Things to Do

Bell Mountain Wilderness

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The 9,143-acre Bell Mountain Wilderness is part of the St. Francois Mountains, one of the oldest landforms in North America. This is mostly old-growth, oak and hickory forest, with pine and elm, grassy glades, and granite outcroppings. The rugged 12-mile Bell Mountain Trail (rated More Difficult) is recommended for experienced hikers only. Steep slopes are encountered throughout the area. Elevations on the trail range from 1,702 feet, at the peak of Bell Mountain, to 970 feet at the base, in the area of Joe’s Creek. Groups are limited to a maximum of 10 people, to help protect wilderness values.

Horses are allowed; no motorized/mechanical transportation allowed. No camping within 100 feet of trails and water.

Shut-in Creek, a year-round, spring-fed stream, crosses this area; there are several shut-ins along its path.The U.S. Congress designated the Bell Mountain Wilderness in 1980.

ALERT: Feral hogs are degrading the natural habitat within the Bell Mountain Wilderness. Feral hog hunting is illegal on public land in Missouri except opportunistic take during deer and turkey season by hunters with an unfilled deer or turkey tag. The Missouri Feral Hog Elimination Partnership asks anyone who sees a feral hog or feral hog damage to report it to 573-522-4115 ext. 3296.

Two crucial rules: 1> Do Not Carry in Your Own Firewood! (Moving firewood around the country spreads forest pests like the Emerald Ash Borer and Gypsy Moth.) 2> On and near any waterway, glass containers and glass bottles of any kind, and all foam-type food and beverage coolers are prohibited by Missouri law.

Note: the address and phone shown are for the Mark Twain National Forest office responsible for this wilderness area; however, the map pointer indicates the approximate location of this Wilderness Area.


401 Fairgrounds Road
Rolla, MO 65401

Additional Information

Travelers With Disabilities Information
Not Wheelchair Accessible
Smoking Policy
Smoking Unrestricted
Cost Of Admission
Free Admission
General Interest Info
Open Year-round
Pet Policy
Pets On Leash Allowed