• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Swimming, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    0.6 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    25 Feet

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Handicap Accessible
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildflowers
Swimming Hole

Whether you'd like to swim, hike, scramble or simply view the spectacular scenery, the Johnson Shut-Ins is an excellent choice for your next adventure!

The Shut-Ins Trailhead is located located next to the River Store in the Johnson Shut-Ins State Park day use area.  

Simply follow the paved trail for 0.3 miles to the boardwalk and viewing deck.  Here you’ll find stairs accessing the Shut-Ins.   Take your time exploring the unique rock formations spreading across the Black River.  The trail to the observation deck is family friendly and handicap accessible.

The Johnson Shut-Ins can be enjoyed in any season.  It’s a popular swimming hole spot in the summer and an excellent place to view fall foliage in late October/early November.  

The area is swim-at-your-own-risk.  Make sure to bring life-jackets for kids.  Use extreme caution in the high-water season.  The park does provide a flash-flood siren warning in the case of an emergency.  

Extend your hike by following the rocky trail just past the observation deck.  The trail follows along the bluff line overlooking the Black River eventually loops back to the parking lot creating a 2.25 mile loop.

Otherwise, simply retrace your steps from the boardwalk.

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots/Sandals
  • Snacks/Water
  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Life Jacket
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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Very rocky terrain. The drop offs to the stream are beautiful and make for good jumping in the summer and high vantage points for fall colors. The trails are well-maintained. Worth a 2 hour drive

3 months ago
3 months ago

Jon King Explorer

Based in Kansas City. Instagram: @joneking

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