Hiking Project Logo

Wagon Wheel Trailhead Loop

  4.3 ( 3 ) Favorite


3.0 mile 4.8 kilometer loop


Ascent: 301' 92 m
Descent: -304' -93 m
High: 845' 258 m
Low: 714' 218 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 11% (6°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Paul P


Current trail conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 4 days ago See History

Navigate on-trail with our free app

iOS App Store Android App Store

The highlights of this hike include the wagon wheel, some great views, and two crossings of the creek.

Paul P

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildflowers · Wildlife


A tree grew up through the iron loop of an old wagon wheel, which is what gives the trailhead its name. This loop includes both blufftop views and easy crossings on limestone bedrock over Gans Creek, making for an enjoyable hike.

Need to Know

Watch for hard right turn at mile 2 (if hiking clockwise). Also, keep an eye out as there are several options after the second creek crossing.


This is one part of the Gans Creek Main Loop trail system. Wagon wheel is one way downhill from trailhead. Throughout the way, you'll find plenty of great singletrack. Start out on the Gans Creek Main Loop before transitioning to a short connector. Keep an eye out for a final connector heading north to finish the route.

You'll first be making your way along the edge of the bluff, then switchback down to Gans Creek below the same bluff. Cross the creek and then hike back up to the opposite bluff and the best overlook views in the park.

Flora & Fauna

Most of the loop is through mature oak hickory forest. Lots of birds, vireos, tanagers, wood thrush and more.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, History & Background


Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In


Oct 18, 2019
No Ordinary Path
Good hike with the kiddos and pup in tow. Pretty Fall colors and a dry trail. Not too crowded on a Friday afternoon. 4mi
Jul 24, 2019
Bonnie Conley
2.7mi — 1h 20m

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 3 votes


  4.3 from 3 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Featured Hike Rankings


in Missouri


65 Views Last Month
1,187 Since Apr 22, 2017



Looking out off of the first bluff you come to, if you take a left at the fork. It doesn’t get much better than this.
Oct 9, 2018 near Columbia, MO
The trails fork at Gans Creek. If you're doing the Shooting Star Loop, do not cross. Crossing here connects to the Wagonwheel Trailhead.
May 17, 2017 near Columbia, MO
Starting down the trail, enjoy its smooth surface and pleasant forest views.
May 10, 2017 near Columbia, MO
The trail makes a sharp right and follows blazes with the number three.
May 10, 2017 near Columbia, MO
Earlier on, the trail runs along the ridge across the water.
May 10, 2017 near Columbia, MO
At the second creek crossing, the rocks can be slick! - Watch for a split in the trail across the creek.
May 10, 2017 near Columbia, MO


Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking