Buford Mountain is one of the highest mountains in Missouri. It has a four mile long ridgline with five summits. Four out of the five summits have beautiful rugged glades. Bald Knob, the 4th summit has a massive glade with expansive vistas over the wide Arcadia Valley.
Distance: 6 mile out and back to Bald Knob
10 mile lollipop loop
Difficulty: The first mile is strenous, but the rest is moderate
Scenery: 4 Stars
The first mile of the hike is a strenous climb from the small gravel parking area. This part of the hike follows an old road up nearly 700 ft. to Bufords first summit. The first summit is the highest at 1,740 ft. The summit is a large platuea with scattered boulders on it.
The First Summit's Glade
Just as you being to descend from the level plateau, you will see a side path leading to the left. This short path leads to the first glade on Buford Mountain.
After visiting the glade, the trail drops down to a saddle below the second summit. Just like all the other saddles, this one has a small, scummy, stagnant stock pond on it.
Second Summit's Glades
After a short climb, you will pass through two glades on the way to the second summit. None of these glades will have any big vistas of the nearby valleys or hills, but the are still beautiful.
The Third Summit
Just over two miles from the trailhead, you will reach the thrid summit. Here, there is a split in the trail. There is a six mile loop on the rest of the hike. The left fork leads one mile to the massive glade on Bald Knob and the right fork leads into a deep hollow to the east of Bald Knob before looping over the fifth summit and then going to Bald Knob.
A mile after leaving the fork, you will enter the glade on Bald Knob. This has one of the best views in Missouri. To get to the real view pictured below, get off the trail and walk across the glade to the west.
After enjoying the glade, either return the way you came or continue to the fifth summit and complete the loop. Buford is one of Missouri's undiscovered jems, but its deserves a great reputation for its scenery. Until that happens, you'll have this mountain all to yourselves.