Explore Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge's Scenic Loop

Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge

Tucked in northwest Missouri, Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge is a great spot for wildlife viewing, photography and easy hiking/biking.

Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge is located just outside of Mound City in northwest Missouri. The refuge is approximately 100 miles northwest of Kansas City off I-29. It’s headquarters/visitors center are on the east side of Hwy 159. The visitors center is open weekdays 7:30-4:30 and on select Saturdays during peak migration periods. The refuge itself is gated and open from sunrise to sunset daily.

You can explore Squaw Creek on it’s 10 mile one-way gravel road. Although most people drive, I have seen people walking and biking on the loop. If you’re wanting to bike, a mountain bike is needed due to the gravel. We typically stop at Eagle Pond (approximately 1 mile into the loop) and hike the ¾ mile trail to Eagle Pond Overlook.

I usually head to Squaw Creek to bird watch. During late fall and winter, Squaw Creek’s bald eagle population averages between 250-300. For your best chance to see eagles, head there during the winter when the leaves are down. The refuge also boasts a massive number of snow geese and waterfowl during the fall and spring migrations.

Take advantage of several lookouts, benches and platforms along the loop. Make sure to drive slow and have your camera ready!

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Binoculars
  • Water/snacks
  • Good hiking/walking shoes
  • Mountain bike (if biking)
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RT Distance 10 Miles
Activities Chillin, Photography, Mountain Biking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Handicap Accessible
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Eagle Days

Visited Squaw Creek last weekend during annual Eagle Days with my wife and two teen daughter. Saw snow geese flying in for miles (400,000 reported), hawks, Canada geese, bald eagles, trumpeter swans and other migratory birds. Along with the 10-mile driving tour there is also three miles of hiking on the Loess Bluff Trails up 200 stone steps installed by the Civilian Conservation Corps.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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