Gasconade River

Missouri’s Gasconade River

The Gasconade, probably named for French settlers from the province of Gascony in southwestern France, is reputed to be one of the most crooked rivers in the world. Entirely within Missouri, the river winds nearly 300 miles from its source near Hartville to the Missouri River, which is an airline distance of about 120 miles. In an area near Waynesville, you can float for 15 miles and be only two miles overland from your put-in. Although it has less gradient than some Ozark rivers, the Gasconade has some surprisingly fast sections, yet is still a good, safe family float stream. Because the river flows through the Mark Twain National Forest, write to the National Park Service Houston Ranger District for maps showing where camping is available.

Dru Pippin describes the Gasconade well in The Rivers of Missouri when he says, “…steep bluffs, gorgeous cuts, hairpin turns, and lazy eddies; hardwoods, softwoods and dogwoods, hidden logs, protruding boulders that weathering has tumbled from adjacent cliffs, wildflowers and shrubs, birds and bees, four-legged creatures quenching their thirst at my water’s edge, while listless white clouds float above as though convoying my trip.”

Sections above Competition are suitable only for spring or other high-water periods, unless you want to walk the riffles to fish the inviting pools.

Difficulty: I, seldom II.
Gradients: general-2.6; Hwy. 38 to Grimes MiIl—-6.2; Competition-4.I; to Hwy. 32-3.2; to Hwy. 66-3.1; to Hwy. 7-2.7: to Hwy. 17-2.4; to Big Piney Rjver-2.6; to Indian Fold Bridge-2.2; to Hwy. 89-1.8; to Hwy. 50–1.7; to Missouri River -0.8.
Counties: Wright, Laclede, Pulaski, Phelps, Maries, Osage, Gasconade.


Gasconade River Map I – Mile-By-Mile Description

0.0 Hwy. 38 Bridge on the Woods Fork of the Gasconade. Just above this point, there is a mill pond dam on the Woods Fork.
0.7 Lick Fork of Gasconade on right. Hwy. 38 Bridge 0.2 mile up this fork is also a possible put-in.
2.5 Camp Branch Access. Gravel ramp.
11.8 Low-water bridge on Hwy. E. Spring in bluff on left, just upstream from bridge.
12.3 Whetstone Creek on right.
12.9 Grimes Mill. Old milldam makes good rift in medium to high water. Some good, fast water between here and Manes.
14.3 Buzzard Bluff Access, off Hwy. E. Gravel ramp.
19.4 Hwy. H Bridge. 21.5 Wilbur Allen Access, off Hwy. 95 on Radford Drive. Gravel ramp.
24.7 Burney Ford.
27.1 Ford access on Kincheloe Drive.
27.7 Beaver Creek on right adds a considerable amount of water to river. 
28.1 Spring branch on left.
29.9 Elk Creek on left.
31.4 Watch for log jams and for stumps in riffles between this point and Hwy. O Bridge.
32.4 Hwy. O Bridge. No access.
33.3 Forest Service Access off Hwy. Z.
35.3 River divides. Left channel usually best, but check.
37.7 Dougan Bridge on Hwy. AD.
42.8 Forest Service access. South of Falcon on county road.
45.0 Hwy. 32 Bridge. Gravens Resort on left.
46.7 Lodge and spring on left. Fast riffle just below.
48.3 Spring on right.
48.9 Spring at base of bluff on right. Begin long pool.
51.6 Anna Adams Access. Slab ford low-water bridge. Between Hwys. 32 and 17. Good canoe/kayak access.
65.2 Unimproved ford, crossable in low water. May be used as put-in if approached from east via Hwy. AB.
71.1 Bridge. Road connects Hwys. K and AB. Private resort on right.
74.6 Junction with Osage Fork on left.
75.4 Old Hwy. 66 and 1-44 Bridge. Hazelgreen Access.
78.8 Cliff Spring on left shown.
80.1 Spring up right bank.
84.6 Hwy. 133 Bridge. Access under bridge.
92.5 Hwy. 7 Bridge. Mitschele Access. Gravel river access.
95.6 Red Bluff on left.
96.6 Low-water bridge access on Rochester Road off Hwy. 7 at Ozark Springs. Caution – Portage. Do not run at any level.


