Council Bluff to Bell Mt.

Post a narrative about your trip on the Ozark Trail

Council Bluff to Bell Mt.

Postby aroth87 » Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:12 am

I thought I would give a little trip report in addition to the trail conditions.

A friend, Mike, and I went from Council Bluff Lake to the northern Bell Mt. trailhead on Saturday, March 6. It was Mike's first time hiking in a couple of years and we couldn't have asked for a better day or better scenery.

We started from the boat launch at Council Bluff at about 8:15 AM. It was really neat walking around the gorgeous lake. A great way to start a trip! We passed through some really neat areas and lots of creeks up to Hwy 32. We made pretty good time, making it to Hwy 32 at 10:34 AM.

After crossing Hwy 32 we met a party of 4 who were lopping. We talked for a little bit and they warned us we might have trouble crossing 'the creek.' We hiked a little bit farther and came upon a stack of tires, near a gate and a stream. We crossed the stream and had lunch.

After lunch, we continued on without much to report. The lack of leaves made for some pretty cool views of the surrounding area. Finally, we started our descent towards Hwy A. The views of Bell Mt we very nice as we came down. We finally got down to the bottom. "This must be the creek they were talking about." We searched up and down the bank a little way and made the decision that it looked shallowest where the trail crossed. It was just over knee-deep and boy was it flowing fast. I lent Mike one of my poles so he could keep his balance. I took off my socks and Mike removed his boots and put them on his pack. The bottoms of both of our shorts got wet and the force of the water moved us down stream a bit. We got over the other side and took a break to let out feet dry and I took the opportunity to purify some water.

As we crossed Hwy A, I looked down towards the parking area and there were a number of cars there. As we started up the trail to Bell, we were greeted with a nice little stream running down towards us. As it turned out, this was just the beginning. We were trudging through or around water almost all the way to the intersection of the Taum Sauk section and the Bell Mt. trail. By this time we were getting a little worn out, and taking more and more breaks. We finally reached the top and met a group of 4 who were camping. They said they had just returned from bushwhacking down to the shut-ins below. We went a little past them and ran across another guy, Andy, camped out at the nice over look. He was napping on the rocks when we first got there around 4:30 PM.

We left there around 4:50 PM after talking to Andy a bit. The going was easy from there to the end since it was mostly down hill. It was around 6:30 PM when we finished up.

This was definitely one of my favorite hikes so far. Its probably a little strenuous for a day hike but we had a lot of fun. I would bet that starting at Bell Mt. and going to Council Bluff would be a little easier, but the view from Bell is a real motivator to keep going.

The new trip planner was also invaluable. The maps and overview were great to have with us and made planning this trip beyond easy. Kudos to everyone who helped bring it to us!

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Location: Lenexa, KS

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