Definitely No Hills Like This in Iowa

Updated: Mar 24

Today's adventure was more of a road trip than off-road expedition, but we stopped to check out a few old bridges, a beautiful river and canyon, and waterfalls as we explored along Iowa Hill Road in the Jeep. Anyone who knows me knows I love bridges and waterfalls, so when my husband mentioned this trip to me this morning, I was pretty excited. I took quite a few photos. Here's some highlights:


Our loop began and we picked up some yummy takeout and enjoyed our lunch on a picnic table in the park at Iowa Hill Road Bridge. It's a 1929 wire suspension bridge over North Fork American River and is now open to foot traffic only. The plywood looks sturdy, doesn't it?


We walked across the bridge and then ventured down below it to take photos from a different vantage point.


We saw numerous people along the river panning for gold (and listening to Chris Stapleton and Lynyrd Skynyrd).



I spotted a giant... acorn????






Then we continued up the road and were rewarded with expansive views of the river canyon.




Iowa Hill Road was narrow, windy, and hilly with crazy switchbacks. The landscape and views were really beautiful.



We eventually reached Iowa Hill where we stopped to check out some old buildings.


We believe this is an old Wells Fargo vault.










Road signs are fun.


This intersection made me laugh. Someone literally put a fork in the road.


A giant wooden fork. Indicating the "fork in the road."


Another bridge! This one going over Indian Creek. (And it was private property, so I only took limited photos from the side of the road.)



Then we found ourselves a lovely roadside waterfall, Devils Falls! We weren't expecting much water in any of the falls today, but this was a nice little surprise.


Everything is so slippery here. All of the rocks, whether covered in water or moss or nothing at all, were so slippery. It reminded us a lot of our trip to southern Oregon. Lots of moss. Everything wet, everything lush, everything green (despite it being winter).




A boy and his Jeep.


Then we came across the third bridge -- Yankee Jim's Bridge. This one also seemed a little sketchy. It was quite noisy when you drove across it and the surface looked like corrugated metal.


It wasn't quite as noisy when you walked across it.




But then we ventured down to the river and walked along the boulders. It was about 50 degrees out and overcast most of the day, but then blue skies started to peek through.



I just had to take a photo of what was left of this "Shrek" graffiti er... painting.








A few more beautiful river canyon pics on our way back out to the freeway.



My husband actually took this beautiful shot. I love the textured clouds.


Most of the loop was paved, but the road was very narrow (predominantly one-lane) and surrounded by rock faces and trees and extreme drop-offs in some spots.


It was a lovely day to get out and on the road for a little Jeep adventure. It is so much fun to explore new places. If you've ever been to Iowa, you know there's not a hill in sight. (We were laughing about the irony as we peered over the sheer drop-offs and marveled at the steep river valleys along Iowa Hill Road.)


And if you read my recent post about almost missing an epic Tahoe sunset in favor of working on my to-do list, I will tell you that I got even fewer items checked off today. Ha! Take that, adulting!

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© 2020 by Brianna Sheck. 

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