|A birds eye view from a bluff overlooking Lower Rock Creek.|
Cathedral Canyon is a gorgeous and seemingly remote part of the Mark Twain National Forest, that goes by many names. I prefer to call the area Cathedral Canyon because the serenity and staggering beauty there may only be truly matched by a quiet cathedral. Other hikers and soul seekers may refer to it as Dark Hollow, Lower Rock Creek (this seems to be one of the most accepted names), or even the Trackler Mountain trail, I believe that no matter what you want to call this remote and relatively undisturbed forest, you'll leave calling it magical.
|A little something left as thanks for a great hike!|
|These guys (and gals) are everywhere in Lower Rock Creek.|
|The gate and bullet ridden reflective sign|
mark the trail head. Nothing says "C'mon in" like bulletholes!
|The beginning of the trail.|
|Be sure to search for a marker as you emerge from the trail to Lower Rock Creek.|
We used this existing rock cairn as our marker, thanks to whomever left it behind!
|The step-like formations.|
|RR: Rattlesnake Ridge?|
|Time to camp!|
Well, we poked and prodded a bit around the campsite area and even found a small container that had some camping equipment (pots, pans, etc.) located near the camp site. Of course I had to take the short journey from the campsite to a nearly chest deep pool of water, created by huge boulders and the flow of the Lower Rock Creek, to take a bit of a refresher before we headed back downstream. The journey back was every bit as fun as the trip up, our eyes scanning for snakes lining the creek when not fully focused on the beauty that surrounded us.
The remoteness and serenity of this area is absolutely unsurpassed for me, I haven't been able to find a spot like this anywhere else. So untouched and unaltered, I have read elsewhere that the University of Missouri has described this area as the most significant remaining example of the St. Francois Mountain watershed landscape. I can't think of another place that I so desperately can't wait to return to, and once you've taken a trip here, I'm confident you'll be looking to schedule a return visit too! But you may not be telling all your friends... You may want to keep it, "secret".
As always, thanks for reading!
- See more Local Treks on Facebook!
- Set of Flickr Photos from our trip
- Missouri Wilderness Coalition: Lower Rock Creek
- Trails.com: Lower Creek Trail
- Map of Proposed Lower Rock Creek & Van East Wilderness Areas
- Trails.com: Lower Creek Trail Topo Map
- Mark Twain National Forest Homepage
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