The refuge is home to the rare loess bluffs lining the Missouri River floodplain. Loess, pronounced "luss," is ancient, wind-blown glacial soil. These bluffs support remnants of Missouri's native prairie, including Indian grass, big bluestem, blazing star, compass plant, yucca, beard-tongue, and skeleton plant. The refuge upland habitat, made up of these hills, makes up almost 700 acres of refuge land. A loop trail climbs 200 feet on rock steps to the top of the bluffs for a panoramic view of the refuge.