Added by Josh Packer
Great views and very family friendly with cool temperatures in the cave. Unique cave and stream to explore and there is no fee to enter the park.
Rock Bridge Memorial State Park is located near Columbia, Missouri and has over 2,000 acres to explore. The park is known for its unique rock formations, including the rock bridge, sinkholes, and an underground stream at the Devil's Icebox cave.
To reach the Devil's Icebox cave, start at the Devil's Icebox parking lot and find the trailhead. The hike is only 0.5 miles long, which includes a loop. You'll begin the hike on a natural trail that turns into a boardwalk. Stay to the right when there is a fork in the trail. Then you will come to another fork in the trail, which is the loop that will lead you to the Devil's Ice Box regardless of whether you go right or left. The boardwalk is well marked leading to the cave, so you shouldn't have a problem finding it.
The cave has a beautiful stream running through it. It also has an opening above it that lets the light shine through and lights up a section of the stream, especially around noon when the sun is directly overhead. The sunlight also lights up the beautiful green foliage crevice above the cave. The cool temperatures are refreshing, especially during the summer when that Missouri heat is in full force. Many people love to hang out in the cave to beat the heat, and people also hold weddings down there. The cave is family friendly, and little kids love to explore the stream. Bring your flashlight if you want to explore more areas of the cave.
For photographers, this is a perfect stream for a long exposure, and you can leave your shutter open for a long time without blowing out the highlights. You can use a shutter speed over 20 seconds on the lighted area of the stream without losing its detail. I photographed the stream in manual mode, using f/11 for my aperture and 100 for my ISO. Around midday is the best time to photograph the stream, as the light is directly overhead and hits it perfectly. Use a remote release when doing the long exposure to prevent any blurring in the photo. Photographing this spot is a lot of fun, but it is a popular spot, so be respectful of others there and don't hog the sunlight in the cave.
Directions to the Devil's Icebox: The park is located just south of Columbia, Missouri. Head south on Hwy 163 for 2 miles. Turn right onto E Rock Bridge Ln and drive for about 1 mile. Then turn right onto Poverty Point Ln where the trailhead is located.
- Altitude: 617 feet
- Latitude 38.87301509
- Longitude -92.3258998
- Map of the park for trails
- Sandals with straps or water shoes
- Camera and tripod
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