Things to Do

Devils Backbone Wilderness

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Devil's Backbone Wilderness

A long, narrow ridge—known to early settlers as The Devils Backbone—is the main attraction in this 6,687-acre Wilderness. Elevations reach from 1,020 feet at the highest point to 680 at the lowest. Thirteen miles of trails (rated Moderate) follow the Backbone (and four other ridges), dropping off into surrounding forested hollows. Horses are allowed; no motorized/mechanical transportation allowed.

The area is ideal for day-hikes and overnight backpacking. Four trailheads offer good entry points. Three springs in the area flow into the North Fork of the White River, which transits the area. On the northern boundary are campsites and a canoe launch. Do not build rock fire rings. .

The U.S. Congress designated the Devils Backbone Wilderness in 1980. Check the area’s website for details, a map, and restrictions. .

Two crucial rules:

  • Do Not Carry in Your Own Firewood! (Moving firewood around the country spreads forest pests like the Emerald Ash Borer and Gypsy Moth.)
  • 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
Activities Within 10 Miles
Backpacking Trail
General Interest Info
Open Year-round
Pet Policy
Pets On Leash Allowed
Service Animals Welcome
Suitable For These Age Groups
Adults (18+)
Senior Adults (55+)
Teens (13-18)