Grand Gulf State Park, Oregon County, 159 acres


Known as Missouri's Little Grand Canyon the geological features of this site demonstrate the formation and subsequent collapse of a cave system. The result is a canyon whose nearly vertical walls reach 100 feet or more and whose length reaches 3/4-mile long. The canyon here is deeper than it is wide. The stream, Bussell Branch, drains more than 20 square mils before dropping into the chasm and while there flows beneath a 200-foot long natural bridge. By itself the natural bridge would be well worth a visit; it is the only piece of the cave roof which remains. Bussell Branch continues through the canyon before entering the mouth of the cave which has been blocked by accumulating debris. There the water slowly passes underground before exiting again at Mammoth Spring, about three miles away in Arkansas.

As a Missouri State Park there are facilities for the public including several small picnic sites, an interpretive kiosk, several other interpretive panels, pit latrine toilets, a short trail system with overlooks and a stairway for controlled access to the bottom gulf.


In 1971, Grand Gulf was designated a National Natural Landmark; in 1984 the property became a Missouri State Park through a lease with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. In July of 1986 a 60-acre portion of the L-A-D Foundation property was designated as a Missouri Natural Area.


From Highway 63 at Thayer take Route W west about 6 miles to the park entrance.

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