Iowa Highway 9
|Maintained by Iowa DOT|
|Length:||295.088 mi (474.898 km)|
|Existed:||1920 – present|
|West end:||SD 42 near Larchwood|
| US 75 in Rock Rapids
Iowa 60 near Sibley
US 59 near Allendorf
US 71 at Spirit Lake
US 169 at Lakota
US 69 at Forest City
I-35 near Hanlontown
US 63 near Saratoga
US 52 in Decorah
|East end:||WIS 82 in Lansing|
|Counties:||Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Emmet, Kossuth, Winnebago, Worth, Mitchell, Howard, Winneshiek, Allamakee|
Iowa Highway 9 is the most northern of Iowa's east–west highways, traversing the entire northern tier of counties. It runs from the eastern terminus of South Dakota Highway 42 at the South Dakota border east of Sioux Falls, South Dakota near Benclare, to the Wisconsin border at Lansing where it continues as Wisconsin Highway 82. It is largely rural in character, bypassing any large city. Making a few dips north and south, the highway largely follows a very straight east–west alignment.
Iowa 9 enters Iowa from South Dakota as a continuation of South Dakota Highway 42. The highway's entry point is four and a half miles (7.2 km) east of Iowa's northwestern corner. It heads south and east through Lyon County until it reaches Larchwood. There, it turns south for about a mile (1.5 km) where it meets the northern end of Iowa 182. From here, the highway runs due east for twelve miles (19 km). During this straight stretch, it passes just to the south of Lester. Just west of Rock Rapids, it meets U.S. Highway 75 (US 75). The two routes overlap one another for one mile (1.6 km) as the travel through northern Rock Rapids. US 75 splits away to the south and Iowa 9 heads into downtown Rock Rapids, where it crosses the Rock River.
East of Rock Rapids, the highway follows a section line that is four and a half miles (7.2 km) south of the Minnesota state line. Halfway between Rock Rapids and Little Rock, Iowa 9 intersects the northern and southern legs of County Road L14, which were previously Iowa 91 and Iowa 339, respectively. The highway passes Little Rock to the south and enters Osceola County. It continues east for seven and a half miles (12 km) until it reaches an interchange with Iowa 60 north of Sibley, that highway's final exit before entering Minnesota. Shortly thereafter, Iowa 9 meets US 9. The highway eases to the south as it follows the section line. It passes to the north of Ocheyedan and to the south of Rush Lake and Harris.
As Iowa 9 enters Dickinson County, it goes south of Silver Lake and Lake Park. It crosses the western and eastern branches of the Little Sioux River, which converge just south of the highway. The intersection with Iowa 86 marks Iowa 9's entry into the Iowa Great Lakes region. It becomes a four-lane divided highway for a short distance as it curves slightly to the south. In northwestern Spirit Lake, Iowa 9 is joined by US 71 from the south and they travel east through the downtown area. The highways turn sharply to the northeast in order to cross a narrow portion of East Okoboji Lake. They briefly follow the shore before turning back to the east and exiting Spirit Lake. Four miles (6.4 km) east of town, US 71 turns to the north and Iowa 9 continues towards Superior. Iowa 9 enters Emmet County and curves to the southeast as it approaches Estherville. There, it crosses the West Fork Des Moines River and Iowa 4. It continues due east for fifteen miles (24 km). Just west of Armstrong, it dips to the south and enters the southern part of town. It is overlapped by Iowa 15 for two blocks, a mere 600 feet (180 m).
North Central Iowa
In Kossuth County, it passes through Swea City. East of Swea City, it is joined by U.S. Route 169. It passes north of Lakota, where US 169 turns north. Travelling through Buffalo Center in Winnebago County, takes a slight southwesterly dip to pass northeast of Thompson, continues east, and then south to join U.S. Route 69 at the northern edge of Forest City where it again turns east.
In Howard County, the highway makes a transition into the Driftless Area of Iowa, with progressively more rugged terrain evident as one travels east. West of Cresco, and south of Lime Springs, it crosses U.S. Route 63 before going through Cresco. In the process, it crosses two tributaries of the Turkey River.
In Winneshiek County, it runs southeasterly, straightening out to go through Decorah in the valley of the Upper Iowa River. In Decorah, it crosses U.S. Route 52. It again takes a southeasterly drift. In Allamakee County, the highway becomes crooked. Just east of the county line, Iowa Highway 51 meets its northern terminus. Running south of Waukon, it then turns north through Waukon, briefly joined by Iowa Highway 76. In the northern part of Waukon, it curves north and east, into Lansing, through the valley of Clear Creek and downtown Lansing. Just before crossing the Mississippi River, it meets the southern terminus of Iowa Highway 26. It then turns onto the Black Hawk Bridge, where it joins Wisconsin Highway 82.
|Lyon||Sioux Township||0.000||0.000||SD 42 west||Continuation into South Dakota|
|7.263||11.689||Iowa 182 south|
|19.030||30.626||US 75 north||West end of US 75 overlap|
|Rock Rapids||20.021||32.221||US 75 south (Union Street)||East end of US 75 overlap|
|Spirit Lake||72.898||117.318||US 71 south||West end of US 71 overlap|
|79.985||128.723||US 71 north||East end of US 71 overlap|
|Emmet||Estherville||88.640||142.652||Iowa 4 (9th Street)|
|Armstrong||106.496||171.389||Iowa 15 south (4th Street)||West end of Iowa 15 overlap|
|106.611||171.574||Iowa 15 north (6th Street)||East end of Iowa 15 overlap|
|Kossuth||Harrison Township||119.995||193.113||US 169 south / CR P40 north||West end of US 169 overlap|
|Lakota||126.407||203.432||US 169 north||East end of US 169 overlap|
|Winnebago||Newton Township||149.787||241.059||US 69 north / CR A34 east||West end of US 69 overlap|
|Forest City||156.810||252.361||US 69 south||East end of US 69 overlap|
|Worth||Danville Township||171.920||276.678||I-35 (Exit 203) / Iowa 27|
|Manly||178.931||287.962||US 65 (Orchid Avenue)|
|Mitchell||Osage||199.093||320.409||US 218 north (North 7th Street) / CR T38 south (South 7th Street)||West end of US 218 overlap|
|Burr Oak Township||202.740||326.278||US 218 south / CR T46 north||East end of US 218 overlap|
|Howard||Howard Center Township||229.659||369.600||US 63|
|Vernon Springs Township||240.645||387.281||Iowa 139 north / CR W34 east|
|Allamakee||Ludlow Township||271.230||436.502||Iowa 51 south|
|Jefferson Township||275.898||444.015||Iowa 76 south||West end of Iowa 76 overlap|
|Waukon||277.903||447.242||Iowa 76 north (Main Street)||East end of Iowa 76 overlap|
|Lansing||294.925||474.636||Iowa 26 / Great River Road north (2nd Street)|
|Black Hawk Bridge||295.088||474.898||WIS 82|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
- Rand McNally (1921). Official Auto Trails Map (Map). 1:1,081,344. p. 330-331.
- "2013 Volume of Traffic on the Primary Road System of Iowa" (PDF). Iowa Department of Transportation. January 1, 2013. Retrieved January 15, 2011.
- Iowa Atlas and Gazeteer, 3rd edition, DeLorme, 2004.
- 2007 Transportation Map, Iowa Department of Transportation, 2007.