Preparation Canyon State Park Loop

EASY 23 reviews

Preparation Canyon State Park Loop is a 2.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Onawa, Iowa that features a river and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and camping and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
669 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

hiking

walking

river

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

You have to drive around to the back of the park to get to the parking for the hike in campsites. There are fire pits and a picnic table at each of the campsites. There is a small creek that winds through the sites but no other water source near the campsites. The sites are further apart so even when there are other sites occupied you don't see them. This is one of my favorite camping spots near Omaha.

3 months ago

I hiked in and stayed one night this weekend. Very happy with the place. Online maps are not entirely accurate for the 8 camp sites. Call their number or grab a map when you pay registration. I love that each spot is secluded from the others and a little ways off the trail. If you are carrying a pack the hills will challenge your legs.

hiking
5 months ago

Fun state park with lots of different options to make a longer or shorter loop as desired. Maps were only available at the northwest entrance only, but I'd highly recommend picking one up as all of the different loops can get confusing. It was nice that the grass had been cut recently, so the trails were not overgrown at all. I can't wait to come back when it's warmer to try out the hike-in camping.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful lichen everywhere. Saw a marbled orb weaver. The trails should definitely not be described as easy though

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Short but steep up and downs, trail not maintained, with tall grasses nearly swallowing my wife up completely.

10 months ago

I'm not sure I'd call this easy. Maybe for a 20 or 30 year old. But it is steep in parts and muddy. I'm 60, in good health and I would call this moderate. Easy is flat, well maintained trails. This is not that. But all in all, we had a good time.

10 months ago

Trail was well maintained for the most part. Great place for beginner hike-in camping!

hiking
Saturday, July 02, 2016

The environment was calm and enjoyable. Although the trails were hard to navigate as they had not been cut clearly.

hiking
Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Beautiful trail and good scenery.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Great trails! Some very steep, but well maintained. Easy to navigate with a map. Lots of trail markers. Saw deer and a turkey. Definitely will come back!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Amazing!

hiking
Saturday, June 15, 2013

Some wicked hills here. Nice short hike for a morning.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Thursday, April 13, 2017

hiking
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

recorded Preparation Canyon State Park

hiking
Saturday, October 29, 2016

birding
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

hiking
Sunday, October 05, 2014

Sunday, October 05, 2014