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Missouri > Missouri National Wildlife Refuges > Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge
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Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge
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General Information

Description - The principal habitats at Squaw Creek are wetlands, grasslands, croplands. The Refuge includes areas of loess bluff hills, an unusual geological formation caused by wind deposited soil. On these bluffs are some of the remnants of the once vast native prairie.

It is a major stop-over for more than 300,000 snow geese, 100,000 ducks, and 250 bald eagles. The Refuge has also hosted about 309 species of birds, 33 species of mammals and 35 species of reptiles and amphibians. Squaw Creek serves as a critical spring and fall migration stop for waterfowl, shore birds, water and marsh birds and raptors in the Mississippi flyway.

Federally listed threatened and endangered species sighted in the recent past have included the peregrine falcon, piping plover, least tern and bald eagle. There are a number of Missouri State endangered and threatened species on the Refuge including the eastern massasauga rattlesnake. Squaw Creek is most likely the home of the last viable breeding population of this species.

The Refuge has a ten mile self-guided auto tour route that circles the main wetlands. There are two hiking trails - Eagle Overlook, a one and one half mile round trip walk that takes the visitor into the wetlands; and the Loess Bluff Trail, a one half mile round trip walk that climbs 200 feet to the top of the bluffs for a panoramic view of the Refuge.

Location - Squaw Creek NWR is located in Holt County, Missouri, and is just two and one half miles west of Interstate 29 at exit 79, 100 miles north and south of Kansas City, Missouri and Omaha, Nebraska, respectively.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Normally visit in late Nov or Dec when the eagles and geese are at their peak. Today we didn't see any eagles or many geese, but had a wonderful treat of migrating white pelicans, lots of great blue and white herons. We try to arrive in mid-afternoon so we will see lots of deer on the end of the loop. There are wonderful sunsets here too.

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: As it was raining we took the auto tour. It was 04-22 we saw the nesting Bald Eagle pair! As well as some lingering snow geese, a pheasent, turkey, yellow headed & red winged blackbirds, many ducks, beavers and muskrat homes. Take your time, get out and walk, be sure to take binoculars and look up! By the way, we stayed at the Big Lake State Park hotel. Very pleasent (not fancy)Be sure if staying here to take food and supplies because you are not in super center country anymore! Would also be a great place to camp.

Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: My daughter, who is a new 5th grade teacher, and I visited the NWR over spring break. We barely made it out before the gates closed. Because of her new-found enthusiasm and our pictures of the turtles on the logs, the red wing black bird, the muskrats etc. her 5th graders had their 'best field trip ever' when they went to Fontenelle Forest later. We saw 30 deer that day, pelicans, at least 3 varieties of Canada goose, and heard, but didn't see, tree frogs! Because of the feeding activities, be sure to prepare your younger children, however.

Filed By: Wayne Nicholas (Houston, TX)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This was supposed to be a quick photo op stop-over for about 1-2 hours. 4 1/2 hours later, I regrettfully droe away knowing I had 12 hours of windshield time ahead of me. I would suggest that anyone who loves nature stop here during the winter and spring months. Very few Golden Eagles, but well over 100 bald eagles can be seen; Some at very close range. Not to mention nearly 500,000 wintering geese.

Filed By: Andrew Johnson (Independence, MO)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: My wife, son and myself drove up on Friday Dec 28. It was very rewarding, we saw well over 100 Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles. They told us they are at their peek at this time and will start leaving soon. How ever their are one nesting pair that stays year round. From Kansas City you take I-29 North to Highway 159 Exit 79 and go West about 3 miles.

Filed By: Larry Marshall (Fort Worth, Texas)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: I grew up in St. Joseph! I spent a lot of time in and around Squaw Creek in the 60s'. Everytime I am in the area, my wife and I drive around the refuge. We really miss it living here in Texas. I recommend this trip to everyone young or old. If you drive slow and take the time to look, there will always be wildlife! Squaw Creek is a treasure to behold! Larry Marshall

More Information

Contact Information:
Squaw Creek NWR, P.O. Box 158 , Mound City, MO, 64470-0158, Phone: 816-442-3187
, ron_bell@fws.gov

Additional Information:
Missouri National Wildlife Refuges -

Squaw Creek NWR - Official agency website


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