ABOUT RIB MOUNTAIN
Rib Mountain is the third highest point in Wisconsin at 1,942 feet above sea level and, at 741 feet above the surrounding terrain, is the tallest hill in Wisconsin. It was formed as a state park in 1927 and dedicated in 1934. A purchase of 257 acres from 3M Corporation in 2001 increased park area to approximately 1600 acres. The top of the 60-foot observation tower is about 800 feet above the surrounding terrain and offers spectacular views.
The formation of Rib Mountain began some 1.5 to 2 billion years ago with the violent fusion, through intense heat, of sand into mammoth chunks of quartzite. Beginning 1.5 billion years ago, the surrounding plains started eroding away. The incredibly hard quartzite, however, resisted this erosion. Over the succeeding hundreds of millions of years what remained rose higher and higher over the surrounding area, and is now called a “monadnock” by geologists. Rib Mountain is one of the oldest geologic formations on earth. For more information, see this Geology page by Dr. Keith Montgomery of the University of Wisconsin – Marathon County.