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Level: Intermediate
Length: 10 mi (16.1 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Loop
Elevation: +403/ -346 ft
Total: 111 riders

Mountain Biking Lost Valley

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#9 of 168 mountain bike trails in Missouri
#576 in the world

The Lost Valley Trail in Weldon Spring Wildlife Area is a perfect ride for beginners. Eight miles long, is uses abandoned farm roads that later served as access to local ammunition stockpiles during World War II. These roads vary from double-tracks still used by Conservation Department patrols to abandoned paths through the woods. With the exception of a couple of washed-out places, the hard-packed trail now known as Lost Valley Trail can be handled by novices. Riding the loop in a clockwise direction will make your climbs easier and your trail markings more visible. This trail is located in the Weldon Spring Wildlife Area, 30 miles west of St. Louis.

First added by rchapee on Jul 2, 2006. Last updated May 2, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: unknown
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Hwy 40/64 to 94 west. Go 4-5 miles and entrance is on the left.
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Lost Valley Trail map

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Local Info

Trail checkins

Stl_Greaser (on Sep 19, 2022)
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Trail conditions

(on Sep 2, 2022)
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Mountain Bike Trails Near Saint Charles, Missouri

Easiest | 238 mi
Intermediate | 4 mi
| 1 mi
Beginner | 5 mi

Rider questions

Q: Is there a certain time it opens?
A: LV is managed by the MO Dept of Conservation and is open year round. During managed hunt season, it is still accessible as hunters are restricted from a certain distance of the trail but riding later in the morning during hunt season is probably wise. Also, trails are open every night but not after 11pm. Lower trailhead is a gravel lot approx. 6 miles from Hwy 40/61 & 94 intersection but more popular is "the Mound" parking lot, adjacent to the Weldon Spring Interpretive Center, only a couple miles from the Hwy 40/61/94 intersection and accessible via the Hamburg Trail before dropping in to LV. Mound parking is nice for night rides because of the lighting.

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  • Midmoab

    I was surprised to find that this contains only about five miles of singletrack. The singletrack is fun! Good stuff with plenty of rooty, rocky goodness. Not too challenging, with some sweet flow. Be aware, if riding clockwise, once you reach the paved road intersection the singletrack is all but gone. The trail become doubletrack gravel from mile 6 to 9ish. After 9 or 9.5 the trail hits the trees again and is enjoyable. Consequently, I recommend considering an out-and-back approach doing the singletrack section both ways.
    While I'm not trying to be snooty...if you are in the area, Matson is just down the road and is a well looped singletrack that I find superior to Lost Valley.

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  • vmmusa

    Some spots are easy wide track, but the 10 mile loop is not for beginners.

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  • cthurston

    Nice trail. I prefer to ride it clock wise and enjoy the long sweeping trail out. Few muddy spots, but when the summer sun comes out most will dry up. The climb up McKenney trail is not a fun one. Be ready to work.

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  • illini81

    This is an excellent MTB trail system. Although there are way too many miles of roads to get my 10 miles in the actual singletracks are very challenging and more so than even Matson Hill and I love that trail. In other words, too much rocky roads though good cardio up but more technical than almost all others in the area and very challenging to the beginner. It is not a beginner trail by any means - do not go if that is your level.

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  • Jeff Barber

    That is known as freeze / thaw conditions. Next time be sure to get off the trail before the thaw part as you can cause serious damage to the trail.

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  • CFM   ✓ supporter

    It is a mistake to think of this as a beginner trail. Sure there's the gravel that is pretty easy but most of the mileage is on rocky singletrack with occasional roots, drainage crossings, and switchbacks. Apparently much of it has been created after some of the earlier reviews. We had a great time on a beautiful fall day cruising a lap on this trail. There were just enough technical features to keep you on your toes. You could easily see signs of heavy use but the tread was well maintained. This trail will just get better as more singletrack replaces the gravel.

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  • cycleven

    80 to 85% of this trail could be considered a beginner trail but as for a roadie who only gets off pavement a couple times a year I thought there were sections that were difficult. There are switch packs paved with large, sharp, slippery rocks. Starting at mile 1, south parking lot, the first section of single track is very rocky and sloped towards the bottom of the hill. I was afraid to clip in my left foot as I thought I was going to need it if I fell. I spoke with others that day who had ridden the trail several time before recounting how they had some major falls on their bike. There definitely several portions of flowing single track which helped renew your love for the off road experience. The climbing on the trial was moderate. On the longest climb their is a lot of gravel which could make climbing a little difficult. Be careful of the the down hill on the gravel road around mile 8 as it sneaks up on you and before you know it your going 21 mph without any way to stop. Fun and scary at the same time.

