Bell Mountain is the highest point of the Bell Mountain Wilderness in Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri. It is about 70 feet shorter than Taum Sauk Mountain to the southeast, the State's highpoint. It is possible to hike from Bell Mountain to Taum Sauk Mountain via part of the Ozark Trail passing over Goggins Mountain and through Johnson Shut-Ins State Park. This requires a multi-day backpack.
Take Highway 21 south from Potosi through Caledonia. Turn west on Highway 32. Turn south on Highway A. The trailhead parking lot is on the right after a little more than 5 miles south on Highway A.
When traveling south on Highway 21 south of Caledonia look to the east. The southern most high point of the large ridge to your east is Buford Mountain at 1,740 feet. It is 32 feet shorter than the State's highpoint, Taum Sauk Mountain.
There are numerous spots suitable for backpack camping near the summit of Bell Mountain which is a ten mile round trip from the trailhead. Great star gazing from the summit area. Looking east from the summit is Lindsey Mountain at 1,662 feet. Bell Mountain and Lindsey Mountain are separated by Shut-In Creek. This is an interesting spring fed creek that requires about 600 feet of vertical bushwacking off-trail to reach. A small cave is also located along Shut-In Creek below Bell Mountain.
No permit required, although the Forest Service requests you sign in at the trailhead register.
When To Climb
Year round. Spring and Fall are best. Fall colors are amazing. A ten mile round trip to the summit makes this suitable for an overnight backpack. See the camping section.
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