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Whitewater Canyon

This 562-acre wildlife management area of forest, upland, and riparian habitats is located just 5 miles east of Cascade in extreme northeast Jones County.

Appropriately named this unique location features 200-foot cliffs and scenic overlooks in a narrow valley along Whitewater Creek.   

A unique section of Whitewater Canyon, “Lost Canyon”, can be found tucked into the southeastern corner of the Whitewater Canyon Area and will impress anyone with its plethora of caves and concave bedrock walls.  Both Whitewater and Lost Canyon are believed to have formed when an ancient cave system collapsed about 16,000 – 21,000 years ago.   Large pieces of dolomite, some nearly 25 feet in diameter, can be found scattered along narrow valley floors.  

Native animal and plant life abound here in this hidden corner of Iowa.  Anyone wishing to “get away” for a bit of solitude can immerse themselves in nature here.  Spring wildflowers paint the forest floor from March through May while the beauty of the restored upland prairie will astound you from summer through fall. Scenic overlooks and vistas as well as several caves and rock shelters await to be discovered.

Preservation and enhancement of this site’s unique habitats and plant and animal communities are the primary goals of future management.  This site provides many outdoor opportunities — it is a true gem.

Maps & Rules

Park Features

Bird Watching & Wildlife Observation




Winter Activities

Park Hours

4:30am to 10:30pm


Located 5 miles east of Cascade. Take Hwy 151 east and turn south onto Curoe Road. Follow the familiar brown county conservation board arrowhead signs. Keep traveling south on Curoe Road until it turns to gravel. (Do not follow the curve on highway.) Turn right into the parking lot.

Map · Whitewater Canyon