Mill Bluff, SNA #359 (24/674)

Stunning vistas after a steep climb await visitors to Mill Bluff and its mesas, buttes, and other rock formations.  Located within Mill Bluff State Park and bordering the I94, the name Mill Bluff is somewhat of a misnomer.  The SNA actually contains 7 bluffs as well as other rock formations, though somewhat oddly, not all of the bluffs found within the park (Bee and Sugar Bowl Bluffs are excluded).  The bluffs are known as sea stacks, giant rock islands in Glacial Lake Wisconsin formed by erosional forces.  Four hundred year old bird track petroglyphs remain from the Upper Mississippian culture and are similar to those found at Roche-a-Cri State Park (25 miles away) and itself home to 2 SNA’s.  The map below shows the park boundary (not SNA boundary) and names of the bluffs.

millbluf park map 08 - mbparkmap.pdf-2015-11-24 20_55_55.jpg

There are standard parking areas near Mill Bluff and Camels Bluff that you can start from.  The only bluff with designed access to the top is Mill Bluff, where 223 stone steps built by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930’s will take you to the summit.  There is also a short, 0.4 mile trip around the base of this bluff.  At the top, the view is amazing and several of of the other bluffs in the park can be observed looking north.  The south side of the summit is fenced off to protect it.  Further north, there is a 1.25 mile trip around Camel Bluff, another unnamed bluff and two other rock formations called Cleopatra’s Needle and Devil’s Monument.  The other bluffs in the park would require some bushwhacking including Round, Long, Wildcat, and Bear Bluffs.  I doubt they are summit-able, but I would still like the chance to visit these other bluffs.  Around the bluffs, the area is a fairly typical Wisconsin forest with scattered prairie openings.

More of my photos from Mill Bluff can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 359
County Monroe/Juneau
Parking Parking Areas
Trails Yes
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries No
Ownership Wisconsin DNR
Located Within Mill Bluff State Park (State park sticker required)
Dates Visited 6.28.09

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