parking
Family Friendly



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Awesome Trail

This is an awesome hike with killer views. The mounds are really cool as well. Great history lesson along the way, family friendly trail thats steep in spots but well kept.

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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