Ozark Trail Backpacking
Missouri Ozarks, Ozark Highlands, SE Missouri
May 31 - June 3, 2018
Trip Leaders: Leslie Green and Steve Johnson
Type of Trip: Backpacking and Hiking
Cancellation Date and full payment: April 30, 2018
Maximum number: 10
Minimum number: 7
Wilderness Level: 3 - more than 2 hrs away from emergency response
Difficulty: Rugged - 12 miles maximum daily mileage
The Missouri Ozarks in southeastern Missouri are part of the Ozark Highlands, an area covering nearly 47,000 square miles in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma. It is by far the most extensive mountainous region between the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains. The Ozark Trail and the trail networks in Missouri provide a hiker’s paradise. We will spend a few days in the area enjoying a 22 mile backpacking trip as well as exploring the Council Bluffs Lake, which will be our home base.
We’ll travel to Missouri on Thursday May 31, and enjoy the lake and surrounds in the afternoon and evening. Anglers are encouraged to try their luck at fishing. There is also a trail that circumnavigates the lake. Early Friday we’ll shuttle to the Bell Mountain Wilderness, where we’ll start our overnight backpacking trip. This is a signature hike of this region of the Ozarks. It has billion year-old rock on one end of the trip, a nice jaunt through oak/hickory forests in the middle, and gorgeous lakeside views on the other end. Along the way we’ll also take a side trail to the top of Bell Mountain for a view of the St. Francois Mountains.
We’ll stay at the lakeside campground our last night and on Sunday will travel to Taum Sauk State Park to complete Mina Sauk Falls trail, a 3 mile loop hike to the highest point and the tallest waterfall in Missouri. After a post-hike meal, we’ll head back to Indianapolis for an evening arrival. The trip fee pays for travel in the club van, three campsite breakfasts, three campsite dinners, camping fees and shuttle. Participants are responsible for meals on the road, trail lunches and snacks.