baxpax.org - Bell Mountain, Missouri (BM)

This 9,143 acre wilderness is part of the St. Francois Mountains, one of the oldest landforms in North America. The wilderness is named for a family that once lived and farmed along the ridge top that is now known as Bell Mountain. Elevations range from 1,702 feet at Bell Mountain to 970 feet in the Joe's Creek drainage. Local relief is about 600 feet and is characterized by steep felsite and rhyolite outcroppings. Both Bell Mountain and Lindsey Mountain offer outstanding views of the surrounding area. The associated granite glades provide a variety of interesting plant and animal life.

Bell Mountain Wilderness

Potosi, MO (8-10 miles)


The top of Bell Mountain, one of Missouri’s highest peak, is in Missouri’s third largest wilderness area. There are incredible vistas from an expansive glade on Bell’s summit, and in this rugged, seldom-visited wildland you’ll likely have the whole mountain to yourself. At 1,702 feet above sea level, Bell Mountain is nearly as tall as Taum Sauk Mountain, the state’s highest peak, but it’s number one with me. Unlike Taum Sauk, Bell is smack dab in the middle of 9,027 acres of Ozark wilderness. When you top out on Bell Mountain and walk into the open rocky glade on the summit, you’ll likely have all the views to yourself. The 5-mile hike to this wild mountaintop shakes out the less-energetic. Scenery: Forested hills and hollows, glades, rock outcroppings, rugged mountaintop vistas. - Trails.com


Featured pictures

~Location


Weather

Potosi, MO

Polls

Attending the January 15-17 trip?

Videos


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Bell Mountain Wilderness 01/17/2010. Summit and Ally wrestling in the fog.

Maps

2010-01-19

Bell Mountain Wilderness Map.jpg
Bell Mountain Wilderness Map.jpg
Bell Mountain Wilderness Map.jpg 2010-01-19

Publication: Backpacker Magazine (Jan. 2012)

Directions

FT 12 Trailhead: from Potosi, MO, take Hwy 21 South 18 miles to Hwy 32. Take Hwy 32 West 8 miles to Hwy A. Take Hwy A South approx 1/4 mile to first Forest Road SE Go approx 1/4 mile SE to site.

Hwy A Trailhead: from Potosi, take Hwy 8 one mile East to Hwy 21. Go South on Hwy 21 for 11 miles. Or take Hwy 21 South for 17 miles to Hwy 32. Take Hwy 32 West for 8 miles to Hwy A. Take Hwy A approx 5 miles South to site.


Comments

2/6/2012 4:00:42 AM - 002059359626
Bell Mountain, Missouri, Trails, Backpacking, Hiking, baxpax.org

Message board

Re: Pictures

I can't believe I didn't get many pictures this weekend.

Pictures
We have no pictures of Bell Mountain. The ones that we do have are 1600iso or something.  Looks like there was colored sand on the lense.
Re: January Trip

Summit

January Trip

Who's ready to get muddy?

Re: Bell Mountain
I'm working on it.
Re: Bell Mountain
Hey Jeff, Can you also post a map showing where these places are? I would like to know the nearest highways and so forth. Thanks, Derek
Bell Mountain

Anyone else ever been to Bell Mountain?  Tell me about your last trip.  Are there trees down everywhere?  We love Bell Mountain, but it's a short trail for the distance we have to drive to get there.

Resources

MoTrails.com
U.S. Forest Service
Trails.com

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3D Interactive Map

Trip Pictures <---Click to see all pictures.

Fall

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There are no water sources on the ridge or near the campsite.  On rare occasions you might be able to find a puddle like Ally to stay hydrated, but don't count on it.

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If you get to the main overlook campsite and find that it has been taken, you can find other smaller campsites along the ridge in both directions.  

Ally relaxes in the tall grass with a small fire pit located on the rock slab behind her.

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At the overlook camp there is a beautiful view of the wilderness.  There is also a king-sized firepit on a rock slab.  The flat ground, and perfect hammock hanging trees combined with the view makes the overlook at Bell Mountain arguably the best backpacking campsite in Missouri.

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The only downside to the main campsite is it's popularity.  Being the only designated camping spot on the ridge you can expect fellow hikers to stop into your campsite to capture the view.

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Nick remembers his path to get water on one adventure.  Although successful he highly discourages going down this way to get water.  

Pack enough with you to last your entire adventure.

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Winter: 2010_01_16 - 2010_01_17

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Spring: 2010_04_16 - 2010_04_18

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Single picture frame

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