Interpretive Loop Trail is a 1.3 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Thayer, Missouri that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length1.3 miElevation gain147 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashKid friendlyHikingCaveForestRiverViewsWaterfall
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Getting There

The Interpretive Loop trail offers four overlooks that show the sights of Grand Gulf sink hole and the remains of the collapsed cave system as well as the remaining cave located in the Grand Gulf sink. The trail's 119 steps allow visitors to view the bottom of the gulf and the wet-weather waterfall. A platform allows you to stop and take in the beautiful view of the gulf. While hiking down the steps look at the bluff next to the steps and check out the different layers of chert and dolomite. Numerous stopping areas are available for enjoying the view as well as resting while coming back out.

Multi car parking lot and restrooms at the trail head.

Grand Gulf state park Park Office: 417-264-7600

From Thayer, instersection of Hwy 19 and Hwy 143, go north on hwy 19 to hwy "W", travel west on "W" to Grand Gulf state park.

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Reviews (62)
Photos (97)
Activities (37)
Completed (160)
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Steve James
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Hiking

Very small but cool spot to explore.

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Megan Zirkle
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful! Would love to return someday.

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Laura Redmond
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Hiking

Easy. Very well marked. Muddy in some places. Interesting geological features to look at along the trail.

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kim smith
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Hiking

Expect a few people on this trail- more fun to do after big rain.

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Becky Carnes
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Hiking
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Bill Yancey
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HikingGreat!

Easy trail for young and old alike.

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Derek Smith
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Hiking

Awesome

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Stephanie Dines
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Hiking
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Danielle Holt
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Hiking

Nice trail around the top of the canyon near Thayer, MO.

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Lukas V
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Hiking

The trail is very short and won’t take more than 30 minutes. Overall, it is a clean trail and has very cool natural holes.

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Patricia Rodriguez
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Hiking

The trail is very well-kept. We did the hike with a two-year-old and she managed it very well.

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Cheryl Vassaur
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HikingMuddyScramble
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Steve B
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Hiking

Nice trail on a rocky path through the woods. Lookout over a large sink hole, for good pictures. The big trail is only 0.8 miles long, and starts you out on top of the Natural Bridge. Because the trees along this trail are dense, theres not really a good overlook to view the Natural Bridge from a side angle, to be able to tell it was a bridge at all. A trail does go down steps down into the canyon, and that one may take you closer to various cave sightings from the upper trails. Stairs were well placed to avoid loose gravel going down into the canyons. Everything can be seen in less than a day.

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Makayla Sams
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HikingBugsRocky

Great trail very easy my four year old had no issues with it! Will go back!

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Tiffany Garrison
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Hiking

Interesting to visit, extremely easy hike.

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trina fournier
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Hiking

nothing very exciting along the trail as far as scenery. still, it’s a nice place to get out in nature and spend and hour or two. an easy hike for the kids (11,9,6,4) i would come here again.

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Mark Allen
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Hiking

Ok trail for a nice stroll. Not difficult at all. There are many side trails but we stayed on the main trail.

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Jeff Sutherland
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Hiking

It was a short but pretty decent trail.

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Conway Hawn
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Hiking

There are two trails in the park, the 0.25 mile Interpretive Loop Trail and the 0.8 mile Natural Bridge Trail. Both trails have great views of the 3/4 mile canyon created by the collapse of a major cave system. The water in the canyon flows underground several miles away to Mammoth Springs, Arkansas. There are several side trails that will take you off the “official” trails and give closer views of the canyon. The natural bridge in the park is one of the largest in Missouri.

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Levi Roark
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Short and sweet. I highly advise going off trail and exploring the ravine near the natural land bridge. Ultimately, there's not much to the marked trail itself. If you include the viewpoints and side trail to the waterfall, it's worth the trip!

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Shelby Brown
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Walking

Beautiful hike. My fiance and I hiked with our German Shepard and it was an easy hike. The only thing is I will have to come back because the waterfall trail was closed due to extreme weather.

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Jolene 1011
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Hiking

This trail is not far from my home. The loop trail is nice but the best sights are off of the trail, traveling trough the valley to the caves.

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Erin Clardy West
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Hiking

caves and small waterfalls. the side trails are generally worth it, but watch footing.

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Jeremy Irvin
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Hiking

Beautiful place. If you catch it when it is dry you can get down under the natural bridge and check out the caves.

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D. B.
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Hiking

Beautiful, family friendly trail! We've visited repeatedly!

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Miranda Portwine
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One of my favorites in Missouri. We went in September, everything still green. It felt like something out of a movie or video game. Best if you do like another reviewer said and "jump the railing" so you can explore the caves and valley. Not sure if you are really supposed to or not. We had the whole park to ourselves for most of the day. Saw a total of three people on our way out.

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John John Herbert
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A nice trail for families. One of the trails goes down to the bottom of the canyon. You can 'jump' the railing and traverse along the canyon floor to the cave/natural tunnel/bridge.

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Craig F
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Hiking

Amazing place

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