Devil’s Backbone Wilderness

Established: 1980
Acres: 6,595
Region: Ozarks
Section: White River Hills
State: Missouri
Counties: Ozark
Manager: Mark Twain National Forest (link)

This Wilderness, taking its name from a long narrow ridge known to the early settlers as Devils Backbone, is a unique blend of Missouri Ozark flora and fauna, characterized by rugged topography, springs and the North Fork River. With 6,687 acres inside the Wilderness boundary, this is an ideal area for day hiking or overnight backpacking. A long, narrow ridge supports the center of the Wilderness, with 1,020 feet as its highest “vertebra.” Thirteen miles of maintained foot and horse trails follow the Devils Backbone and four other ridges, dropping off into surrounding hollows in a forest dominated by oaks, hickories, and shortleaf pines. Elevations range from 1020 feet to 680 feet along the North Fork of the White River, a high quality, spring fed Ozark stream. Blue Spring, Amber Spring and McGarr Spring provide water to the river year-round.

Staring straight down the Devils Backbone
Staring straight down the Devils Backbone
Blue Spring
Blue Spring
Looking out from the Backbone
Looking out from the Backbone
Bluffs along the North Fork
Bluffs along the North Fork
Shortleaf Pine on the Backbone
Shortleaf Pine on the Backbone
Spring Branch in Devils Backbone Wilderness
Spring Branch in Devils Backbone Wilderness
Dripping ledge
Dripping ledge
McGarr Spring
McGarr Spring
Moss, grass, and chert under a pine
Moss, grass, and chert under a pine
Small, broken bluff
Small, broken bluff