Gitchie Manitou State Preserve

Sioux Falls, Iowa 51241

Gitchie Manitou State Preserve

Gitchie Manitou State Preserve Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"The preserve contains outcrops of Sioux quartzite, the oldest bedrock in Iowa. Designated a state preserve in 1969, Gitchie Manitou is bordered on the north by the South Dakota–Iowa state line and on the west and south by the Big Sioux River. A visit offers a day filled with birding along the river and rock-hopping on the exposures. Hikers are treated to beds of Sioux quartzite that abound with western flowers, mosses, and lichens.

In the extreme northwest corner of Iowa, a small preserve contains a big look at the geologic history of the state in its 1.7-million-year-old rock.The exposures of Sioux
quartzite were created by sand deposits on the braided stream channels and tidal estuaries along a Precambrian marine shoreline. Composed of tightly bound quartz grains interlocked with silicon dioxide, the hard rock’s red and pink tones resulted from iron-oxide staining."

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Trail Information

Sioux Falls
Nearby City
97 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Approximately 1 to 2 hours
Spring through fall
IDNR Big Sioux Wildlife Unit
Local Contacts
USGS Klondike
Local Maps

Trail Log