Loess Hills Scenic Byway

National Scenic BywayIowa

All Photos (31)

  • The Loess Hills Wildlife Area

    Full of beauty, the Loess Hills Wildlife Area is one of the most pristine and natural habitats in the Loess Hills.

  • Byway Billboard for Akron, Iowa

    A billboard welcomes folks to the Loess Hills Scenic Byway in Iowa, from Interstate 29.

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  • Byway Billboard for Akron, Iowa

    A roadside billboard welcomes folks to the Loess Hills Scenic Byway in Iowa, from Interstate 29.

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  • Apples near Loess Hills Scenic Byway

    Burgundy-red apples await the fall apple harvest near Loess Hills Scenic Byway.

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  • The Lewis and Clark Visitor Area in Council Bluffs

    Visitors are offered an overlook of Council Bluffs at this Lewis and Clark site.

  • Emerald Green Hills

    Golden wheat contrasts brilliantly against the emerald green hills.

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  • The General Dodge House in Council Bluffs

    This imposing white-trimmed brick home, a National Historic Landmark, was built in 1869.

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  • A Walk through Snowy Woods

    These visitors stroll through the snow-covered woods near Hitchcock Nature Center.

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  • Indian Earth Lodge at Glenwood Lake Park

    This sod-covered earthen structure is a replica of the Indian earth lodges used between 1250-1500 AD.

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  • Cat Steps at the Sylvan Runkel Preserve

    When saturated Loess soils “slump” as a unit, the “slumps” are called “cat steps.” They are one of the many unique and easily-recognized characteristics of Loess soils.

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  • A Closer Look

    Two young visitors peer through binoculars from the overlook at the Hitchcock Nature Center.

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  • Hitchcock Nature Center Cabin

    Several cabins are available for camping.

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  • Family on the Hitchcock Nature Center Boardwalk

    This young family stops for a breather on the boardwalk at the Hitchcock Nature Center.

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  • Archaeology Exhibit

    The Southern Loess Hills Interpretive/Welcome Center artifact exhibits are premier examples of the late prehistoric archeology of the Loess Hills. The discoveries have revealed intact villages and a rich array of utilitarian and esoteric material goods.

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  • Annual Prairie Seminar Hikers

    The annual Loess Hills Prairie Seminar is held the first weekend in June, close to the summer solstice, with 200-300 prairie enthusiasts in attendance each year. Here, participants enjoy an educational hike through the hills at one of the seminars.

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  • Sharp Relief of the Loess Topography

    The sharp contrast of the Missouri River valley and the steep and rugged Loess Hills provide travelers with wondrous views. The Loess Hills landform harbors over 49 grassland species of special concern, many of those are prairie obligates.

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  • Loess Hills State Forest

    This winding ridge-top trail offers panoramic views of the Loess Hills landform, plus up-close contact with the diverse and unique flora and fauna of this semi-arid region.

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  • Sampling Wine on the Western Iowa Wine Trail

    Visitors sample wine from one of the wineries along the Western Iowa Wine Trail.

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  • Road near Hitchcock Nature Center at Sunset

    The double tracks of a rough dirt road wind through gentle hills near the Hitchcock Nature Center against the setting sun in autumn.

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  • Turkey Vulture Soaring over Hitchcock Nature Center

    The wide wings of a soaring Turkey Vulture stand out against a pure blue sky.

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  • Hills and Prairie at the Hitchcock Nature Center

    Golden grass lies over the rolling loess hills at the Hitchcock Nature Center.

  • Sgt Floyd Monument

    The obelisk honoring Sgt. Floyd stands tall against the blue sky, honoring Charles Floyd who died along the Lewis and Clark expedition.

  • Sioux City Street Corner

    Street lights illuminate a street corner in Sioux City.

  • Union Pacific Railroad Museum

    Two children and their grandfather interact with exhibits at the Union Pacific Museum at Council Bluffs.

  • Hiking through the Grass

    Two hikers follow the beaten trail through the grass.

  • Bob Kerry Pedestrian Bridge

    The pedestrian bridge connects the towns of Council Bluff and Omaha across the Missouri River.

  • Loess Hills Lodge Interpretive Facility

    The observation tower and visitor center of the Hitchcock Nature Center stands amidst the bright green trees of the Loess Hills.

  • Sawmill Hollow

    The Sawmill Hollow farm is surrounded by the Aronia berries it is famous for.

  • Bayliss Park

    A bright fountain glows with purple and blue lights in Bayliss Park.

  • Hitchcock Nature Center

    The three tiered wooden observation deck towers over the Hitchcock Nature Center.

  • Hitchcock Overlook at HoneyCreek

    A couple views the green landscape below the Hitchcock Overlook.