The Upper Iowa River Watershed is located in a very distinct geologic region known as the “Driftless Area”, a region that lies within the larger Upper Mississippi River Watershed. The Driftless Area encompasses portions of four states including Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. The Upper Iowa River Watershed, 78% of which is located in the farthest northeast corner of the Iowa and 22% of which is located in the farthest southeast corner of Minnesota, is known for its towering limestone bluffs, hardwood forests, public natural areas, exceptional fishery, trout streams, waterfalls and abundant wildlife. Watershed elevations range from about 1,440 feet in the headwaters to about 610 feet at the junction with the Mississippi River, giving the watershed about 830 feet of total relief. These and other characteristics make the river and much of its watersheds feel remote and wild. Learn more about the watershed below.