Gibraltar Rock, SNA #73 (33/674)

Rising 200 feet over the Wisconsin River valley, a stunning panorama awaits you after a moderately steep hike up Gibraltar Rock.  From the parking area, there are two hiking options.  The access road is steeper, though more direct.  An Ice Age Trail segment also leads to the top at a shallower slope over its longer route.  The climb is certainly worth it!  Most of the site you walk through is a dry mesic forest with red oak and basswood.  Species such as columbine, goldenrods, pasqueflower, and lead plant populate the cliff and prairie communities at the top of the bluff.  Look out over the valley below and keep an eye out for soaring raptors, such as turkey vultures, riding the thermals created by the bluff as winds hit the side and are forced upwards.  A thick cap of dolomite protects the St. Peter’s sandstone beneath and has allowed this rock formation to persist. There are no railings here so be careful near the edge.  Also, note that rock climbing is prohibited here.

More of my photos from Gibraltar Rock can be viewed here.

Additional Information

SNA # 73
County Columbia
Parking Parking area (gravel)
Trails Yes
Easy to Find Yes
Best Seen By Foot
Marked Boundaries Yes
Ownership Wisconsin DNR
Located Within na
Dates Visited 7.11.09 / 10.31.09

Columbia County

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