Grand Gulf State Park in Missouri

During our October 2022 Kansas and Missouri Trip, we stopped in at Grand Gulf State Park in Missouri for a little nature walk. It is sometimes good to get out of the car for a bit, and it is even better when there is beautiful autumn scenery!

The Grand Gulf

As you might expect, Grand Gulf State Park gets its name from a grand gulf. In this case, the gulf is actually a collapsed cave! That was interesting to me because earlier in the day we had visited Fantastic Caverns, which is of course a cave. I was glad that it did not collapse while we were in there. And in fact, as part of the cave tour, we heard about how structurally sound the cave is. So apparently others have had that same thought.

Anyway, not all of the cave at Grand Gulf collapsed, as it turns out. The center part remains, and it is a natural bridge over the collapsed part. We had a little difficulty figuring out where the natural bridge was at first. But as it turns out, we were standing on it when I took the above photo. It helps to read the interpretive signs!

A trail leads down to a platform that is inside the gulf. It was interesting to be down in it looking up at the stone walls around us. The gulf was dry at this time, as you can see, but it does fill with water at times, too. The water in the gulf flows back down underground into more caves. And that water eventually comes out of the ground several miles away at Mammoth Spring, which we have visited a few times. Cool!

We had actually first heard about Grand Gulf by reading the signs at Mammoth Spring. And then we had seen signs for it along the road. Once again, it pays to read the signs!

Nature Trail

Besides seeing the big gulf that was formerly a cave, one of the charms of Grand Gulf State Park is a nature trail. It just happened that the leaves were changing into their autumn colors when we were there, so it was a perfect time for a hike. Fortunately, we had our hiking shoes in the car for just such an occasion.

Part of the nature trail runs near the edge of the gulf. In this photo, you can see one of the interpretive signs that help explain where the water comes from and where it goes. Following the trail toward the left of this photo leads down to that boardwalk in the earlier photo if you choose to go that way.

More of the trail leads on through the woods. It was a perfect day of hiking for us - not too hot, not too cool. Just right, just like Baby Bear would like it. And there were only one or two other people there when we were there, so it was not like it was crowded or anything. Of course, it was a weekday afternoon, so perhaps there might be a few more people there on the weekends.

And here is one more look at that autumn scenery and the fall leaf colors. As you can see here, lots of the leaves were still green, so we were there more at the start of the season than at its peak. But it was still good for us.

On the Trail

I usually take a few photos of Laura on these trails, as you probably know. After all, having the right person to share the trail with makes all the difference in the world. We have fun times together.

And here is one more, because I have trouble picking a favorite from the photos that I take. So I chose two favorites instead.

Catching Up

If you are keeping score at home, yes, that October 2022 Kansas and Missouri Trip was almost 3 months ago now. Yes, these photos might have been a little more appropriate in the fall. But I also thought some of the Christmas posts that I made in December were more appropriate in December than in January, so I went with those, saving these photos for later.

I might have a few more photos from that trip to share sometime. But this was the last stop on our trip as we were heading home, so this is the last main post from that trip. Just don’t be surprised if you see a few more things from it later on.

That trip was a fun adventure, and we look forward to more adventures in the near future, too!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. - Galatians 5:22-23

About the Photos

As with the photos from the Fantastic Caverns Nature Trail, I gave these photos a bit of a retro-film look while also enhancing the autumn colors just a bit. And if you are curious, I used a different preset for these than for the Fantastic Caverns photos. They are slightly similar, and this preset is built off of the other preset, but with some differences. And hopefully those differences were improvements.

Photo: Each photo is a single Raw exposure, processed in GIMP and Raw Therapee. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Rokinon 35mm f/1.8
Date: October 10, 2022
Location: Grand Gulf State Park, Missouri


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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.