Bell Mountain Loop Trail

MODERATE 73 reviews

Bell Mountain Loop Trail is a 11.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Belleview, Missouri that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
11.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1765 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

walking

horseback riding

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Oak and hickory are the predominate tree species, with some areas of natural oak-pine and some short leaf pine plantations. Upland brush and red cedar make up a small portion of the vegetative component. Blackjack oak, winged elm, hickories, sumac, and native grasses are found on the glades. Lichens abound on the exposed-surface rock. Some areas on Bell Mountain that were cleared in the 1940's now have almost pure stands of Northern Red Oak. Shut-in Creek crosses the area. It is a perennial spring fed stream with several shut-ins, or gorges along its course. Steep talus slopes intersect the stream course at several locations. Joe's Creek is another small perennial stream within the Wilderness. Bell Mountain Wilderness provides a unique habitat situation not typical of the majority of Missouri's Ozarks. The predominately oak-hickory forest is interspersed with pine and scattered glades resulting in a diversity of plant species more common to old growth forest. This habitat situation favors mature forest species such as pileated woodpeckers, wood thrush and oven birds.

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

backpacking
16 days ago

We started at the north Bell trailhead and hiked to Hwy A trail head. About 8.4 miles. Hiking with me was my wife and 3 kids - 10, 10 and 9. We got a late start. Began about 3:30 in the afternoon. Made it to the top of Bell mountain at about 5:00. Set up camp and cooked supper. Watched an amazing sun set while we ate. Next day, packed up, back on trail by 9:15. Done by 12:00. We had 3 kids so we took our time. Did some side exploring. Very dry. We actually ran out of water before the end. Only water source we found was nearly dried up horse pond which we could have used but didn't need to. It's a fun hike with kids. Great views.

backpacking
20 days ago

Hiked in with the girlfriend and dog. Was pretty warm that day, so we stayed on the south path and hiked straight to the summit. That was just under 5 miles. Hiked out the same way the next morning. It did seem like it was a slow and steady climb up, not too hard (the out of shape dog hated us). Like others have mentioned, if you want the best camping spot, get there early. There were 2 other groups of 4 when we got up there. There are quite a few fire rings up at the top for your camp. Views are awesome up top, and campsites are spread out enough you won't hear the other campers. Also, as others have said, fill up your water at Joe's Creek, not great water sources on the path we took. The other watering holes had lots of signs of pigs. I don't care how good my water filter is, water from a hog wallow is not for me. So we had to conserve our water. Other than that awesome hike. Will come back and do the whole trail when it cools off.

25 days ago

Could have been spectacular but had trouble finding trail and went down wrong one before realizing it was across the street from the parking lot. Went counterclockwise on the loop which brings you to the summit sooner. Continued with the loop, ended up on an off shout trail going the opposite direction ( not marked) thank goodness for alltrails app. Got back on right trail but lost it on the other side of the creek. Ended up following the creek to hwy A. Exhausting. Sunrise was nice but not worth the poison ivy I got from traipsing through the woods due to poorly marked/maintained trails

backpacking
1 month ago

Hiked in Friday afternoon and back out Saturday morning with my sister and brother-in-law. We couldn't have asked for better weather and we basically had the summit to ourselves. There were a few others camped up there that night but there's plenty of room up top for everyone to spread out and have some privacy. Really special view, especially at sunrise. Saw a few lizards and an owl, but not much else in the way of wildlife. I'd heard this area had problems with feral hogs but we saw no signs of any. I'll definitely do this one again.

camping
1 month ago

My wife and I hiked in from the north trailhead. Once we hit the loop, we hiked clockwise to the summit. Counter clockwise about a mile down will take you to the creek (which appears dry where it meets the trail, but a 200 yard trek further and you'll find water). The condition of the trail isn't too bad apart from some fallen trees. A few families heading back let us know that they had spotted a rattlesnake, but we never encountered any. When you get to the summit, venture down some of those trails to find the best views. We were fortunate enough to set up camp at what I feel is the best view from the mountain. Plenty of firewood, but you'll most likely have to head back to the main trail to find it, for most of the sites have been scavenged by campers. Sunsets are ok, but the sunrise the next morning totally makes up for that. Plenty of privacy. A worthy view in Missouri!

backpacking
1 month ago

Bell Mountain is a gorgeous hike! I set up camp at the summit and woke up to the sunrise. There are significantly steep declines and inclines that will get you breathing heavy. I did the trail counter-clockwise, so the last water source I encountered between the Joe's Creek and the summit was a very murky pond. I would strongly urge anyone to make sure you fill up on water before you get to the summit, otherwise you're in for about a 2-hour round trip to the next water source!

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
2 months ago

Wife and I hiked the trail this past weekend - and I have to admit it kicked my butt. Trail is very rocky and no place for trailrunners. Wear boots. Took the loop counterclockwise and only water was the pond at 37.61923, -90.88707. Lots of pig sign in this area, so filter well. The summit was awesome, but as mentioned elsewhere get there early or you won't get a prime spot. Finished the loop on Sunday and there was plenty of running water. Awesome weekend all-in -all, but would question the "moderate" label, which was seconded by several others we met.

backpacking
2 months ago

Great hike for my first backpacking trip. Camped at the summit. It was gorgeous. Left from the north trail head. Went straight to the peak camped and headed back. Only found one pond to resupply water. Looking forward to doing the entire loop. Since we started on Friday we didn't see many people on the way up, but saw plenty of people on the way out.

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

4 months ago

4 months ago

great trail! we planned on doing this one as an overnight but accidentally did it in a day. trail has almost no blazes but is well trafficked so it's easy to find your way.

backpacking
4 months ago

This was my first major backpacking trip and it was challenging but doable. It's a great trail with some outstanding views from the summit. I entered from the Highway A trailhead and finding the trailhead was a little bit difficult. Go north on the trail from the parking lot and take a right at the fork and cross the road to get on the trail. It's a fairly step ascent at first but levels out for the middle section of the trail (I went counterclockwise around the loop). Getting to the summit was a bit of a slog but worth it. Competition for campsites at the top can be tight so get there early. I went the day after a major storm blew through so parts of the trail were more like streams than trails while other sections were very muddy. Bring plenty of water. This is a good trail for beginners to get their feet wet with some wilderness experience.

backpacking
4 months ago

Great trail! Some parts were difficult after heavy rain the night before with water running down the trail and some pretty muddy areas that we had to navigate around. Campsites were perfect...amazing views (especially the sunrise). Get to the summit early to have your pick of campsites. Be careful of poison ivy in certain areas around the loop...not up by the campsites though. Bring a saw if you can....not much wood on the ground for a campfire. No where near the summit to get water...fill up before you get there. Our 8 1/2 year old son did great with a 20 lb. pack.

backpacking
4 months ago

Destination hike, the walk in is pretty decent but when you get to the top BAM! Campsites definitely make the trip a worthwhile endeavor. DEET up, bring water and enjoy the view!

backpacking
5 months ago

A good trail for an overnight stay at the top!
Wear sturdy boots and take plenty of water. Looking forward to seeing the views in the fall!