Public Tours

Embark on a tour of one of the largest locks and dams on the Mississippi River. Free tours are available to the public daily at
10:00 a.m. | 1:00 p.m. | 3:00 p.m.
through the National Great Rivers Museum. The tours take 45 minutes and allow participants to experience the locks and dam from the view of a lockman.

Schedule a Group Tour

If you have a group of 10 or more individuals we recommend scheduling a tour of Melvin Price Locks and Dam before you visit. Public tours have a participant capacity of 25 and tend to fill up quickly.

Please allow at least 1 hour and 30 minutes to experience both the tour and the museum.

To schedule a group tour, please call the Great Rivers and Routes Tourism Bureau at

A Brief Introduction: An Engineer’s Dream

Designed and constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Melvin Price is one of the most technologically advanced locks and dams on the Mississippi River to date. Each year, it assists thousands of 15-barge tows along their journey. Fully operational by 1994, Melvin Price towers 80 feet above the water and spans from shoreline to shoreline. Its structure encompasses nine tainter gates which make up the dam, a 1,200 foot lock, and a 600 foot lock.

Melvin Price was the first replacement of an original installation of the 9-Foot Channel Project. The original lock and dam, Lock and Dam 26, had seen structural deficiencies over time and was past the point of repair. In 1990, Lock and Dam 26 was demolished and made way for Melvin Price to succeed its purpose.

Today, millions of tons of commerce are transported using the Mississippi River and Melvin Price has a helping hand in the process along with the 28 other lock and dam structures on the Upper Mississippi River. Visit us at the National Great Rivers Museum to view Melvin Price with your own eyes and learn the importance of its existence. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Extreme Weather Plans

In the event that outdoor temperatures become either too cold or too warm all tours may be canceled. This procedure has been put in place to keep both the public and staff safe. If you think you may be visiting our facility on an extreme weather day, we recommend calling ahead to check tour status.