Missouri River Water Trail

River of the Lewis & Clark Expedition

Sand Bars

Picture of a Sand  Bar on the Missouri RiverThere are numerous sandbars that will appear on the stretch of river from Glasgow to Weldon Springs at river levels below 7-8 feet on the Boonville gage.  These sandbars can range from being a few hundred feet long to covering multiple football fields in size and often have fine white sands that rival a Caribbean beach. 

These are ideal places to camp or take a break and are one of the jewels of the Missouri River paddling experience. Sandbars located between the river’s banks are typically open to public use. The lands beyond the river’s banks are mostly private property.  Careful review of the maps provided on this site will help to avoid trespassing on private lands. When camping on a sandbar, keep in mind that the river can come up fast and be prepared for what you would do if the river wants to take your sandbar back!

River Levels on the Web

USGS has river gages for multiple locations on the Missouri River.  The Boonville gage is about half way between Kansas City and the confluence with the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Mo.  This gage is often used by paddlers to get a relative idea about river level in relationship to rock structure (wing dam) exposure and the emergence of sand bars on the river.  River gage Information can be found here.