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The distance is best thing about this trail. Not much elevation change and a lot of abandoned roads. Watch out for bikers.

camping
9 days ago

Excellent view and great hike.

Excellent mix of terrains. Ranges from easily runnable sections to difficult rocky inclines. Liked the fact that it was tree-covered and shaded. Great views of the river. Had a great run out there and will come back the next time I’m in town.

trail running
15 days ago

Great running trail. Light traffic consisted of a couple hikers and a couple bikers. If you haven't been before be sure to leave yourself plenty of daylight or bring lights. My run turned out to be just over 15 miles due to a few wrong turns... oops. I'll be going back again for sure.

backpacking
16 days ago

Not bad trail to overnight— very easy and quick, pretty good for a Missouri trail

hiking
17 days ago

creek was dry no water but a good hike

Just hiking through trees. Nothing special. The trail was a bit overgrown

This is my Happy Place..

A little bit of everything, terrain and scenery-wise. Very well maintained.

Loved it! My wife, myself, and our five kids had a blast.

mountain biking
1 month ago

love this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked CCW the loop on the north side of Highway KK on Tuesday afternoon, 7/17/18. No one else had been on the trail all day as I encountered tons of spider webs spanning the trail.

Luckily, I didn't pickup any ticks even though the trail was a bit overgrown in places. I also encountered about 7 down trees crossing the trail. The primitive campground was empty and the spring down the hill from it was dry.

I didn't run into swarms of mosquitoes, but there seemed to be at least one that nagged me most of the hike in spite of my Deet.

The wildlife were pretty sparse. I encountered two deer but surprisingly no squirrels at all. The birds in the canopy were also rather quiet.

I've hiked this trail several times since 2015. All in all, this is a very nice hike.

My GPS tracked the loop at 3.6 miles. I hiked very leisurely which took me about 1 hour and 45 minutes including breaks at the primitive campground and the spring.

Very boring besides a couple waterways, you should really just bike it instead of hiking it. Lots of bugs. Better off going somewhere else.

Enjoyed the Lewis & Clark trail. Beautiful views of the Missouri River.

Good trail to run. Well maintained. A couple fallen trees to go around. I went on a Saturday morning. The trail was a little busy but is wide enough through most of the trail to accommodate the traffic.

Fantastic hike. Completed the Lewis trail, which as other users have pointed out, is actually 8.1 miles. I did it backwards, which was an odd challenge, as signage was poor, but that’s my own fault. Recently downed trees block trail access in multiple points, making it necessary to go off trail to get around. Overall a great hike. Took me 3 hours.

Solid hike. The views from the bluff were breathtaking. Only gripe/warning I have is if you chose to start the trail heading east. It isn’t marked well or very defined. We lost it completely at the creek crossing and decided to follow the creek bed until it intersected the trail again down closer to the river.

That was fun, but with all the lose and sharp rocks my feet let me know later how the felt about it. We will definitely do this trail again when we come back to visit family.

As mentioned in other reviews, this trail is shared heavily with mountain bikers. Always have to be listening. Especially when on the steep single lane trail. Bikers do come flying down those often. Other than the bikers, this trail is beautiful and offers changes of scenery.

Great trail with a beautiful view from the summit. Also sort of busy on the weekend-expect at least one other person/group to set up camp at the top with you if you plan to backpack.

Most of the trail is pretty rocky and steep, so bring good boots and minimal other gear. If you go on the left, expect to go downhill quickly to a river and all the way back up again both ways. Good to refill on water. The left side to camp took is about 4 hours of hiking and going down on the right side of the loop, a more steady decline, took about 2hours.

Be careful of muddy spots caused by horses churning up the path (waterproof your shoes) and also horse poop.

Lastly, make sure you take lots of precautions to protect yourself from ticks. It seemed like Lone Star and seed ticks were everywhere.

backpacking
2 months ago

We did an overnight hike here. It was great loop for our group. It offered a few challenging hills. Joes creek was about 1-2 way thru and we where able to grab some water. I will defiantly do this loop again ad possibly relay it into the next trail over for a nice 25 mile hike

backpacking
2 months ago

Great moderate trail for the first-timer and offers an opportunity for a backpacking/overnight adventure too. The sunset and sunrise are incredible from the summit. There are a few places for water in Joe’s Creek on the North side of the loop. I think the best way to hike is counter clockwise since you’ll be low on water from the first day and camping, and the way back gives you the chance to fill up. Spray up your waistline and your ankles and your exposed areas with big spray since there are a few ticks, but if you’re smart about how you dress and use your tent, it’s fine. Bring some earplugs if you don’t sleep well with the whippoorwill’s chirping at night. :-)

hiking
2 months ago

My wife and i hiked this trail and has lunch at the backpacking campsite. we accidentally hiked it backwards. but this trail is absolutely gorgeous. one of the most beautiful trails I've ever been on. it feels like you're in a fantasy book somewhere! absolutely amazing creek bed and tall canopy trees with ferns and small undergrowth..
only con: the ticks are outrageous. 30+ in just a few hour hike.

