Mina Sauk Falls Trail

MODERATE 199 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.

backpacking
15 days 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
16 days 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.

hiking
18 days ago

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.

23 days ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

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.

1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

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!

2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months 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
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months 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
3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months 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.

3 months 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
4 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
4 months ago

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

4 months ago

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

hiking
4 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
5 months ago

Phenomenally beautiful trail with many waterfalls and geological formations.

hiking
5 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.

6 months ago

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

8 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
8 months ago

Fun winter hike with my husband and our 2 dogs.

hiking
8 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.

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