Life’s been crazy I’ve got a little behind on my posts! This hike is one of my favorites, especially this time of year when the waterfall is really flowing.
Taum Sauk Mountain is part of the St. Francois Mountain range and is the highest point of elevation in the state of Missouri at 1,772 feet. The park covers 7,500 acres of wooded areas and rocky glades and a series of trails that include part of the Ozark Trail. Other features of the park are 12 basic use campsites and a picnic area. Dopgs are allowed on the trails as long as they are leashed, although if you’re dog isn’t used to rocky terrain and more difficult hikes I wouldn’t recommend bringing them.
Today I hiked the Mina Sauk Trail which is a well marked 2.9 mile loop that is moderately trafficked in nicer weather, but not as popular during the winter months. You’ll experience an elevation gain of 433 feet during this hike that is rated as being moderately difficult by both the parks department and the All Trails App. I would classify this hike as moderate/hard depending on your fitness level and hiking experience because although it is a shorter hike it is a natural trail that is very rocky and there are tree roots sticking up in several places. You’ll also experience a few places with steep climbs, creek crossings without bridges, downed vegetation, and bluffs/drop-offs next to the trail. I highly recommend you wear hiking boots with good ankle support and tread on this trail.
The highlight of this trail is the waterfall that you’ll find about halfway down the trail. It is beautiful all year long, but if you’re hoping to see a large, flowing waterfall I recommend paying attention to the weather and visiting after the area has had a lot of precipitation as it is a wet-weather waterfall. If you come in the summer after a dry spell you will still experience amazing views, but you’ll be disappointed with the falls. Keep in mind, if you are visiting during wet weather, this is a very rocky trail and can be very slippery so take your time and watch your step. It’s beautiful, but not worth a sprained ankle.
The Mina Sauk Traik connects to part of the Ozark Trail, right before you get to the top of the waterfall you will see a sign that points to the Ozark Trail and it will take you to the bottom of the falls. I always make the trip down to the bottom for some great photo opportunities and then climb back up to complete the Mina Sauk Trail. You can also take the Ozark Trail down another mile to see the Devil’s Tollgate.
The Sign at the beginning of the Mina Sauk Trail says it takes 3 hours to complete. I went off the trail to the bottom of the falls and stopped several times for pictures and completed it in 2 hours and 10 minutes.
I hope you enjoy this hike! If you decide to visit please let me know your thoughts!
Overall Rating 5/5