DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge is located 25 miles north of Omaha, NE. From Omaha take Interstate 29 north to U.S. Highway 30, Exit 75 at Missouri Valley, continue west on US Hwy 30 for 5 miles to the refuge entrance. Or take US Hwy 75 North to Hwy 30, going east 5 miles to the refuge entrance on DeSoto Avenue.DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge1434 316th LaneMissouri Valley, IA 51555Refuge phone: 712/388-4800 Fax: 712/388-4808Email: DeSoto@fws.gov Click here for the refuge brochure.
The DeSoto Visitor Center is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week except certain federal holidays. The visitor center is a starting point for visitors and has wildlife exhibits, information and interpretive brochures, a bookstore with interpretive and educational publications and friendly staff to help you plan your visit. Points of interest on the refuge include the auto tour route, hiking trails and the Steamboat Bertrand Discovery site. See the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge brochure for the location of all facilities, roads and trails.
Visitors can also Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge located three miles west of Fort Calhoun, Nebraska. Click here to see the Boyer Chute website for more information.
DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge is a federal fee area and a valid entry permit is required to enter the refuge or travel on roads in the refuge. Daily entrance fees are $3.00 per vehicle. Fees are collected at the visitor center or self-service fee stations at entrances. Other valid entrance permits include: The DeSoto Refuge annual pass ($15.00), Federal Duck Stamp, and Federal Recreational Lands Passes including the Annual, Senior, Access, Military or Volunteer. When planning a trip to the refuge, wear appropriate footwear and dress for the weather. Bring water, food, binoculars, field guides, a hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and anything else that might make the outdoor experience more enjoyable.
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During the spring and fall, DeSoto’s wetlands become a temporary home for a variety of waterfowl and shorebirds. Look for migrating birds from September-December and March-April. A variety of birds depend on the aquatic and wetland habitats at DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge. Such species include mallards, blue and green winged teal, northern pintail, American wigeon, wood ducks, Canada geese and pelicans.