Prairie and Bison Tour

Prairie tour vehicle at Blue Mounds State Park

 
 

Thank you for a wonderful 2018!

Prairie and Bison Tours have finished for the 2018 season. The 2019 tour information will be updated here as soon as it becomes available.

Overview

Butterfly at Blue Mounds State ParkTravel into the bison range at Blue Mounds State Park on the one and a half hour long Prairie and Bison Tour where you can experience the sights and smells of the prairie! Learn more about bison, their history, and what makes the bison at Blue Mounds State Park so special on this educational tour! Bison are wild and unpredictable and may not be visible along the tour route or may be as close as 75 feet.

Rates, schedule, and reservations

Rates

  • Adults (ages 13+): $10
  • Youth (ages 4-12): $6

*Youth 4-8 years old are required to use a booster seat.

**No youth under 4 years old permitted on the vehicle due to safety restrictions.
A vehicle permit is required to enter all Minnesota state parks. ($7/day or $35/year).

Bison at Blue Mounds State Park2019 Tour schedule

Summer tours

Tours will begin Memorial Day and run through Labor Day 2019. Tour days and times will be updated as information becomes available.

Reservations

Reservations are recommended and open through Labor Day. Refunds will not be available for late or no-show ticket holders.

Important! Reserved tickets must be picked up at the Park Office on the day of the tour at least 15 minutes prior to the tour departure time.

Visit https://reservemn.usedirect.com/MinnesotaWeb/ or call 866-857-2757 to make reservations.

Same-day tickets

Tickets can be purchased at the park-office from opening until 15 minutes prior to the start of the tour time. Reservations recommended.

What to expect

The Prairie Tour Vehicle is all open sided and is not heated. Wind chill makes the ride significantly colder and dressing in layers is suggested. It is suggested that tour goers on fall tours wear layers including winter coats, long johns, hats, hoods, gloves and balaclavas or scarves.

  • Tours are 1.5 hours long.
  • Bison are wild and unpredictable. They may not be visible along the tour route or may be as close at 75 feet.
  • Vehicle is open sided, so dress for the weather.
  • Glasses, sunglasses, or safety glasses must be worn on vehicle –safety glasses available for loan at the park.
  • Children 4 to 8 years old must use a booster seat – some are available for loan at the park office. Notify the front office when collecting your tickets if you need a booster seat.
  • Route is off-road and passengers will experience bumps and dips along the un-even, unsurfaced and rugged trail. May cause motion sickness in some.
  • Tours will be canceled in severe weather, heavy rainfall, or if trail conditions are poor.
  • Pets, emotional support, or therapy animals are not allowed on the tour. Service animals are welcome.
  • Only water is allowed on the vehicle – no other drinks or food allowed.

Rider check-list

Before Arriving at the Park

  • Dress to be outside.
  • All riders are above 4 years old and have their own ticket.
  • Riders 4 to 8 years old have a booster seat or are borrowing one at the park.
  • Bring a camera or cell phone that can be secured during the ride. No tripods or monopods.
  • Water is in a container that can seal.

At the Park

  • Arrive 15 minutes early (late arrivals will not be able to board and will not be refunded).
  • Check-in at the park office to receive boarding pass.
  • Bring your boarding pass to the loading area.
  • Use restrooms before boarding -- trip is 1.5 hours long.
  • Tobacco and vapor products are left in the car.
  • Have sunglasses, prescription glasses, or safety glasses on hand or borrow a pair at the park.
  • Bring a booster seat for children 4 to 8 years old or borrow one at the park office.
  • Alert vehicle operator if you need to use the accessible lift.

Getting to the park

GPS directions to the park are unreliable and may lead you to the incorrect entrance for tour check-in. Check in for tours is located at the park office on 161st/County Road 20. Tours are inaccessible from the other park entrances (interpretive center or climbing parking lots). As you near the park please ignore GPS directions and instead follow the brown highway signs for Blue Mounds State Park. Please allow sufficient time to arrive at the park as we are unable to accommodate late arrivals and refunds are not issued for missed tours.

  • North from interstate 90: The park office is 5.5 miles north from exit 12. Take a right after the brown highway Blue Mounds State Park sign onto 161st/County Road 20 and follow it to the entrance.
  • South from Pipestone, Minnesota: 21 miles south on Highway 75. Take a left after the brown highway Blue Mounds State Park sign onto 161st/County Road 20 and follow it to the entrance.

Accessibility information

All 1 p.m. tours are wheelchair accessible. The tour vehicle can accommodate one wheelchair at a time. A lift is available for any participants unable to use the vehicle stairs.

Legacy Amendment logo
LCCMR logo

 

The Prairie and Bison Tour is made possible with funding from the Environmental and Natural Resources Trust Fund and the Minnesota Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment.