Iowa : Safety by City
- Arnolds Park
- Cedar Falls
- Cedar Rapids
- Clear Lake
- Council Bluffs
- Des Moines
- Fort Dodge
- Fort Madison
- Iowa City
- Mason City
- North Liberty
- Pleasant Hill
- Polk City
- Sioux City
- Spirit Lake
- Storm Lake
- The Amana Colonies
- West Des Moines
Clive, Iowa, is a slender slice of a city in the Des Moines metro area.
While many people are more likely to drive through Clive, there’s plenty to do if you stop and stay a while.
It’s a great middle-ground between Des Moines and Adel.
The city of more than 18,000 people grew rapidly between 2010 and 2020, adding nearly 3,000 people.
There are plenty of hotels to stay in and you might see some names have West Des Moines in the name as well as Clive since the two are neighboring cities.
One of the top draws to Clive is the Greenbelt Trail, which is a walking and bicycle path running 11 miles through the city.
It’s a popular trail with more than 75,000 people using it each year.
It’s also popular with several herds of goats, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
More on that to come.
You can put on your cowboy boots and dance the night away in Clive at one of the largest country-western bars in the state.
If you’d like to watch other people dance around, the Horizon Events Center is just down the road with performances by some of the most popular artists of the past few decades.
Clive is perfectly located to enjoy the city life of Des Moines in a more suburban area, with access to the great outdoors and one of the best farmer’s markets in the country.
Look alive, it’s time to explore Clive.
Warnings & Dangers in Clive
OVERALL RISK : LOW
There's a low risk in Clive as the city itself has low crime rates and it's next to one of the lower crime areas of Des Moines.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
DART is the public bus system in Des Moines and it does service Clive as well. There are local routes and express routes available. You'll have no trouble getting a taxi or rideshare here. It's also an easy town to get around on a bicycle. There's low risk with any option.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
There's a low risk here with a theft rate 40% lower than the national average. You should still use all those good safety techniques, like only bringing what you need and locking up your bike or car when you park.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM
You're going to get a carousel of wicked weather risks here, so there's a medium risk for any season. Thunderstorms, tornadoes, hail, strong winds, and intense lighting can happen any time of the year, but peak in the spring. Winter brings the threat of snow, sleet, and ice, which can cripple transportation.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
With just one robbery in 2020, there's a low risk. The violent crime rate is 80% lower than the national average.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
The Des Moines metro area is going to get a medium risk, just because it's the largest city in the state. There's not an overwhelming risk like you'd get in Chicago, but if someone wanted to go after an Iowa location, Des Moines would be the best... er... worst option.
SCAMS RISK : LOW
There are several phone and phishing scams reported in Clive, but nothing that directly targets tourists. There's a low risk of a tourist being scammed.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Women should feel safe visiting here. There have been three sexual assaults in the past two years. There are a lot of places to visit, indoors and outdoors. Basic safety precautions are still needed because this is part of a big city.
TAP WATER RISK : LOW
The 2022 Consumer Confidence Water Quality report shows a low risk in the water with no violations reported. All tests were at or exceeded the requirements. One issue being worked on is the presence of PFAS, the "forever chemicals", in the water of some Iowa cities. While Des Moines water is at the limit in some of the tests, it doesn't exceed any. There is a concerted effort to add more filtering to the water to keep PFAS levels lower. You can learn more about PFAS through the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website.
Safest Places to Visit in Clive
The Clive Historical Society can guide you to some of the best locations in town, including an old railroad depot and the 1911 Swanson House.
Swanson Memorial Park has several historical tours available.
There’s also a buckeye tree nearby where you can collect the unique fruit from the tree’s labor.
(I grew up around Buckeye trees, so this seemed a little odd to me that it made a tourism page.
I also remember how much I loved collecting buckeyes as a child, so nostalgia encouraged me to add it here.)
Greenbelt Park and the Greenbelt Trail are great places to explore the outdoors.
Bicycling is a way of life for many Iowans.
You will love the great views along the way and the lessening of your carbon footprint.
The trail system throughout Des Moines is quite elaborate, so study it before you go for a ride.
It’s too easy to go a long distance and then be too tired to ride back.
Be on the lookout for the Greenbelt Goats.
These animals are not on the loose from a nearby farm.
They are supposed to be there eating the weeds and keeping the landscape trimmed.
You can support the goats and their environmental efforts by buying a Greenbelt Goats t-shirt for $20.
Miss Kitty’s Country Nightclub sounds like a strip club, but it’s really a place to do some country line dancing and meet new friends.
This is the best nightlife you’ll find in Clive with some Honkey Tonk on top of the country music.
Maybe start the night out with dinner at Cosi Cucina, a local Italian restaurant that is one of the most popular in Clive.
The Brenton Arboretum is about 30 minutes west of Clive with more than 2500 species of plants, trees, flowers, and shrubs.
This is a peaceful place to stroll through and forget about your busy life.
You can go through the gardens on your own or call ahead and ask for a guided tour.
You have the basic big box stores in Clive if you need to get essentials or do some regional shopping, but you’ll need to explore the other cities nearby for more of the big attractions.
Places to Avoid in Clive
Clive really isn’t big enough in land size to have bad vs. good neighborhoods.
You can feel safe traveling throughout the city.
If you ride a bicycle a lot, you should avoid having headphones on, or at least keep one ear free to hear what is going on around you.
