Desoto National Wildlife Refuge Site Pass

Desoto National Wildlife Refuge

DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge is located along the Missouri River and borders both Iowa and Nebraska. Within its 8,365 acres lies DeSoto Lake, an oxbow lake that used to be a bend in the Missouri River. The refuge contains bottomland forests, tall grass prairie and wetland habitats that are managed to mimic the natural Missouri River floodplain habitat to benefit a diversity of migratory birds that flock to the refuge each year in the spring and fall. The refuge also contains a piece of history within its borders, the Bertrand Steamboat. The Bertrand sunk on the bend of river that is now DeSoto Lake leaving behind the cargo and historic time pieces, amounting to almost 250,000 different artifacts housed within the walls of the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center. DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge is truly a place where wildlife meets history!

This pass is only valid for entrance fees at the DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge.

All vehicles entering DeSoto National Wildlife Refuge are required to pay an entrance fee with the following exceptions: Entrance fees are waived for visitors in possession of a current and signed Federal Duck Stamp or America the Beautiful Interagency Pass.

If purchasing your pass on-site, no printed copy of the pass will be available. Instead, your license plate number will be used to confirm compliance.

If purchasing a pass in advance, a printed copy of the pass is recommended for your vehicle. Fold the printed pass on the dotted line and display it on your vehicle dashboard, with the quick response (QR) code visible at all times during your visit.

Visitors may trade a paper Annual Pass for a wallet card and a hangtag for their vehicle. Please see a park ranger at the visitor center during your visit for details.

This pass does not guarantee parking availability. This pass is valid until half hour after sunset of the date listed on the pass, and only for the date and vehicle specified for this pass.

The DeSoto Visitor Center and Bertrand Steamboat Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and closed on most Federal Holidays. The refuge public use areas are open daily from half hour before sunrise to half hour after sunset.

The refuge has seasonally accessible roads, trails and public use areas. The South Gate Entrance, the East Gravel Section of Auto Tour Loop, Green Heron and Missouri Meander Trails, and off-trail exploration of the seasonal public use area are open from April 15-October 14. They close to public use starting October 15th each year to minimize disturbance to migratory birds during the peak of the migration season. All other trails and sections of roads are open throughout the year.

Passes are non-transferable, non-refundable, not replaceable if lost or stolen, and are void if altered or reproduced. Please be prepared to show your hard copy pass or digital pass on your mobile device. Print out or download the pass on your mobile device in advance of your visit as cellular service may be limited.