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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near McGregor in Clayton County, Iowa — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Pikes Peak Overlook Landscape Interpretation

 
 
Pikes Peak Overlook Landscape Interpretation Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, June 18, 2011
1. Pikes Peak Overlook Landscape Interpretation Marker
Inscription.  Across this impressive gorge of the Mississippi River is the mouth of the Wisconsin River. The steeply notched valleys of both rivers are carved into sedimentary bedrock which underlies the level, plateau-like uplands and forms the abrupt, picturesque bluffs along the valley margins. The layered rocks originated as loose sediment on sea floors 450 to 550 million years ago, and over time hardened into strata dominated by dolomite and sandstone. Fossil remains of marine life are seen in rocks throughout the area.

These valleys began to develop over 1 million years ago. The melting of vast ice sheets released enormous volumes of water, sand, and gravel which scoured, filled in, and shaped the valley profiles periodically until about 9,500 years ago. The towns of Bridgeport and Prairie du Chein, Wisconsin, are built on terraces within the valleys that mark two different levels of sediment accumulation during these glacial meltwater floods.

In 1673, a small band of French explorers led by Father Jacques Marquette and mapmaker Louis Jolliet journeyed in two bark canoes down the Wisconsin River to this site, becoming the first
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Europeans to see Iowa. Lt. Zebulon Pike, for whom this overlook and the Colorado peak were named, evaluated this location for a fort in 1805. The islands and pools seen in the Mississippi valley today are a result of ponding from the lock and dam system built in the 1930s. This valley provides valuable habitat for many species of fish and wildlife, and a dependable avenue of commerce for the region.

Gift of Bruce & Susan Renaud

 
Erected by Bruce and Susan Renaud.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ExplorationWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1673.
 
Location. 42° 59.821′ N, 91° 9.8′ W. Marker is near McGregor, Iowa, in Clayton County. Marker is on Pikes Peak Road, half a mile east of County Highway X56. Marker is at the overlook in Pikes Peak State Park. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 32264 Pikes Peak Road, Mc Gregor IA 52157, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Point of Discovery (a few steps from this marker); Passenger Pigeon Monument (approx. 1.8 miles away in Wisconsin); McGregor / Ringling Brothers (approx. 2 miles away); Camp Nelson Dewey (approx. 2.4 miles away in Wisconsin); Bat Caves
Pikes Peak Overlook and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, June 18, 2011
2. Pikes Peak Overlook and Marker
(approx. 2˝ miles away); Curtis Memorial Scientific Area (approx. 2.6 miles away in Wisconsin); Prairie du Chien Veterans Memorial (approx. 2.9 miles away in Wisconsin); Site of the Second Fort Crawford (approx. 3.3 miles away in Wisconsin). Touch for a list and map of all markers in McGregor.
 
Also see . . .
1. Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Pikes Peak State Park. (Submitted on August 15, 2011.) 

2. Wisconsin River. Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on August 15, 2011.) 
 
Confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, June 18, 2011
3. Confluence of the Wisconsin and Mississippi Rivers
The Wisconsin River is in the background, to the left of the bluffs that are at the right side of the photo.
Mississippi River image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, June 18, 2011
4. Mississippi River
Upriver from Pikes Peak Overlook
Mississippi River image. Click for full size.
Photographed By K. Linzmeier, June 18, 2011
5. Mississippi River
Downriver from Pikes Peak Overlook
Mouth of Wisconsin River
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 15, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 964 times since then and 17 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 15, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.

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Apr. 20, 2024