Dakota Point Trail Scenic Overlook

Stone State Park, Iowa

Trip Date: Tuesday, June 5th, 2018
Last Updated: Wednesday, September 5th, 2018
By Ricky Holzer

Hike Information

Rating ★★★★☆(4/5)
Overall Difficulty Easy
Navigation Difficulty     Easy
Distance 0.5 miles roundtrip
Time 15 minutes
Terrain A few hills
Best Seasons All
Family Friendly Yes
Dog Friendly Yes
Accessible No

Highlights

Hike Walkthrough

Stone State Park is so close to Sioux City you'll have to visit when you're in the neighborhood. In a landscape filled with flat farm fields, this park is an escape into hilly forest with views of the Big Sioux River. Because of the flatness of the surrounding area, the views from this park reach for miles and miles. This hike to the Dakota Point Scenic Overlook is the easiest way to enjoy the views in this park, allowing you to step outside into fresh air without having to break much of a sweat.

Look for the sign in the first picture below near the parking area and start the trail. The forested trail will look something like the second picture below, with glints of sunlight shining through the leaves. Unlike many trails to overlooks, you will actually be hiking downhill to reach your view and climbing back up when you're done.

This sign marks the trailhead to the scenic overlook

This sign marks the trailhead to the scenic overlook

The shady trail with steps in the distance

The shady trail with steps in the distance

Keep going straight and eventually you end up at the viewpoint with a wooden railing for protection, see the first picture below. You'll have a great view of the farmland across the river in South Dakota and of Nebraska further along the horizon, as in the second picture below.
A peek of the Big Sioux River from the overlook

A peek of the Big Sioux River from the overlook

The overlook's scenic view extending into South Dakota and Nebraska

The overlook's scenic view extending into South Dakota and Nebraska

Turn around, then turn right onto the trail heading directly south. After a short trek through forest, you'll turn right and reach another overlook, this one unprotected with sandy cliffs (be careful near the edge). Turn around and stay to the right to continue up the hill back to the main road. Near the top you'll see some interesting plants like the yucca pictured below.
A wide variety of plants awaits in Stone State Park, like this flowering yucca plant

A wide variety of plants awaits in Stone State Park, like this flowering yucca plant

Once you reach the road, you can turn left to return to your car, or if you turn right you will shortly reach another overlook with the view pictured below. You drove past this viewpoint on the way here, and it is less obstructed by trees than the other viewpoints here.
One final view before heading back

One final view before heading back

I hope you enjoyed this quick trip with its many views! If this hike whets your appetite for more hiking, explore the trails in the rest of the park (I wish I had more time in the, especially to visit the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center and to hike up to Mount Lucia). Let me know what you think in the comments section below, and be sure to use #nocoastbestcoast on Twitter and Instagram after your trip!

Important Information

Dogs are allowed on leash. This is a short hike suitable for children, but know there are steep drop offs near the overlooks -- watch your children closely! You can hike this trail in all four seasons, and the view is probably even better during leaf-off times. The Since this park is practically within Sioux City, expect to see plenty of people on the weekends during the summer with fewer during the colder months and on weekdays.

Directions

From Downtown Sioux City, take Interstate 29 heading northbound. Exit at Iowa Highway 12 and turn right. Continue straight for a few miles, then look for signs for the park. Turn right onto Stone State Park Drive, then take the first right. Turn right again at the top of the hill and park where the road dead ends at a cul-de-sac.

Google Maps Directions

Parking, Fees, and Facilities

Parking is free! There are no facilities by the parking area, but the park has restrooms and picnic areas scattered throughout.

External Links

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