Dubuque County Discovery Area

Crystal Lake Cave – Dubuque County

Discovered in 1868 by James Rice, a lead miner in search of ore-bearing stone, Rice’s Cave was found to contain a fabulous collection of crystals including argonite, travertine, satin stalagmite, stalactite, and calcareous spar. Originally access to the cave was reached by riding in a bucket lowered by rope down a forty-five foot shaft. After change of ownership, the 1930s, the site was developed as Crystal Lake Cave.

Any fees?: Yes (Adults: $20 each; Ages 4-11: $8 each; Ages under 4: free)

Mines of Spain State Park – Dubuque County

The Mines of Spain State Park is 1437-acre of wooded and prairie land just south of Dubuque, Iowa. Rich in history and natural resources, the Mines of Spain State Recreation Area in Dubuque is a National Historic Landmark waiting to be explored. Village sites, rock shelters and trading post sites dot the landscape, and the area was once the location for lead mining until after the Civil War. The Julien Dubuque Monument, honoring the area’s first European settler, sits high above the Mississippi River and serves as a landmark for the Mines of Spain area. This state recreation area provides ample opportunity for visitors to explore a variety of trails and learn more about the history of the state.

Any fees?: No Fee to visit

Dog Friendly: Yes, but must be leashed.

Managed By: Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Email Address: mines_of_spain@dnr.iowa.gov

Phone: 563-556-0620