1000 Steps Trail is a 1.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near De Soto, Missouri that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 1.5 miles Elevation Gain: 246 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

1000 step trail loops up a steep forested hill following stone steps placed by the CCC to the top of the ridge then heads across the ridge before returning by descending the bluff and following the bluff's bottom back to the trailhead. This trail was constructed by Company 1743 of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1936. In fact, most of the outstanding rock work in the park is a result of their efforts, including the large stone steps that give 1000 Steps Trail its name. After climbing the stone steps up through the oak/hickory hardwood forest, you will encounter more of the CCCs handiwork: an overlook shelter built into the hillside to resemble a natural outcropping. This stone shelter overlooks the Big River valley and makes a nice resting place after the long climb up the talus slope. Hiking along this trail, you may see wildflowers, native songbirds, frisky squirrels and other small mammals, majestic hardwood trees and abundant dolomite rock outcroppings. This trails also meanders through the 68-acre Washington State Park Hardwood Natural Area, an area of land set aside for protection because of its natural beauty. This trail is moderately difficult. Along this trail, you will encounter several bridges and stonework that may become slippery, rocks and roots sticking up in the trails natural surface, and steep grades traversed by uneven stone steps. You may also notice a number of downed trees along many sections of the trail; these are a result of severe storm damage, and the area will recover as time passes.

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
6 days ago

We love Washington State Park. Several trails to choose from. Lots of wildflowers. Down fall is most of the trails are close to other park areas including the roads. This leads to hearing cars, people, etc while trying to enjoy your hike.

hiking
11 days ago

Absolutely loved this trail, did it on a cool damp day and it was still spectacular. Plenty of places to catch your breath and the landscape is a great distraction

walking
muddy
14 days ago

Ok. Some steep parts making descent slippery. Short hike (under 1 hr)

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, great climb with a beautiful overlook area.

hiking
1 month ago

The name isn’t wrong. There are a lot of steps made of rocks but it is worth it! There was one part where we accidentally got off trail and ended up at the road, we just had to back track 15-20 steps and saw the path went slightly left. Definitely one to do if you want a hike done in 1 hour or less.

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

It’s a great hike- it was shaded with lots of spring wildflowers. The steps up and down we’re steep, uneven and slick which could be a problem for some. Overall a really pretty hike with nice views of the river.

hiking
muddy
rocky
4 months ago

Feb 3, lots of debris from flooding have washed over the trail at the bottom. The trail is still easy to find but it’s just a lot more wild feeling. The view from the top and some of the more narrow parts on the way down are stunning and totally worth it!

hiking
5 months ago

well marked trail...be careful on the steps. many have moss and are very slick. nice views at the top. great trail

hiking
blowdown
muddy
over grown
rocky
11 months ago

11 months ago

super simple and short.

hiking
muddy
Fri Apr 26 2019

hiking
rocky
scramble
washed out
Tue Mar 26 2019

Trail stones are loose. Watch your step but enjoy the amazing view below.

hiking
snow
Sun Feb 03 2019

Good challenging trail. It’s muddy and a little slippery because of the snow melting

hiking
snow
Sun Jan 27 2019

Fun, quickly rewarding hike on our drive through the area. Watch for ice on the steps. Be sure to also check out the petroglyph site off the road when you’re in the park.

hiking
Thu Dec 06 2018

I took my three sons on this trail. It had been raining the night before and everything was still wet. The steps are very slick when they are wet. I was so happy when we got to the bottom of the hill. The Vibram soles on my shoes did not give me much traction and my sons slipped several times on the rocks. I do not recommend this trail after or during a rain.

Sun Nov 11 2018

I have done this trial 3 times. Twice I went up the 1000 steps and once down. Going up is steep but reasonable. Going down is trickier for footing. The overlooks.are very nice. Combined with the other trails It is about a 2 hour trek. The last time I did the trail it was -2 degrees outside when we started. When finished it was 27 degrees. Also there is an area of native Americans carving along the trail. Add 30 minutes to check them out.

Tue Jun 12 2018

Beautiful! Steep to start. Worth the climb

Sun Mar 11 2018

Great trail run!

hiking
Sat Dec 09 2017

Wouldn't consider the trail to be rated as difficult - it is more of a moderate. Relatively steep, but the steps give you solid footing.

hiking
Thu Dec 07 2017

Trail is marked as hard. I would consider it moderate. Nice trail though. Nice views...

hiking
Sat Aug 12 2017

Great trail! Definitely keep a close eye on any little ones you bring though. The rocks can be very slippery and there are some steep drop offs. The views are beautiful from the lookout!

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