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  • Stl_Greaser   ✓ supporter

    Lost valley is one of the best trails in the St. Louis area. It is chocked full of steep climbs, tight switch backs and other technical features. It is a constantly expanding loop of single track, there is almost always a section of the double track that is bing rerouted to singletrack! Enjoy the scenic views through the cedar grove and haunted hollow, and the perfectly smooth armored drainage crossings. Go getcha some,

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  • Stl_Greaser   ✓ supporter

    I am not trying to be a jerk or anything but if you are reviewing a trail that you admit to being wet and muddy, you should not have ridden that day. As a member of the oraganization that helps to build and maintain the trails are around St. Louis (Gorctrails.com) I do not like to see the damage to the trials that is caused by riding in such conditions. I know it is tempting to ride especially with some of the temps we have had this winter, but please try to be cautious of trail damage.

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  • jwcutler

    This is my first season riding anything wider than 23mm so my review might be a bit skewed. This trail was great! Lots of rocks and roots and streams to cross. I actually liked the fire road and doubletrack that offered a break to this newbie. Rode it with my son, not his first time here and we will both be back. Even though the trail is somewhere in between "Easy" and "More Difficult" I gave it an easy because there wan nothing in between.

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  • **

    This is 95% a hiking trail with only a couple of spots that were good trail riding... We will never be going back unless a bike trial is put in lol just saying...

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  • mscott003

    The first 2 miles was flat wide doubletrack and I thought this was going to be boring but then the hills and rocks began and it turned out to be a nice 10 mile fun rocky ride. I kind of like the flat long breaks in between. I would for sure ride again.

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  • Mojeep

    Great variety on this trail. Though easy when compared to Moab, I would point out that an easy rating on this trail will get most green midwesterners in trouble. According to the trail ratings guidelines this website uses, this trail DEFINITELY does not fall into the "3 feet plus" category on width. While some of the trail is painfully boring (gravel road), other sections contain such hazards as loose lime-sized and sometimes sharp rocks, narrow trail (12 inches) while navigating rocks/roots traversing a steep slope. Get bored with Brommelsiek first if you're looking for a trail to learn on!

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  • bab74

    First expierence sucked! Rode clockwise and gotta flat half way through with no spare. Rode again counterclockwise in Nov. with some firends and much more enjoyable. Got a great cardio workout for being out of shape and a beginner. I'm gonna ride with people who are faster and in better shape, it's pushes me harder

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  • deserteagle99uzi

    1/2 of this trail is fire road and double track with a fire road bisecting the loop. Access from highway 94 at two points on the trail. Singletrack is quite enjoyable and easy, just wish there was more of it. Good trail for beginners to get used to hopping rocks and speeding down twisties but will probably bore more advanced MTBers.

    *****Edit 1 mile of singletrack added in spring 2009. I also learned the best (most singletrack) route to ride this trail which makes it quite a bit more enjoyable.:
    http://photos-g.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v4536/192/49/36102744/n36102744_33173270_8004554.jpg* Review edited 9/20/2009

    *****EDIT 2 01/2010 GORC has rerouted All but 1 mile of the doubletrack at the north end of the park. 1/2 of the doubletrack at the southern end is still there but the resulting reroute has added about 1.5 miles of fresh singletrack to the trail and making approximately 8 miles of semi-continuous singletrack.* Review edited 1/27/2010* Review edited 1/27/2010* Review edited 1/27/2010* Review edited 1/27/2010* Review edited 1/27/2010

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  • Silver_Fox

    I love this trail. I don't think it is as easy as some reviews indicate. The double track is simple but scenic. The single track is fun with several creek crossings. There were two climbs that I had to push. I recommend this trail to all levels of riders.

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  • yadi

    Like all Missouri rides, good forest scenery. Trail is mostly on fireroad or doubletrack consisting of dirt and loose gravel There are areas of single track where you roll past some lush marshes and bomb down fast hills. Total ride time is about 1 hour if your fast, 2 hours max. The old army arterillery storage bunkers are pretty sweet. Did not see any forest life. Watch out for trailrunners.

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