West Lake and East Lake Trail Loop

MODERATE 28 reviews
#1 of 2 trails in

West Lake and East Lake Trail Loop is a 6.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Dundee, Iowa that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

6.5 miles
875 feet

dogs on leash




mountain biking

nature trips





wild flowers



Backbone has 21 miles of hiking and multi-use trails. Visitors can hike along trails winding through old twisted and windblown cedars and up rough, rocky staircases to one of the highest points in northeast Iowa, the "Devil's Backbone."

21 minutes ago

1 month ago

2 months ago

Great Iowa hike!

4 months ago

An excellent winter hike if you don't mind the often ice-packed trails. Hiking in the winter is a completely different experience.

7 months ago

great hike with fall colors!

trail running
7 months ago

Nice trail with a variety of terrains and features. Would definitely do it again.

8 months ago

I arrived after a heavy rain and the area flooded. Many of the scenic areas were not accessible. I hiked parts of the lake trail and the backbone trail. Park did have nice campgrounds.

10 months ago

11 months ago

11 months ago

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

We parked at the south end of the lake and hiked up the east lake trail. This trail follows the lake and provides a variety of geographic features, including rock formations. At the north end we picked up the backbone trail. The views were stunning. There is also a large crevasse that is safe to climb down. My children loved this. We then hiked a connecting trail to a campground where we picked up the west lake trail. The west lake trail is mostly a mowed path through prairie and woods. Compared to the rest of the trails it is not so exciting.

mountain biking
Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Biked the East and West Lake trails. This is a fairly technical trail on a bike. The east runs right next to the lake. At the end catch the road, head down the hairpin curve to the "flats". Continue straight and climb to the west Park entrance and right before you exit the park take a left into Twin Pines campground and there you can pick up the West Lake Trail. This side of the trail is difficult. Lots of steep hills and loose gravel and large rock. Definitely pushed us! Total loop was about 7 miles.

Lots of beautiful scenery!

Friday, April 08, 2016

Cool windy April day with a couple snow showers. My first visit to this terrific place. Hepatica was flowering, small group of white breasted nuthatches near the cave.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Daughter and I had a great hike and what a wonderful and peaceful view

Monday, January 04, 2016

Great views of Fall colors and even spotted two bald eagles.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

rock climbing
Friday, August 14, 2015

Some of the most amazing views, hiking, and climbing in Iowa! Loved the Backbone Trail and all the climbing you can do here. Thanks to 'Roscoe' for showing us the 'Rabbit Hole' that lead us to some hidden places to climb up and through the beautiful bluffs! Recommended for a few hours of hiking and climbing fun.

nature trips
Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The slopes are great for climbing and the air is refreshing here! I found some really great reviews of the park at http://www.stateparksreview.com/iowa-state-parks/backbone-state-park/, and I highly recommend it for anyone who is new to exploring our beautiful state parks!

mountain biking
Saturday, September 13, 2014