trail running
2 months ago

This was a fun trail for running. Yes, there were a lot of bikes, but it wasn’t too bad. Plenty of technical stuff with some gravel and dirt mixed in. Great times!

backpacking
2 months ago

Started around Noon yesterday, went counter clockwise as I didn’t want to miss the sunset. The first 1.5-2 miles were challenging with high inclines and a rocky trail. Took a little under 3 hours to get to the summit with a few snack breaks in between (28F, ~25 lb pack). Beautiful scenery and was able to watch the sunset by heading a little further down the trail and over some gorgeous rock formations. Woke up at 5 am to catch the sunset. Back on the trail (did not complete the loop, went back the way I came as I was running low on water) at 6:50. Other campers found water further down the trail, but there was no real water access going counter clockwise. I brought 3 liters (used 2 cups for cooking) and used almost every drop so be prepared. Made it back to the parking lot by 8:45. Great trail for beginning backpackers!

backpacking
2 months ago

Set out to do a 2 night backpacking trip. Hiked 5 miles UP the mountain, set up camp, played around a bit, then prepared to take cover from the storm that, according to the weather man, wasn't supposed to happen. Rode that storm out in the tent (it was only 3pm) and, after checking the weather and surveying the storm headed toward us (twice as big as the first), we decided it was best not to stick around. We hiked 5 miles back down the mountain, literally walking through a creek the whole way and crossing several water falls because there was so much water from the first rain. We made it back out about 30 minutes before the next storm hit. There were at least 2 or 3 more rounds that night. Trail was difficult, rocky and wet. Probably be a great trail in the Fall. Spring rain and Missouri humidity make it difficult this time of year. All in all, a good workout.

backpacking
3 months ago

I hiked in from the Highway A trailhead. I didn’t get started until about 1pm, and with temperatures in the low 90s I took a lot of breaks (41M) and reached the summit in about three hours going counter-clockwise. I set up camp with a beautiful view. There are lots of campsites with fire rings set up. I was low on water and had to decide if I was going to attempt to head down the mountain to reach Johnson Shut-in Creek or continue hiking around the loop counter-clockwise to reach Joe’s Creek. I decided to head for Joe’s Creek, which was about 2.5 hours round trip.

A storm was moving in, and I cooked dinner and watched the lightning show for a while before retiring to my tent. A loud, spectacular thunderstorm began around 9:30pm and went on non-stop until around midnight. After it ended , I emerged and enjoyed the post-storm darkness for a while before finally falling asleep. I hiked back down the same way in the morning. I saw a few wild turkeys and lots of lizards and turtles. The ticks were thick.

I only saw one other hiker, but I heard a couple of guys at a campsite about 100 yards from me, I assume they’re the ones that posted about heading down the mountain during the storm.

2nd time @ Bellé Muerto. Drove to Ottery Creek Campground at 2am and had the Camp to ourselves. Woke up around 10am and Hiked to the Summit (2.5 Hours, 6-/+ miles with small detours. Set up camp at the summit and walked down to Shut In Creek. The hike down to creek is short (1/2 mile) but intense, especially during the summer with so much foliage. Swam in the creek and then headed back up out summit camp around 6pm. We started making food and watched a storm in the distance which appeared to make its way around us. By sunset the storm had moved close, and by dark we were immersed in a pretty intense thunderstorm. After watching several strikes of lightning hit nearby Lindsay Mountain & Shut In Creek we decided to get off the mountain. Panicking in the dark with very heavy rain we got lost and ran around for about 20 minutes before finding the actual trail. Then with all of our gear we ran through intense thunder & lightning the 6-/+ miles back to car in a little over 1 hour.

One of the scariest nights of my life. Pure terror. Very humbling. Always check the weather before camping on summits and if a storm brews unexpectedly don’t wait to see if it will miss you or not. The radar told us that the storm was not going to hit us.

Bell Mountain is one of the tallest summits in the surrounding area & one of the rockiest summits in Missouri. That can either be really cool or dangerous as well.

BEAUTIFUL hike, BEAUTIFUL summit. 5/5 as always

20 mile day. the night of reckoning. the night we all almost died.

im not the best at expressing how I feel,
but if last night taught me anything, it's that I do not want to be left on a bad foot with anyone.

5/14/2018 the trip that almost didn't allow me to come back

a constant reminder at how easy it is to take things for granted. even what u love.

life or death sitatuion how do you react, how do you keep your thoughts together?


from this day on, everyday is looked at like a life or death situation
when I lay down and go to sleep, I die, my mind leaves, and portals back.
wake up and restarts,
intake, release, reflect, increase, decrease.
every sunset is a day, I'm never going to get back.
every night is my lightning storm.
5/14 thank you so much for sparing me,
and letting me intake the most valuable lesson
how precious LIFE is

backpacking
3 months ago

Very scenic for how short the trail is. A very nice distance if you want an easy 2 night backpacking trip or are short on time. Lots of good campsites near the summit. Busier than some other trails in the area but their was enough room for around 5 groups to make camp when we went. Make sure to bring enough water or a good filter as their are not many good water sources near the top. The trail is easy enough to follow and would definitely do it again.

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