Buford Mountain, MO

Elevation: 1740 feet
Overall elevation gain: 947 feet
Distance: 6.7 miles round trip
Class: 1
Location: Belleview, Missouri
Date: July 4, 2013

The glade on the second peak

Buford Mountain has five peaks, the highest of which is the third highest point in Missouri, only 32 feet below the state's highest point, Taum Sauk Mountain. Buford Mountain is within Buford Mountain Conservation Area, operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation. I stopped by here after going to Elephant Rocks State Park just to the south and before continuing on the Hughes Mountain to the north.

The trail begins on the south side of the mountain near its base. The trailhead is just off the main road, but you must walk almost a half mile up a gated gravel road before reaching the start of the trail. The trail immediately begins ascending the mountain, and while the trail is not overly steep, it is very rocky with many small loose rocks.

The view from Bald Knob
A close-up of the valley from Bald Knob

Once you near the summit of the first and highest peak (there is no trail to the actual summit of the mountain), the trail levels off and becomes much less rocky. From here the trail goes up and down the small hills on the ridge between each of the summits. There are wildlife watering ponds on the ridge between each summit.

One of several ponds on the mountain

The second summit has a small glade but no views, while the third summit is where the trail splits into the loop portion. The fourth summit is called Bald Knob because it contains a large rocky glade with expansive views to the west. It took me only one hour to hike the 3.3 miles to Bald Knob, where I took a break before turning around to go back to the trailhead.

The trail ascending the mountain

The trail is really an overgrown ATV path and sees very little traffic; I did not pass any other hikers during my trip on July 4. The trail does continue on from Bald Knob to the fifth summit before looping back around (and down the eastern side of the mountain) before returning to the junction on the third peak. Hiking the entire loop is a 10.5-mile hike from the trailhead with much more elevation gain.

For more information see my track on AllTrails.

The road you have to walk

The trail on top of the mountain

© Copyright 2017 Matthew Pintar. All rights reserved.


  1. Hey great write-up and video! When you're at Bald Knob with the nice views, can you see both directions, or just to the west?


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