Altoona is a city in Polk County, Iowa and a part of the Des Moines–West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 10,345 at the 2000 census; a special census taken in August 2005 counted 13,301 residents.
Altoona is home of Adventureland, an amusement park, Prairie Meadows, a horse racing track and casino, and a Bass Pro Shops retail store, the first one in central Iowa.
Altoona incorporated as a city on March 11, 1876. It is named for the Latin word for "high," altus, after surveyor Julian B. Bausman discovered that Altoona was the highest point on the Des Moines Valley Railroad between Des Moines and Keokuk.