Monday, May 8, 2017

Bell Mountian Wilderness/Ozark Trail, Missouri: Beautiful wildlife area in the Missouri Ozarks!

May 5, 2017 3:26 PM
Duration (Total) 1d 20h 22m , Distance 12.6 mi
No real water you would want to pump at the top of the summit- you will want to bring water in or camp along creek- established camps are not well marked on maps, but they are there
-Tracked by kayakthemidwest, on Ramblr
Day 1: Set out from Hwy A- the elevation gains from the trailhead are pretty straight up once you hit the road. You will start to see some glades and some really nice wildflowers about a mile into it. With the rains, there were several small creeks/runoffs crossing the trail, and sometimes inn the trail, so some spots were pretty muddy- glad I was wearing a full boot and not trail runners. Met the Ozark Trail/Bell Loop point and headed up the loop...saw a bore about the size of a large dog. Did not know if I would make it to the top summit, so broke a primitive camp about a mile before- good confidence builder, not using an established camp- made sure it looked the same before I got there before leaving. A coyote came into camp and started howling- startled me a first due to how close he was to the tent- almost hurt my ears!

Day 2: Headed to the summit, marking possible future sites on map (see tip below)...summit was incredible- seemed like a ton of people were on the trail- almost everyone was going to camp on the top so they could "see the sunrise"...I bet there were 10-15 people and dogs topside. Headed off the summit and went to the Joes Creek valley area- some really beautiful camp sites, and tons of water- found a spot right before it headed back up the mountain and set camp. Beautiful!

Day 3: Sunday morning was amazing...enjoyed my normal morning rituals, coffee, breaking camp, meditative time, I was heading up the trail from this point, noticed how much the trail was starting to overgrow with the summer tarmac...once at the top, really enjoyed the straight downhill hike

This place would be an amazing winter camp- a little crowded for my liking- must have ran into at least 10 folks on the trail, which surprised me-
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