Missouri Lewis and Clark Water Trail

Chain of Rocks Hazard

If you desire to finish a trip on the Missouri River by traveling down the Mississippi River to the St. Louis Arch, please know there is a significant hazard along your path. You cannot simply head down the main flow of the Mississippi River towards St. Louis. Below the confluence of the Missouri River and the Mississippi River you will encounter the remains of a natural geologic formation and an old river control structure. This creates a river-wide set of whitewater rapids, containing submerged concrete hazards and old construction rebar. Passage though these turbulent waters would be very dangerous. One option is to use the lock and dam. While passage through a lock and dam is possible in a small craft, it takes some time and is usually very intimidating. The other option is to keep to the east bank (river left, facing downstream) and make sure you take out on the Illinois side of the river just above the rapids. After a 200-yard portage from this location, it is possible to re-enter the river below the rapids. Keep in mind that the river front near St. Louis is typically very busy, with barges plying the river and moored along the banks. A paddle trip down to the Arch presents some complex hazards to paddlers and should not be taken lightly.

Map with insert showing dangerous area of Mississippi River.