Taum Sauk Mountain State Park
Most beautiful sections
Taum Sauk Mountain State Park has trails that guide you through some of the most beautiful sections of the Ozark Trail. The large parking lot accommodates many vehicles, however, the popularity of this area can cause parking to be a bit tight especially on the busy summer weekends.
The road to the top of the mountain
The road to the top of the mountain does turn to gravel near the top, but it is just a short hike from the parking lot to the overlook where you can gaze at miles of countryside. A little further past the overlook is the Taum Sauk trailhead where the real adventure begins. At 35 miles long, the Taum Sauk section of the Ozark Trail guides hikers through the ancient St. Francois Mountains.
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The most popular and pristine section
The 14.5 miles between the Taum Sauk State Park and the Johnson Shut-Ins State Park is the most popular and pristine section of the Taum Sauk Area. This rugged portion of the trail is best for average to more experienced hikers and can require good directional skills. However, the trails are marked by color allowing hikers to easily navigate the terrain. Bring water on this trek as there are no places where water is readily available to drink.
Most amazing geologic features
The Taum Sauk hike begins with the Mina Sauk Trail, a 3 mile trail that leads hikers into 2 of Missouri’s most amazing geologic features. A wheelchair accessible trail leads to the top of the Taum Sauk Mountain which is the highest point in the state at 1,772 feet above sea level. Be sure to take some time to enjoy the beautiful views of scenic Missouri.
Mina Sauk Trail
Mina Sauk Trail is a strenuous hike. Be prepared for rugged terrain and rocky cliffs. Again, bring plenty of water as dehydration is best avoided while hiking in the warm weather. There are climbing obstacles, rugged naturally surfaced trails, shifting rocks, steep inclines, bluffs, drop-offs, and water crossings on this trail. The estimated hiking time for this 3-mile trail is about 3 hours and is outlined in red for directional purposes.
The tallest waterfall in Missouri
Follow the rugged trail down across the top of Mina Sauk Falls, the tallest waterfall in Missouri. This wet-weather waterfall flows 132 feet down rocky steps into Taum Sauk Creek and is best viewed after rain. From the Mina Sauk trail, hikers can access the Taum Sauk Section of the Ozark trail as the trails run together for about a mile. Mina Sauk trail will loop back up the mountain as the Ozark Trail continues through the rocky and rugged Terrain.
Where to begin
To take off on this epic adventure, begin at Ironton, Missouri. From Ironton, MO, head east on Russell Street toward S Knob Street for 0.2 miles. Turn Right onto MO-21 S and follow it for 4.9 miles. Take a Left onto State Highway CC. After 3.8 miles, turn Left onto High Point Trail Head. In 453 feet, you will arrive at Taum Sauk Mountain on your right.