Explore the most popular trails in Taum Sauk Mountain State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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
muddy
26 days ago

Beautiful day to hike to the falls (teens/low twenties but sunny and calm. Parts of the trail were icy, but there was enough dry ground to navigate around it. The falls were everything you could have hoped for and more. Highly recommend.

Rugged and challenging trail. My feet and knees took a beating, IMO this is the most challenging hike in Missouri. Highly recommend hiking in the fall/winter or before full green up of spring to get the best views.

Waterfalls were beautiful! Fun trail! Great day for a hike.

My wife, daughter, granddaughter, and I hiked this trail last Sunday. It was a great hike, but a little longer and tougher than we expected. The falls were beautiful! The trail after the falls was mostly inclined with lots of rocks just the right size to twist an ankle. Well marked trail.

Pretty beautiful trail but it is a little rugged! We were supposed to be on another earlier trail , but we got lost, so we were on this trail! The falls on the half way are worth to visit! Gorgeous
My 4 year old son made it! Proud of him

The trail started off level near the trailhead and became steadily rockier as I continued on. By the time I reached the first glade, the trail was very rocky.

The waterfall was breathtakingly beautiful. It was partly frozen, but still roaring.

The trail was well marked with blazes and I thought it was moderately difficult.

Did this with the boy scouts. Trail has several highlights, the falls, high point in the state, backpack camping. Just a good hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Rugged trail.

Great trail. It is quite rugged, but the views are worth it. We hiked it right after a snow so the falls were flowing beautifully. Would recommend having plenty of time to navigate the boulders and explore. Would definitely do again!

Cool but kinda underwhelming. It is a nice place to relax after finishing the Mina Sawk Falls trail.

hiking
3 months ago

One of my favorite hikes so far! My husband and I hiked this today and enjoyed the cooler temperatures and for gorgeous fall foliage colors. The waterfall was fairly dry but still beautiful. Next time I would like to hike the additional 2 miles down and back to see the Devils Toll Gate.

We hiked late October, cool temperatures, beautiful skies and foliage. The natural granite formations, moss and lichen were amazing. To us, the hike was difficult; we found 80% of trail had rocks 4-12”; which made for difficult down hill hiking. The “mina” is a gradual down hill, for first half, then up hill hike for second half. We hiked with special needs son, and two dogs, in just under two hours. See photos.

I just finished a 24 mile hike from Goggins Mountain in Johnson Shut In’s to Tom Sauk Mountain State Park. We went from the Goggins TH to the Johnson Shut In’s Loop which intersects the Ozark Trail. We ended up crossing the river barefoot to avoid having to backpack all the way back to the highway. It was cold but manageable.
This trail was seriously the most demanding trail I’ve ever hiked. It definitely took all I had and then some. I wouldn’t recommend this for beginners. The views and experiences were well worth the work though! We experienced multiple types of terrains and forests. Every half mile or so was something different and on our toes. The trail was mostly clear with a few downed trees easy to navigate around. Once you start coming down off Ketcherside Mountain, pay attention to trail markers. More so when you get into Johnson Shut In’s State Park. We went down some false trail that ended up crossing back with the OT, luckily.
All in all a great time!

hiking
4 months ago

Varied terrain, good shoes are advised. My son and I managed to complete the loop in just over an hour which is moving at a pretty good clip. The falls were mostly a trickle but still very pleased with the views along the trail.

Cool trail. Falls were dry, but the scenery was great. Must have seen 50 tiny lizards scurrying about!

Went with my girlfriend for our anniversary, wonderful sights and great trail for beginners like us, will definitely be back!

backpacking
6 months ago

Loved this trail. Lots to see and explore. Very rocky but hey what's a trail adventure if it's flat and smooth... I will be back had a blast!

hiking
6 months ago

Wonderful wooded trail with a couple of glades. The waterfall was dry as expected for August in Missouri. The loop trail descends toward the waterfall and then ascends back to the trailhead and is extremely rocky so ankle support is recommended. There are a couple of scenic overlooks including one that looks at the new Ameren Upper Reservoir that was built to replace the one that failed in 2005.

From the parking lot, a 1/2 mile total out and back walk on a wide paved sidewalk. The concrete walk will turn sharply left and lead to a bench with a plaque in front of a large rock surrounded by trees that marks the highest point in the state at 1772.68 msl.

Meh! Not so great. It was a fun bragging point but that’s it. The walk is very easy and short. There are no views associated with the highest point. We actually passed it up the first time around. If you are looking for views then walk to this point and keep going down the Mina Falls trail! Beautiful hike but a little rugged so be prepared for rock hiking past the paved walk.

Hike this with my husband and 4 young sons ages 6-11. We LOVED this hike even though the falls were dry. The views are amazing. I would suggest to being extra water if you plan on staying. We were there 4 hours and each drank 5 bottles of water because of the incline and the amount of playing we did at the falls. Overall great hike! You will need good shoes and keep going till you get to the end. Hiked in August.

Second review of this trail! Last one was during the dry season, which I gave a 4/5. During the wet season it gets a 5/5 because the waterfall is actually there and is beautiful!
Also I didn't miss the sharp turn this time and got to see a bit of the trail that I didn't last time lol

I thought this trail was pretty cool. Visited it twice, 1st time didn’t have enough time to hike it fully which was a shame because the second time was very dry. The water fall was not a waterfall. It was supposed to be 135 ft waterfall. It was still beautiful country tho. Tough for someone less experienced I think. Lots of rock and elevation. 106 heat index when my group trekked it. Still it had a few areas to filter water and plenty of shade.

Good trail for even inexperienced day hikers. It for sure takes 2 hours with a small group and 30m at the falls. No chance of getting lost if you look for the red blazes on the trees.

Loved this trail. Hiked it with the family on a Saturday. Great views and the falls were awesome.!

long trail down hill for a trickle....bad time of year

One of the best hikes I’ve had outside of a National Park! Not only games for the highest peak or the tallest waterfall in Missouri but this area is geologically older than the Rockies or the Appalachian Mountains, in fact, scientists say these Precambrian Volcanoes were volcanic islands when most of the US was a sea! I just love history and thus region has plenty!
The waterfall was only a trickle but the vistas, flora, fauna, & exploring opportunities totally make up for it. The hike is moderately technical or difficult especially if you climb down to the bottom of the falls and back. There are lots of rocks in the trail, some are even scrambles I suppose and sure footing is a must to avoid twisting an ankle (or worse). There are a few great places along the trail to rest and take in the views and many more trail side rocks to sit on but beware of snakes as they love to hang out under the cool rocks. We didn’t see any snakes but we did see two Collared Lizards, several Skinks, a few Tree Frogs and several different species of Butterfly. The bugs were thick in spots so bring extra repellent (always).
An added bonus is the plethora of trails, local history & areas with a wide variety of geologic interest that surrounds these mountains so there’s plenty to do, I’ve spent 7 days here and wish I had 7 more!

Fun hike in the hot weather. But tougher than I remember. But still a good one

just got back! love this hike although it was a lot different with little water running.

Easily the prettiest trail I’ve hiked since I’ve been in MO. The falls are very relaxing but probably much more impressive and photogenic when it isn’t so dry. I spent most of my time climbing around the rocks to look in all the little pools. The trail can be a little difficult to navigate, so I can see why people sometimes need to be rescued. Just keep an eye out for the blazes- the trail is sometimes swallowed up by the rocks. I also went to Devil’s Tollgate from here and was able to run a good portion of that part of the trail in my trail runners that I should have swapped out for my actual hiking boots. Wear stuff with good ankle support!

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