Elephant Rocks State Park

christie_sw_mo(Z6)June 28, 2009

Just wanted to share some photos from our family hiking trip in the Ozarks. We considered hiking in Colorado but chickened out. I don't think we're in good enough shape for that.

There's a one mile trail around the Elephant Rocks area that's pretty level and easy to walk on but we also spent a lot of time climbing on the rocks. My kids wanted me to take a picture of the "moon" rock. lol

Much of the trail was through the trees and cool but climbing on the rocks in the sun got pretty toasty. I watched for wildlife/wildflowers to take pictures of but didn't see anything unusual.

Here is a link that might be useful: Elephant Rocks State Park

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We also went to Taum Sauk Mountain State Park. We drove to the top where there's a trail that goes down to Mini-Sauk falls and then loops back (uphill). It was more rugged - rocky and uneven and about 3 miles. Very pretty though. There were some nice views.

That lizard must've been used to people. We got to watch him up close for quite awhile before he finally took off.

Here is a link that might be useful: Taum Sauk Mountain State Park

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 8:25AM
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Christie it looks like you an your family had quite an adventure.
I think that is wonderful.
My poor ole knees could never do that. I can't even walk the mall the whole way through. An then pay dearly for it for days after word.
It is quite nice to see your family enjoys the outdoors so much. Not just in front of some electronics.
The picture of the large rock/bluff with water reminds me of when I way "young". We would climb up a bluff at the creek an jump off into a deep hole. Good days.
I hope you an your family enjoy you summer.
Bonnie : )

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 10:01AM
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christie, looks like you all had a good family outing. I'm with Bonnie, my hiking days are way behind me. I think....not done any lately.

I like that you are not driving thousands of miles away from home to enjoy the great outdoors. I am always surprised by people who live in the Ozarks that do that. We have so much beautiful scenery here.

Do you all ever camp overnight. Our son takes his three and does that a lot....his wife isn't big on it and usually stays home. They have some great times.
Now our daughter....she stays in resorts; no 'roughing' it for her! I can't talk I didn't like camping when I was younger either.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 10:28AM
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Sure we camped overnight Glenda...at the Hilton Express. lol
Packing and unpacking is bad enough as it is without having to pack camping gear as well. I'd enjoy it if someone else did all the work though.
Even at my age, I worry about falling when the ground is so uneven like that. The third photo from the bottom is a picture of the "path" that we were walking on at Taum Sauk. A lot of it looked like a wet weather creek bed so so there were spots with standing water and mud and rocks that were wet. We all had wet shoes by the time we got down to the waterfall even though we were trying not to step in water.
Bonnie - My kids spend a great deal of time on electronics. That's what they like best. I have to push them outside. I was just the opposite when I was a kid, but we didn't have the indoor entertainment like kids do now. How different things are.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 1:03PM
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pauln(z7B Arkansas)

I love that part of Missouri! I've visited there a couple of times. That granite is mighty fine indeed. Does anybody know the status of Johnson Shut In? I know there was an awful dam break a couple of years ago that wiped out the campground area. I was just wondering if the area was recovering and if they park had been opened up yet. The water working its way through the sculpted granite forming little pools and waterfalls is a sight to behold. I figure the rocks were fine, but I bet the woods and the river took a big hit. I have friends in St. Louis and that area is not too far off of the route south heading into Arkansas.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 10:29PM
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proudgm_03(6 MO)

Johnson Shut Ins are open again. They are still doing a lot of reconstruction and repairs around the area from the break in Taum Sauk.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2009 at 3:21AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I like short trips too. You are making me want to go. I can leave my animals for a weekend without a babysitter. Johnson Shut ins used to be a fun spot. I remember Jack's Fork river also as a beautiful area. Isn't there a big spring that starts a river? The spring near Thayer I think was also nice. The St. Louis Botanical Garden is a great destination although my friend still complains about being dragged there in 90 degree weather. It is beautiful so I think non gardeners should appreciate it; go to Grant's Farm if it is still going for the kids.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 4:16PM
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When we drove past Johnson Shut Ins, there was a sign up that said they were closed but their website says they're open now. I don't think I had any energy left anyway.

We missed you Helen! Glad to see you posting again. I'd love to visit St. Louis Botanical Gardens again sometime. We were in St. Louis over spring break but didn't go to the botanical garden. I thought it would've been too early to see much in bloom.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 6:12PM
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pauln(z7B Arkansas)

The spring near Thayer is Greer, if I'm not mistaken. Very nice, I seem to also remember that it's the second largest spring in MO next to Big Spring near the Currant River. When I first went to Greer, we had to ask permission from an old lady who owned the land, or most of it. She was fine, and just told us to stay on the trail, don't get in the water, protect to delicate banks and plants. A nice hike down the hill led to a huge boil-up of water where a fast moving stream flowed, even in the parched August heat. Just a short walk upstream, another spring emerged from a nice cave.

The second time I went there, the land had been bought by the state, the trail had been improved, and fencing had been built around the delicate areas. I understand why they would try to limit access to the fragile spring, but it kind of took away from the effect.

Y'all are very lucky to live in an area with so many wonderful springs and caves.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 9:32AM
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