Rising 380 feet from the Big River floodplain in one of the oldest mountain ranges in the country, Hughes Mountain Natural Area covers 462 acres and offers visitors a chance to see a unique geological wonder, expansive views of the surrounding Ozark Mountains, and beautiful spring wildflower blooms.
The Devil’s Honeycomb Trail
Hughes Mountain features unique rock formations, similar to those found at Devil’s Tower in Wyoming and the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, right in the heart of Missouri. Around 1.4 billion years ago, ancient lava flows caused the formation of rhyolite, the igneous rock which makes up Hughes Mountain. As the lava cooled, it created an area of columnar jointed rhyolite rock at the top of Hughes Mountain and was dubbed Devil’s Honeycomb, a spectacle that all can enjoy. To reach this geological wonder of Missouri, hikers can use the 1.6-mile Devil’s Honeycomb Trail. The trail is open year-round and dogs are allowed on-leash.
Hiking to Devil’s Honeycomb
A Lively and Unique Ecosystem
The exposed rock faces of the Hughes Mountain Natural Area create an unusually harsh habitat for plant growth. However, the glades on the Southern and Western slopes of the mountain offer beautiful springtime blooms of wild hyacinth, glade onion, false garlic, yellow-star grass, fame flower, lance-leaf coreopsis, prickly pear, and sundrops. Trail hikers at Hughes Mountain will walk through a forest, comprised mainly of post oaks and white oaks with sparse areas of blackjack oak and black hickory trees, surrounding the glades. If you’re lucky, you might see fence lizards, collared lizards, lichen grasshoppers, and prairie warblers scurrying around the Hughes Mountain State Natural Area.
Start Your Adventure to Hughes Mountain
From Potosi travel south 11 miles on Highway 21 then go east on Highway M. Follow Highway M for 5 miles and look for the parking lot on the south side of Highway M. A 0.75-mile hiking trail leads from the parking lot to the top of the mountain. Hunting is allowed in season.