Palisades-Kepler Dam

River/Stream: Cedar River

Location: southeast of Cedar Rapids, Linn County
        Latitude: 41.0157615479494
        Longitude: -92.4159846783953
        Click here to view an aerial map of the dam.

Built: 1936

Owner: Iowa Department of Natural Resources

Height: originally 8 feet

Length: 780 feet

Hazards: drownings, debris, usage, other

Warning Signs: standard signs are up

Portage: Pull out on the sandbar on the river left and portage across the rocks and dry section of the dam, putting in at the sandbar below the rapids.

Comments: state park; highly deteriorated. Although to experienced paddlers they look like runnable, solid class II rapids with some potentially sticky holes, pieces of steel that once reinforced the concrete dam below the surface can pierce a boat's hull and/or entrap a swimming paddler.

Fatalities 5

  • July 8, 2002 - Norman Kauffman & Merwyn Schlabach, wading
  • August 2, 1986 - Douglas Timmerman, swimming
  • May 20, 1962, Gary Nolte, fell from dam while netting fish for a group of children
  • December 28, 1936, Clifton Cavanaugh, attempted to span spillway with ladder and lost balance

Photos by David Leskowicz