Gasconade River Map II

92.5 Hwy. 7 Bridge. Mitschele Access. Gravel river access.
95.6 Red Bluff on left.
96.6 low-water bridge access on Rochester Road off Hwy. 7 at Ozark Springs. Caution – Portage. Do not try to run at any flow level.
100.9 Hwy. T Bridge. Poor access because of steep bank.
103.2 The Narrows. Only 0.2 mile across, but 6.5 miles around by river.
106.0 Schlicht Spring branch on left is site of former grist mill.
106.1 Schlicht Springs Access on Resort Road off Hwy. 133.
110.2 East side of The Narrows. Small spring at base of bluff.
112.4 Rock slide on right. Beat left. Narrow channel at normal flow.
112.8 Falling Spring, behind rock dam up short branch on right, has flow of 1-5 million gallons.
113.2 Creasy Spring (Bubbling Spring), on the right, has a flow of 12-15 million gallons per day, but is flooded when the river is high.
113.8 Battless Mill Spring branch on right. The spring is on the private properry and has only about half the volume of Creasy Spring, but was used to operate a grist mill.
116.3 Roubidoux Creek on right. Hwy. 17 Bridge. Undeveloped gravel bar access. Roubidoux Cteek has been floated in its upper reaches, but much of its water goes underground so that sections above Roubidoux Spring are neatly dry except in times of run-off. The spring has a flow of from 3-47 million gallons. The three miles of creek below it are floatable only duting the spring.
118.5 Bridge piling in middle of channel.
123.1 Harrison Spring 0.3 mile up branch on left. Private.
125.6 River divides. Main channel is on left.
126.4 Bell Creek on left. Left branch of creek is a spring branch from Wheelet’s Mill.
126.9 Spring on left at base of bluff. 
128.0 Clemens Creek on left.
129.5 Yellow Bluffs on left.
129.7 Private access.
129.9 Riddle Bridge Access on Hwy. Y.
131.6 Jones Creek on left.
132.9 River divides at Portuguese Point, one of the most scenic areas on the Gasconade. Take left channel against bluffs. Bluffs along bend are approximately 250 feet high.
136.9 Mossy Spring 0.2 mile up branch on right. Private campground on left.
140.4 Hwy. 28 Bridge. Private access at cabins.
141.7 Big Piney River on left. Ptivate access and camping on right bank of Big Piney.
143.7 Boiling Spring at edge of river is a second magnitude spring with a flow of 42 million gallons per day but is submerged when the river is high.
146.6 Emerald Lake outlet on left.
150.0 Hwy. 0 Bridge. Access on either side of river. Jerome 0.4 mile up road on left. Stores, cabins. Little Piney River enters on right, just below bridge.
150.2 St. Louis-San Francisco R.R. Bridge.
151.2 Jerome Access on left, off Hwy. O.
153.5 Mill Creek on left.
154.2 Table Rock, large mushroom-shaped rock in river. Old Whitehouse Ferry site. Access. End of County Road 8500.
155.6 Sugamee Hollow and cottages on right.
161.7 Thox Rock, square rock in river.
165.7 Private lodge on right. Spring down road.
166.2 End of Hwy. E.
167.2 Bell Chute Access on Counry Road 513, off Hwy. Y.
170.3 Johnson Island. Right channel impassable.
170.5 Parker Spring on left.
172.8 Spring Creek on right.
173.0 Hwy. 63-28 Bridge.
174.5 Private access at resort on left.


Gasconade River Map III

174.5 Private access at resort on left.
179.5 Indian Ford. Private access. Hwy. 42 Bridge.
187.6 Paydown Access on left. Paydown settlement 0.7 mile up Mill Creek on right. Paydown Spring 0.5 mile farther up the branch, once supplied power for two grist mills and the Bray Woolen Mill.
194.0 Revis Rock; large rock in river.
195.4 Chicago. Rock Island and Pacific R.R. Bridge. Private access on County Road 636.
197.4 Daggetts Ford. County Road 634 off Hwy. 63 parallels river here. Private access.
198.3 Meyers Spring on left. 0.1 mile from river at northeast end of Cave Bluff. Private.
203.4 Hwy. 89 Bridge. Rollins Ferry Access on left. High land at west end of bridge was once encircled by a 9 mile oxbow loop of the river.
209.0 Lovett Island Owens Creek on left.
210.8 Pointers Creek Access on left.
213.0 Miller Island and Deer Slough (behind island) on left.
214.0 Lower end of Deer Slough at Cedar Bluff. 
215.7 Massie Island.
216.6 Third Creek and Cooper Hill Access on right off Hwy. D. Must carry boat 20 yards to river.
219.8 Mt. Sterling Bridge on Hwy. 50. Access under bridge. River slow below this point. Mud bank.
222.8 Contrary Creek on left. Krueger Ford. Road on right to Hwys. K and 50.
231.1 Koelling Islands near right bank.
234.1 Feigler Ferry land. No access.
234.7 Church Bluff on left.
235.4 Helds Island Access on right off Hwy. K. Main channel right.
236.8 Lower end Helds Island.
237.1 Second Creek on right.
240.9 Turnpike Bluff on right.
244.8 Fredericksburg Ferry Access on right, on Old Ferry Road off Hwy. J.
252.4 Gasconade Park Access on Oak Street in Gasconade. Last take-out before the Missouri River.
252.7 Missouri Pacific R.R. bridge.
253.1 Missouri River

This is an electronic reprint of a Missouri Department of Conservation document. More or updated information on this topic can be found at the Missouri Department of Conservation web site located at: Copyright 2003 by the Conservation Commission of the State of Missouri. 
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Under Missouri law, an outfitter is not liable for an injury to or the death of a participant in paddlesport activities resulting from the inherent risks of paddlesport activities pursuant to the Revised Statutes of Missouri. Chapter 537 RSMO revised to 537.327
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