Saint Francois County Highpoint Trip Report
Brown Mtn and Stono Mtn (1,650+ ft)
Date: March 12, 2005
Author: Hans Haustein
To reach Stono Mountain, begin from the junction of Highways V and W and go west
on Highway W for about 0.1 mile to a gravel road on the north side of Highway W,
the road is gated with room to park without blocking the gate. The gate is
posted with the following message "Unauthorized Vehicles Keep Out Missouri
Conservation Department". Follow the road (it is shown on the quad) as it winds
up the mountain for about 1.25 miles to the summit area, gaining about 480 feet.
The highest area is not by the Stono Lookout Tower but further north of the tower.
I hand-leveled to a rock that is possibly the highest (37.71967° N, 90.54889° W).
There are several communications facilities on the summit.
The stairs to the Stono Lookout Tower are still in good shape, allowing one to climb
almost to the top. The views are great. Brown Mountain, the other St Francois
County High point candidate is visible along with Taum Sauk Mountain in the distance.
To reach Brown Mountain, return to the junction of Highways V and W and then go
south on Highway V for 2.6 miles to King School Road, which is on the west side
of Highway V. Go west on King School Road for about 2.4 miles to a gated gravel
road on the north side of King School Road. The road is gated with a white
fence and locked green metal gate with a sign by the road indicating property is
for sale up the gated gravel road. There is room for parking without blocking
the gate and entrance to the road. There are two houses on the south side of
King School Road in the vicinity of the gravel road, though no dogs. There were
no postings on the white fence or green gate. The coordinates for the gravel
road intersection with King School Road are (37.66919° N, 90.60098° W).
Follow the gravel road up the mountain, gaining about 550 feet to the summit and passing a
couple of hunting/camping trailers accessed off of the gravel road.
There are several rocks on the summit area that could be the highest.
The one I hand leveled to possibly be the highest is located at the coordinates
(37.68287° N, 90.59958° W). No views from the wooded summit area.
It looked like this area would be sold as lots, so at some point in the future
there may be some sort of camping trailer in the vicinity of the high point.
Note: From my field observations, to be absolutely sure you have been to the
highest point in St. Francois County you need to visit both mountains. The spot
elevation on Brown Mountain is 1650 feet and the elevation of the Stono Lookout
Tower is 1644 feet, which is lower than the actual high point on Stono Mountain,
but by how much I was not able to determine. It could be about 6 feet,
enough to tie the spot elevation on Brown Mountain.