Reynolds County High Point Trip Report

Proffit Mtn (1,700+ ft)

Date: September 28, 2002
Author: Jeff Runder

Proffit Mtn is located between the state highpoint and Johnson's Shut-ins off the Ozark Trail. It can be accessed via the Ozark Trail from Taum Sauk State Park. From the Taum Sauk State Park parking area head out towards the state highpoint along the paved path, and be sure to stop in at the restroom for an excellent USGS 7.5" based map of the section of the Ozark Trail which leads to Proffit Mountain. This first section of trail is definitely A.D.A. compliant.

You can make a short detour to the state highpoint rock to the left at the first junction, turn right at this junction to head to Proffit Mountain. At the next junction you can go either direction and you will end up at Mina Sauk Falls. The distances are approximately the same. Mina Sauk Falls is Missouri's tallest waterfall and when it is flowing well it is quite attractive. Continue down hill from the falls on the rocky path. About a mile after the falls is Devils Tollgate, basically a gap between large rocks, which is really not deserving of such a name. The trail at this point is quite wide, but about a mile later the Ozark Trail branches right from the main track.

At this point the trail is entering the drainage east of Proffit Mountain. Follow the Ozark Trail as it winds along the slopes above this drainage until it crosses it and bends back to the south. At this point Proffit Mtn's summit is about 0.4 miles west by northwest. This area is quite overgrown and it is a thick bushwhack to the summit. The highpoint area is just north of a broad power line clearing which crosses the mountain in a very straight southwest-to-northeast line and allows for views from summit. The exact location of the highpoint is hard to determine and is a bit thorny.

The trail heading due south off the summit intersects the Ozark trail. It is very good and can be used to avoid the bushwhack back down, if you don't mind the extra mileage. I figure the round-trip distance at about 12 miles with a bit under 1500 vertical feet for the round-trip. There is actually more climb on the return trip. The access from Johnson's Shut-ins appears slightly shorter with less total climb.