Desoto National Wildlife Refuge, Missouri Valley

4.8
#3 of 13 in Wildlife in Iowa
Desoto National Wildlife Refuge is located in Missouri Valley. Put Desoto National Wildlife Refuge and other Missouri Valley attractions into our Missouri Valley itinerary planning tool , and watch your holiday take shape.
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Desoto National Wildlife Refuge Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
68 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Perfect stop not out of the way heading toward AR on the Interstate. Follow your GPS and it will get you to this gem. The visitor's center is large. Exhibits are plentiful. A wonderful film is free to...  more »
  • My friends and all of us rented a cabin on the West Shore of the lake was not a bad price per night sleeps a lot of people basically like staining your house really nice had a great time it's called K...  more »
  • The Bertrand exhibit is truly something to visit. Truly remarkable the items that were headed to the mining firlds in Montana! a Great day trip destination.  more »
Google
  • Five star hangout! A fantastic place to come see a flood plain forest and its associated plants and animals. The best way to experience this place is with your bikes (take the full route around the lake) or, even better, by canoe or kayak. Be sure to go early enough in the morning or late enough in the evening if you want to see something of the deer, etc. This park lies along a major flyway and hosts tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands?!) of ducks, geese, and other feathered types in the late fall, winter and spring. The fishing on the lake is mediocre at best in my experience. Since the flood of 2011, the riverfront is a bit undone, but it is slowly recovering. Their Missouri riverfront is a fantastic place to look for eagles in the winter time too. The visitor center is well laid out and staffed by friendly federal employees so keep paying your taxes.
  • Bevy of Birds! We visited the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge to see the migratory flocks of birds—we were not disappointed! We arrived around 9:30am-ish and still had to wait in a long line of cars to get to the pay station for entry (very inexpensive, just a few dollars). Parking around the Visitor’s Center was packed but not impossible, even when very busy; we parked on the side of the rode and walked to the center. The trails around the Visitor’s Center were all roped off to avoid disturbing the flocks. No worries, the Visitor’s Center is fantastic and well worth your visit. The Visitor’s Center has great viewing windows, great exhibits, helpful staff, and bathrooms. On our visit, the Visitor’s Center was pretty crowded, but we still found lots of space to observe the birds (and fellow visitors were universally friendly). We also drove around the lake and found parking to hike the very short Cottonwood Trail (less than a mile, very gentle, wide trail with only a little ice), which gave us a long distance but uncrowded view of the activities from multiple points along the lake. We also saw two eagles from this trail. Overall, the sights of these birds was well worth the time and very small expense—highly recommended!
  • We came to see the snow geese. Quite amazing! The park ranger estimated about 750,000 snow geese this year compared to 40,000 last year. The traffic in the park moved along quite well. It would have been nice to have a couple of blinds set up outside for better viewing and videos. Overall quite impressed with the area and plan to return this summer.
  • 3MAR2018, hundreds of thousands of snow geese today! The wind is very strong so they should stay close thru tomorrow. There was no entrance fee today, even the indoor viewing area/gift shop is all free. The crowd was moving in and out pretty fast, parking was very close so don't park and walk, dare to get close and you will find spots. You can view from the walkway but best if you just head straight for the building go inside and down the long hallway to the end. Take lots of photo's, great family thing today, temps at 60. ENJOY!! Thanks National Parks Service.
  • One of the best kept secrets in Western Iowa. It is full of artifacts from sunken Riverboat in the 1800's and has one of the greatest viewing areas for waterfowl and Eagles that's inside. There are also a number of areas where you can walk and it also is a drive through park where you can go through and see Eagles nesting as well. Absolutely worth the time to visit there's a $3 daily fee or $15 for an annual pass with picnic areas and fun activities throughout the year for kids and Families.
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