Minnehaha Creek

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Minnehaha Creek
Minnehaha four seasons.JPG
Minnehaha Creek as it flows over Minnehaha Falls, shown in all four seasons.
Native name Wakpa Cistinna

Lake Minnetonka

44°57′16″N 93°29′10″W / 44.9544078°N 93.4860652°W / 44.9544078; -93.4860652

Mississippi River

44°54′32″N 93°12′02″W / 44.9088543°N 93.2004996°W / 44.9088543; -93.2004996Coordinates: 44°54′32″N 93°12′02″W / 44.9088543°N 93.2004996°W / 44.9088543; -93.2004996
Basin countries United States of America
Location Minneapolis, Edina, Hopkins, and Minnetonka, Minnesota
Etymology waterfall or rapid water, referring to this creek's journey over Minnehaha Falls
Length 22 miles (35 km)
Source elevation 686 feet (209 m)
Basin area 181 square miles (470 km2)
River system Mississippi River
Right tributaries brief stream originating at Lake Pamela
GNIS 647923[1]

Minnehaha Creek is a 22-mile-long (35 km) tributary of the Mississippi River that flows east from Gray's Bay Dam on Lake Minnetonka[2] through the suburban cities of Minnetonka, Hopkins, Saint Louis Park, and Edina, and the city of Minneapolis. The creek flows over Minnehaha Falls in Minnehaha Park near its mouth at the Mississippi River.


For more details on the etymology of the word minnehaha, see Minnehaha.

As with much of the Midwest, the area around the creek and Lake Minnetonka was originally inhabited by a native culture affiliated with the Mound Builders, but by the 1700s was occupied by the Mdewakanton People, a sub-tribe of the Dakota. The first Euro-Americans whose expedition to the area was documented were Joe Brown and Will Snelling, who canoed up the creek from Fort Snelling.[3]


The creek's watershed covers 181 square miles (470 km2), including the basin of Lake Minnetonka, and is managed by the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District.[4]