Mina Sauk Falls is likely one of the best known waterfalls in Missouri, and is probably the tallest in the state. Sometimes, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s an interesting waterfall, but Mina Sauk Falls is worth the effort.
Mina Sauk Falls is in Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, which is about two hours or so from St. Louis. As a side note, the equally interesting Elephant Rocks State Park is nearby. Both parks can be easily visited in the same day. As you drive along the winding, mostly paved road to the falls, you end up at the top of Taum Sauk Mountain. The hike to the falls is actually downhill on the way there.
The hike isn’t particularly long, and it is easy on the way down (for the most part). It is difficult to view the whole falls at the same time, and it does require some effort to see the bottom portion. The upper portion requires less effort. On the way back up, you are now hiking consistently uphill. Luckily, the elevation gain is spread out over enough a distance that it doesn’t even remotely rank as one of the most difficult hikes.
From what I’ve read, the falls seem to be diminished in volume later in the year, so the best time to visit is in spring as any snow will have recently melted. When I visited in mid-April, the falls were definitely at a nice level of flow.
1) From Arcadia, Missouri, head southwest on MO-21/72 for a few miles or so. (Signs will indicate the distances).
2) Turn right onto Highway CC, which leads directly to Taum Sauk Mountain State Park.
3) The road is relatively direct. There is one point where a split occurs. Keep to the left along what turns into a dirt road.
4) The road ends at a parking loop. From here, follow the trail to Mina Sauk Falls. It’s about 1.5 miles one-way.
Accessibility: 4/10 (while not extremely difficult, this is not meant for someone that has just had surgery…kids will likely be ok)
Where in the World is Mina Sauk Falls?: map