The proper pronunciation of Des Moines is “Duh-MOYNE.” Even the tourism bureau starts its slogan with “The s’s are silent.
Our attractions scream.”
That’s the nice Midwestern way of saying “STOP PRONOUNCING IT INCORRECTLY!”
While nobody is going to correct you most likely, it’s good to know the right way to pronounce where you are visiting.
The same niceness doesn’t apply to people in Illinois when pronouncing the “s” on it.
They’ll be sure to correct you.
I’m from Missouri and I roll my eyes every time someone says “Mizz-urh-ruh.”
Safety Tips for Traveling to Clive
- When you’re on the Greenbelt Trail, there are going to be some open spaces, and you might be tempted to rest there. Don’t. The only place you can be on the trail is the paved part. If you have questions, call the Parks Department at (515)223-5246.
- Don’t feed the goats along the trail. They are there to eat weeds. You shouldn’t approach the goats at all. If you mess with the goats, you might quite literally get the horns.
- If you have any questions or crime tips, you can email the police department at AskThePolice@cityofclive.com. The non-emergency police department phone number is (515) 222-3321.
- Sign up for CodeRED alerts through the city’s website page. This will get emergency information to you quickly. Weather alerts, road closures, or major community dangers will be texted or emailed to you as the situation develops.
- Clive is a Smart 911 community. I absolutely love this program and I encourage everyone to sign up for it because you’ll never know when it could save your life. When you sign up for the program, you enter in all kinds of personal information, emergency contacts, medication lists, allergies, etc. This way, if you ever call 911, the emergency workers will have the information you might not be able to tell them in person. I have a specific note in mine with my dogs’ names and who to contact if I need to be taken to the emergency room.
- Check out the Flood Information section of the city’s website and look at the Flood Zone and Hazard Maps. It’s important to know in a new community where the floods are likely to start when storms hit. I looked at Clive and I can tell you, it’s a little jarring to see how far the “inundation area” goes. Please check it out before you visit. Some of the hotels are very close to the flood zone.
- Campbell Recreation Area is a popular spot for sledding in the winter. There are hills available there. You will need to bring your own sled and you are sledding at your own risk. Oh, another head’s up – the bathrooms here are locked in the winter so “go” before you go.
- Anglers need a fishing license from the state of Iowa. You can’t use the license you have for your home state or city. The Department of Natural Resources has all the information you need about the best fishing spots and how to purchase a license online.
- When you’re parking in Clive, don’t park within 20 feet of a mailbox during the day (until 4:00 pm.) Parking is banned during this time near a mailbox. If there is a fresh snowfall, don’t park on any public street for a day or two. This is so the snowplows can get through. You can be ticketed or towed if your car is in the way of a snowplow.
- Winter can really tear up the streets of Clive and the Public Works Department wants to hear from you if you see one. You can call them at (515)223-6231. You can also email PublicWorks@cityofclive.com. There is also a map on the Public Works website page where you can see reported potholes and where road surfacing work is being done.
So... How Safe Is Clive Really?
Clive is a pretty safe city surrounded by pretty safe cities, so you’ll make a good choice if you choose to stay here.
There were just 16 violent crimes in 2021 and 169 thefts.
We have a thorough database of the cities around Clive if you want to read those and see what else there is to do.
(Head up – Urbandale has a VERY cool house you’ll want to put on your “drive-by” list of things to see!)
The one crime statistic that is going up in just about every Iowa town is drug crimes.
You can read about the opioid crisis and the dangers of meth on the city website.
It really takes the community and visitors to report suspicious activity so police can act before a crime trend gets out of hand.
Too many times, the people who know drug criminals are too scared to report them.
You should still lock your car and roll up the windows when you park.
You should still keep hotel rooms dead-bolt locked every night.
Low risk doesn’t mean no risk, but in beautiful Iowa, it’s easy to get a false sense of security since it’s such a nice place.
Don’t create a crime of opportunity and you’ll very much enjoy your time in Clive and the Des Moines metro area.
How Does Clive Compare?
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- Visas - You can travel throughout the Des Moines area without needing your visa. You will need it at the airport, so don't put it in checked baggage. The U.S. Visa process can take up to four months, so plan ahead.
- Currency - The U.S. Dollar (USD) is the only currency accepted here. You can easily use a credit card at all locations and don't really need to have cash on hand. Be sure to let your bank know you'll be traveling so it can ping any potentially fraudulent activity.
- Weather - One great part of Iowa is that you'll get all four seasons. Winters will be cold and have a painful wind chill at times, so bring your warmest coat, gloves, scarf, and hat. There isn't snow on the ground all winter long, so only bring snow boots if the forecast calls for snow. Summers are hot and muggy, almost suffocatingly so. Be prepared to drink more water than normal and wear light-colored, loose, comfy clothing. Bug spray is a must for the mosquitoes that dominate the outdoors in the summer here. Spring and fall can fluctuate in temperatures, so bring several layers of clothing for ultimate comfort throughout the day.
- Airports - Clive is right along the interstate and just 20 minutes from Des Moines International Airport. That's the closest and best option for you. Omaha's airport is two hours west.
- Travel Insurance - Travel insurance is smart for a trip to Clive because of the weather that can quickly shut down air traffic or delay flights for hours.
Clive Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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