Missouri Rocks: Climbing and Hiking in the Show-Me State

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Cave / Caverns , parks , State Parks and State Historic Sites , Conservation Areas , State Historic Site , outdoors , Outdoor Adventure , Boone County , Lake of the Ozarks
Make Missouri your Midwest hiking destination. With dozens of great hiking trails, walking trails and natural boulder formations for rock climbing.
Author: Missouri Tourism

Rock Climbing or Take an Adventure on the Hiking Trails of Missouri

Does your definition of “adventure” combine athleticism and a love of the great outdoors? If that’s the case, then rock climbing in Missouri or taking advantage of the state's hiking trails has your name written all over it.


Climb Missouri’s Mountains

Prepare to be wowed by the amazing formations at
Elephant Rocks State Park, where the enormous boulders look like a line of – you guessed it – circus elephants. These rocks began forming more than 1.5 billion years ago; today, they represent one of Missouri’s most breathtaking natural wonders. Rock-climbing equipment isn’t allowed at Elephant Rocks (so leave the crampons and carabiners at home), but you are welcome to free-climb the granite formations and take in the views. Pack a lunch to enjoy at one of the many picnic areas and spend the day among these magnificent “elephants.” It's Midwest hiking at its finest.

Excellent climbing awaits you at the
Lake of the Ozarks State Park, where a trip to the top is rewarded by a lovely view of the sparkling water. Other can’t-miss sights at this nearly 18,000-acre state park include the large oak-hickory forest and “Angels’ Showers,” a cluster of stalactites and waterfalls nestled within Ozark Caverns.

Climbers and hikers find a little slice of paradise at
St. Francois State Park, where the serene Pike Run Hills offer a true opportunity to get away from it all. Outdoor enthusiasts looking to spend a night or two at St. Francois State Park are happy to learn there are more than 100 campsites, plus hot showers and modern laundry facilities to make your Midwest hiking adventure feel like home.

In Boone County,
Three Creeks Conservation Area has long been a favorite among hikers. The area offers eight miles of hiking trails and three miles of interpretive walking trails; both are flanked by beautiful views, including bluffs, streams and cedars.

Want a little natural history on your Midwest hiking adventure? Look no further than
Mastodon State Historic Site. Paleontologists have discovered that people hunted the American mastodon in this very spot during the Ice Age. After you hit the hiking trails, be sure to visit the site’s museum to see fossils, artifacts and a replica of a mastodon skeleton.

History echoes throughout
Graham Cave State Park. This massive shelter cave was inhabited 10,000 years ago. See the cave, along with nice views of the Loutre River, as you hike through the park and cross its walking trails.



 Elephant Rocks State Park
At this park, giant, billion-year-old granite boulders stand end-to-end, like a train of red circus ...

 Lake of the Ozarks State Park
Missouri's largest state park has 89 miles of shoreline, two swimming beaches, boat-launching areas, ...

 Ozark Caverns
Traditional, children's, and adult tours are offered, all using hand-held lanterns. Bats, salamanders ...

 St. Francois State Park
This park, rich in Civil War lore, comprises the rugged Pike Run Hills surrounding Coonville Creek and ...

 Three Creeks Conservation Area
Three Creeks Conservation Area is located in Boone County, halfway between Columbia and Ashland. The ...

 Mastodon State Historic Site
Site excavations have established that Paleo-Indians hunted the American mastodon here during the ice ...

 Graham Cave State Park
Radiocarbon dating indicates the park's shelter cave was inhabited more than 10,000 years ago. The park, ...