White Cliffs of Dover — Missouri Style

November 7, 2013

Every time I see the Missouri River bluffs north of Rhineland in Gasconade County, I think of the White Cliffs of Dover. Now I admit that our white bluffs aren’t quite as striking as the ones on the English coastline, but they are less than an hour from my house and when I’m on top I get to look at the beautiful Missouri River valley instead of France.

Last Saturday evening I was trying to come up with a nice place to photograph some fall color on Sunday morning and I couldn’t think of a better place than Grand Bluffs Conservation Area, which features a nice trail to the top of one of the aforementioned bluffs of dolomite. The trail, which is only about a mile long and uphill all the way, ends at a scenic overlook that is as nice as any I’ve seen in Missouri, including the overlook at Taum Sauk Mountain.

Joyce and I hit the road before dawn Sunday and started up the trail in the morning twilight. Although I prefer to photograph wildlife alone, I never miss a chance to take Joyce with me when photographing landscapes. She is not only great company, but she also provides a second set of eyes for finding new viewpoints for capturing Missouri’s natural beauty. It’s also nice to have her along to assist with lens changes and other duties as assigned. 🙂

It was still pretty dark as we made our way up the hill, but I had to stop and photograph some of the gorgeous maples along the way. The trail was wide, well-groomed and easy to follow, compliments of the Missouri Department of Conservation, and it wasn’t long before we were standing at the edge of Grand Bluff looking out over a foggy sunrise view of the Missouri River valley.


Joyce watched with apprehension as I approached too close to the edge with camera and tripod and she even took a few photos of me at work with her I-phone. My favorite image from the top of the bluff was the third image in this edition, which I actually made with a 300/4 lens. I love the way the colorful tree tops poked through the bands of fog in the foreground and background. Late fall is the best as the oaks begin to dominate with coppery and rusty colors.


The featured image of this post was made after we descended the trail and started our trip home. I had to stop along Highway 94 and get a photo of the very spot where we had been standing earlier. If you look real closely, you can see the deck overlook atop the middle bluff.

Joyce and I had a great morning at Grand Bluffs Conservation Area and we never once regretted getting up in the pitch dark of morning to make the trip. It was a chilly morning so it took Joyce the rest of the day to warm up but she said it was well worth it. She’ll have to wear a thicker pair of long johns next time.

Thanks for looking,


Email me at:  natureframes@rocketmail.com

Website:  www.dannybrownphotography.com

9 comments on “White Cliffs of Dover — Missouri Style”

  1. Absolutely stunning images! Thank you!

    • You are welcome Deepa. I was at a meeting at Forest Park today and thought about you. The trees are still really pretty there.

  2. That’s a fantastic combination of colours. I don’t think I’ve ever even seen photos of cliffs like that.

  3. Life is good and thanks for sharing your’s with us. Thanks bruce

    On Wed, Nov 6, 2013 at 5:20 PM, Nature Frames

  4. Beautiful photos, of some of the most magnificent,landscape in Missouri. I might also add, a very handsome couple enjoying God’s creation as well. Thanks for sharing.


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