Sugar Loaf Rock

large rock

Photo: NPS

One of the first prominent rock features encountered by the Corps of Discovery was Sugar Loaf Rock, just a few miles upstream from today’s Jefferson City, Missouri. Also referred to as Lead Mine Hill, the outcropping was described by William Clark in early June 1804 as “a hill of about 170 foot.”

He noted that the French traders and trappers in St. Louis reported that lead ore had been found in the area. But Clark wrote no lead was found there.

During the time of the Expedition, Sugar Loaf Rock would have been adjacent to the Missouri River. But the river channel has since shifted nearly one mile to the north. Unfortunately, the river bottomlands below the rock is the property of the Central Missouri Correctional Center, which restricts public access. The top of the hill remains much the same as when Clark climbed to its summit, but is on private property. As such, seeing the rock is difficult.

Sugar Loaf Rock is a High Potential Historic Site on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail

Last updated: October 16, 2019