Mina Sauk Falls Trail

MODERATE 183 reviews

Mina Sauk Falls Trail is a 3.8 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Ironton, Missouri that features a waterfall 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
3.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
521 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

This a fairly easy hike, although the trail is rocky in some areas. The Mina Sauk Falls is at the half way point. This trail also intersects with the Ozark Trail. The trail is well marked. Please note that there are areas that are off-limits due to fragile ecological conditions. These areas are marked by small stop signs.

2 days ago

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

hiking
6 days ago

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

hiking
14 days ago

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!

hiking
16 days ago

We have done this trail twice now and it doesn’t disappoint. The first time it was raining and the falls were amazing. This time not as much water but we were able to splash around and cool off. Overall well worth the hike!

hiking
27 days ago

This trail is amazing! my husband and I hiked it May 24th, 2018 in the morning. We saw and heard lots of birds and butterflies we're abundant and we're loving the wildflowers in the glades. The views are breathtaking and visibility was great, and I'll definitely be back in autumn to see the leaves.

We also saw lots of Collared Lizards, including a male in his bright breeding colors. Mina Sauk falls were beautiful!

As for the terrain, I didn't have any problems. As long as proper shoes are worn and care is taken in the more rocky areas, it's a very doable hike.

hiking
29 days ago

Mina Sauk was a good challenging hike for me. I will advise that you should have on some decent shoes for walking on a rugged terrain; this trail had a lot of rocks on it to hop over. You will see a mini alternate path to bypass the rocks in some spots. There's also a lot of mud and some puddles after it rains, too. For those who may question taking a walking stick on this trail, I would advise doing it, even if you're just entertaining the thought. I didn't need one, but this is a trail where you may want to err on the side of caution and just do it.

The first part of the trail didn't appear to be marked very well, especially when you kind of got used to the rocks being your path. Download an offline map from Alltrails (yes, you'll have to pay for a subscription, but it's worth it to me). the only time the offline map didn't work is when it started pouring down rain on me halfway through my hike, lol (I was more worried about my phone getting too wet at that point, lol). At that point, the Ozark Trail shared the path with the Mina Sauk Trail, and you could follow those markers, in addition to the Mina Sauk markers, all the way to the parking lot. You also have access to the Highest Point form the trail as well.

As for the Mina Sauk Falls, you do have to shimmy your way down the hill to see it better; make like you're taking the Ozark Trail to get there. It was nice to lay back on a rock, look up, and listen to all the sounds.

There weren't many people there that day, and it was a Saturday. For me, that made for a more peaceful hike.

Overall, it was a moderate level hike, but more on the "hard" side of moderate, in my opinion. It just had to do with the terrain and the incline going back up. I still thought the views were worth the adventure! I'd go back!

hiking
1 month ago

The waterfall is pretty small right now but we enjoyed the hike and the crystal clear and cool stream.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful views all around and the waterfall was in full force! Very worth it but there is no exaggeration about the amount of rocks on this trail. In many places your only opinion is to hop from rock to rock or to walk through dry river beds with large rocks jutting out every few inches. Definitely a high risk for a sprained or broken ankle but it was worth it. We brought our dog and we were really luck we had bough a first aid kit that day because he sliced his foot open. We would definitely bring him back because he enjoyed every minute of it but definitely not a hike for nervous or older dogs.

trail running
1 month ago

Hiked this yesterday with my 10 and 8 year old sons. . Technical, rocky trail with some great views.

hiking
1 month ago

My husband and I did this trail this week during the rain. Definitely worth a trek in wet weather to see the falls flowing at their finest. As someone with short legs and with all the rain was glad to have brought my poles! I do think the blazes on the beginning of the trail could be improved.

1 month ago

I thought I'd return here to look at the description after a recent backpacking trip where we needed to help rescue 2 different groups of unprepared hikers. I suspected the summary of the trail was off. First, this is in no way a "fairly easy hike". Sure, it's totally doable. But it's quite challenging. It starts out as paved then gravel, then quickly changes to a rocky trail that requires a good deal of concentration and motor planning. People frequently fall here either due to turned ankles or incredibly slick rocks when wet. Don't expect to hike at your regular speed. I've done this trail 4 or 5 times now and I'm only at 1/3 my regular speed. The trail is deceptively short. Don't plan on this being a quick hour out. Bring water and food. As for well marked, I feel that this is a relatively accurate statement as of 4/25/18. However, many of the current blazes were added by hikers tired of helping lost people or being lost themselves. If these blazes fall again this trail becomes difficult to follow in parts. Just be cautious in each Glade area to ensure that you've found the real trail with blazes and not the beaten down trail of lost souls. This is a really fun trail with a great payoff. But please treat this one with the respect of a longer, harder rated trail to keep yourself safe and on track!

hiking
2 months ago

My husband and I hiked this trail while it was raining. Hiking in the cold rain wasn’t fun, but the payoff when we got to the falls was amazing. The falls were so beautiful! If it’s raining or has rained recently I would definitely recommend waterproof boots.

hiking
2 months ago

Go after heavy rain for a big reward. Beautiful, forgot I was not in Colorado. Absolutely love Arcadia Valley.

2 months ago

A great family hike. Beautiful scenery. Waterfall at the midpoint made the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Excellent trail hike. Elevation drops a bit as you near the falls which is the most difficult part of the hike. Go after a recent rain event or in the wet season to see the falls in all their glory.

hiking
2 months ago

Phenomenally beautiful trail with many waterfalls and geological formations.

hiking
3 months ago

Had a few cool little look out spots, generally easy trail, waterfalls were cool and there is a bathroom at the trail head.

4 months ago

breathtaking views! Go after a big rain to aee the falls in all their glory..

6 months ago

great trail! definitely get the provided walking sticks, they're extremely helpful. we'll have to come back again in the wet season, because the falls were just a trickle here in december.
lost the markers for a bit because we went straight when it curved a hard right, but the app's gps showed us where we went wrong and got us back on track.

hiking
6 months ago

Fun winter hike with my husband and our 2 dogs.

hiking
6 months ago

This was a great hike! i would recommend it; though when it is during the wet season, but still, it was a beautiful hike. I do recommend hiking boots, its very rocky....jetting rocks, etc. I would also grab one of the walking sticks at the beggining of the trail and return it at the end. They're free and would have been very useful! We would do this hike again.

hiking
7 months ago

Go in the spring or when there is plenty of of water or there will be no waterfall

hiking
7 months ago

Trail is fairly well marked but rocky to walk. I suggest hiking boots. Took us 3 hours to hike. Beautiful time of the year to hike the area. Changing trees are amazing.

7 months ago

This was my our first "trail" hike. We are young seniors and in fair to good shape. We are both walkers so the distance was not a problem. It is a rocky trail so we both wished we had put on hiking boots instead of tennis shoes. The falls were just a trickle but we knew it was a possibility. Nonetheless it was a beautiful hike and we both thoroughly enjoyed it. We strongly recommend it!

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Great trail to hit and pull an over nighter while watching the sunset on the cliffs. There is a flat patch about 100 yards south of the falls. Great place to enjoy what the mountain has to offer. Only downside is the trail is short and you have to hit theOT to keep hiking for a multi day trip

hiking
9 months 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!

backpacking
9 months 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.

backpacking
10 months 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
10 months 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.

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