Make the great escape to Missouri's wilderness - Taum Sauk Mountain State Park. The park provides 7,501 acres of solitude amid unspoiled land with a wilderness quality hard to find in today's world. Taum Sauk Mountain State Park is located in the St. Francois Mountains, one of the most rugged and scenic areas of the state. Almost 1.5 billion years ago, volcanic eruptions of hot ash settled and cooled to form rhyolite. Erosion has left only the roots of these mountains behind, now dotted by oak-hickory forest and rocky glades. Taum Sauk Mountain literally stands above others as the highest point in Missouri, rising to 1,772 feet. An easy walk leads visitors to the top. From there, the moderately rugged three-mile Mina Sauk Falls Trail continues to the tallest wet-weather waterfall in Missouri. Mina Sauk Falls drops 132 feet over a series of rocky ledges. A portion of this trail also serves as part of the Taum Sauk Section of the Ozark Trail. Farther down the trail lies Devil's Tollgate, an eight-foot-wide passage through volcanic rhyolite standing 30 feet high. The Ozark Trail continues on to the Highway N trailhead at Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park, a distance of 14.4 miles. Taum Sauk Mountain State Park features a campground of 12 basic campsites, with drinking water and a vault toilet nearby. A special-use area is available for non-profit youth organizations. A nearby picnic area allows visitors to relax and enjoy lunch under the trees after a day of hiking.

hiking
14 days ago

Mina Sauk Falls is an excellent little day hike for any average trekker like myself. My wife and I are both teachers, so we headed out earlier this summer during the work week. We were able to enjoy most of the entire journey in perfect privacy. The few folks we passed were very friendly. It's worth a stop at the lookout to get a view from the highest point in MO, but we appreciated the views from the falls more (even though they weren't flowing). The rocks were fun to climb, and the landscape is a joy to witness. Only 1.5 hours outside of St. Louis, it's a perfect alternative to the popular Elephant Rocks if you're wanting something a little different. PS we stopped in Arcadia on the way home for a bite at Thee Abbey Kitchen. Delicious cinnamon rolls!

hiking
20 days ago

backpacking
26 days ago

By far the most difficult trail I have encountered around the area. But far from impossible or daunting. The Falls were not flowing so that was a disappointment (is it to much to ask for some rain). Meet some very friendly, helpful people along the way.

Definitely will be back later this fall/next spring once rain picks back up. Make sure you are prepared with essential items, the trail is not easy going. Good shoes are important.

Ate lunch by the waterfall! Beautiful day.

backpacking
1 month ago

We just took a group of our older American Heritage Girls on this trail. There were 11 of us in total. We went on past the falls down to Devil's Tollgate and then back up to the highest point, about 8 miles total. The falls themselves were not flowing, because there had not been a lot of rain, but still very beautiful to see. We saw 3 camping sites along the way. The trail is mostly made up of large rocks, which may be a little hard on your feet without good shoes, and makes for a little slower hike. There is some rock climbing involved on the trail, nothing major, but it is good to be aware of that. We went in a counterclockwise direction to make the way back up a little less strenuous. On the way back from Devil's Tollgate, there was a part of the trail that was not marked very well. When you are about to cross back over the creek, there is a little jog to the right that is not really apparent unless you know about it. The trail is marked fairly well other than that, but you do have to be vigilant in looking for trail signs. I would definitely hike it again!

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, came after a rain so the falls were trickling a little, can't wait to see them in the spring. Pretty steep coming back up from Devils Tollgate, also loved the view coming in from the parking lot.

One of the best hikes in MO. Great water feature in the middle section. Lots of inclines and declines.

on Mina Sauk Falls Trail

hiking
1 month ago

There was no waterfall! Honestly I found it a bit misleading that the name of the trail suggests a waterfall, but there was no information posted anywhere that it's rather seasonal. It's August now and dry, so not even a trickle. It's a nice trail with some lovely views, but mind you, I wouldn't have forced my 3 kids to keep going had I known that the steep descent and then ascent back up will not be rewarded with the views of the waterfall. So please check ahead, otherwise I would say, it's not worth it and you might make other plans for the day.