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Boyer River (Iowa) facts for kids

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Boyer River
Boyer River.jpg
The Boyer River at Denison
This excerpt from the Lewis and Clark map of 1814 that shows the rivers of southwest Iowa, southeast Nebraska, and northwest Missouri. "Bowyer's River" is seen at upper left.
Country US
State Iowa
District Pottawattamie County, Iowa
Physical characteristics
Main source 42°30′05″N 95°16′32″W / 42.5014°N 95.2755°W / 42.5014; -95.2755
River mouth Missouri River
971 ft (296 m)
41°27′11″N 95°55′09″W / 41.4531°N 95.9192°W / 41.4531; -95.9192
Length 118 miles (190 km)

The Boyer River is a tributary of the Missouri River, 118 miles (190 km) long, in western Iowa in the United States. Most reaches of the river's course have been straightened and channelized.

The Boyer River is named for a settler who hunted and trapped in the watershed before the time of Lewis and Clark. Explorers, including Lewis and Clark, John James Audubon, and Prince Maximilian zu Wied-Neuwied, navigated through the region near the mouth of the Boyer as they traveled up the Missouri River. This area is now part of the Boyer Chute National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). This was originally an island of sand and sediment deposited in the Missouri River by the Boyer River. Gradually, the Missouri River eroded a major channel (chute) through the sediment; this came to be known as Boyer Chute, and was the preferred channel used by explorers and traders until the Missouri eventually changed its course.


The Boyer River rises near Storm Lake in southwestern Buena Vista County and initially flows southwardly into Sac County. In southern Sac County it turns southwestward and flows through Crawford, Harrison and Pottawattamie Counties, past the towns of Deloit, Denison, Arion, Dow City, Dunlap, Woodbine, Logan and Missouri Valley. It enters the Missouri River in northwestern Pottawattamie County, 13 miles (21 km) north of Council Bluffs.

At Denison, the Boyer collects the East Boyer River, which rises in northwestern Carroll County and flows southwestwardly past Vail. In southwestern Harrison County, it collects the Willow River.

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