Pee Wee's Crossing is an extraordinarily scenic route along a shaded creek bed within Southern Missouri Off-Road Ranch, better known as SMORR. Being one of two Jeep "Badge of Honor" trails within the park, the trail draws Jeep owners from great distances and for a great reason. The trail provides some of the most scenic offroading within thousands of miles. What makes this trail unique is you can either run parallel to or directly in a shallow creek bed. There are many crossovers along the route that allows you to enter and exit the creek as you choose. And for those who are looking for a bit more, there are three optional waterfalls along the route that provide you with a fun, challenging option. Be sure to pack a lunch as the trail offers several possible spots to stop for lunch and enjoy the sounds of a babbling creek. This is one of those trails that needs to be on every person's bucket list. So don't wait, and plan your next trip to experience this legendary and amazingly scenic trail.
Trail Difficulty and Assessment
Stock SUV with High Clearance and 4 Low
The trail would be a 2 rated trail if it were dry, but due to the nature of the trail and having wet tires, there might be spots at the bypasses where 4-wheel drive might be needed.
The hardest part of the trail that you
cannot bypass - you have to drive it.
The hardest part of the trail that is
purely optional - you can bypass it.
Typically, more rock or undulated road surface. Potential rocks and/or tree stumps less than 12" tall and/or vertical ledges less than 12" tall and/or near vertical ledges or waterfalls less than 24" inches. Tire placement becomes more difficult. Can be steep.Read More about our Rating System
Pee Wee’s Crossing is a dirt and rock trail which quickly meets up with, and then runs parallel or through, a creek bed depending on your choice. The area is mostly oak woods that look like a younger growth. Due to the nature of the trail, you can frequently cross over the creek bed in numerous spots or just enjoy a drive down it. The trail does have three waterfalls ranging in difficulty, and all of them are bypassable. While the trail can be run in either direction, most choose to run the 1.8-mile trail from east to west as the eastern trailhead is close to the front of the park. This is also the way the creek flows and allows travelers to descend rather than climb the three optional waterfall ledges. Plan for a few hours to take in the amazing beauty and epic offroading as you traverse this trail
If it is raining or likely to rain, it would be best to stay out of this trail. Also, higher water levels could make this trail more difficult.
1. Eastern Trailhead - Head South (0
The trail starts near the main office and camping area and heads to the south. There is a gate here, and if you find the gate closed, please close it after your group.
2. Optional Waterfall South/Flex and Stuff Trailhead - Stay West (0.33
Not far down the trail, you will come to an intersection and an optional obstacle. You will want to follow the creek west, or if running backward, you will want to go east then north. At this point, there is a small ledge that is stock vehicle capable, so if you want to give yourself a bit of excitement, give it a shot. If you would like to bypass this ledge, just stay to the north (left side) around the tree in photo 3.
The trail that heads off to the east is Flex and Stuff.
3. Cowboy Up - Stay In Valley (0.45
The next trail you come across is Cowboy Up. Please stay in the creek to continue this trail.
4. Rusty Nail - Stay In Valley (0.52
Continue past the trailhead for Rusty Nail.
5. 8 Gauge and Coyote Ugly - Stay In Valley (0.59
In this area of the trail, you will cross two more trails. On the left is Coyote Ugly, and on the right is 8 Gauge. Stay on the valley floor to avoid these trails.
6. Bull Run - Stay In Valley (0.68
As you cross this spot, you will come across Bull Run on both sides. To avoid this trail, stay in the creek.
Bull Run exits out of the valley. See picture 3 for the trail that goes up to the right.
7. Gitty Up - Stay In Valley (0.73
The trail crosses Gitty Up, which is one of the harder trails in the area. To stay on Pee Wee's, remain in the valley floor.
8. Optional 4-Foot Waterfall/Gitty Up Reconnects - Stay South (0.79
This is the big obstacle of the trail. There is a bypass on the south side that is very easy, which you can see on the left side of photo 3. The obstacle itself is a 4-foot verticle ledge and is doable in your high-ground clearance stock vehicles, but you will rub and drag.
9. Bonzai and Buckshot - Stay In Valley (0.82
Not far past the waterfall, you will pass Bonzai and Buckshot. Just stay in the riverbed to stay on the trail.
10. Bronco Buster and Curly Wolf - Stay In Valley (1.02
The next trail you cross is Bronco Buster and Curly Wolf; these are some of the harder trails in the area. To stay on the trail, stay on the valley floor.
11. Half Hitch - Stay In Valley (1.33
The next trail you pass is the Half Hitch trail; this is one of the harder trails in the area. To stay on the trail, stay on the valley floor.
This optional obstacle is pretty easy; just make sure your sway bars are disconnected as you will twist a little in the bottom of the hole. Overall, this spot is very pretty, and it is worth getting out and taking a couple of photos. From this point for a good bit, the trail is now a limestone floor meaning the water is crystal clear.
The bypass is on the left. This is the hardest spot of the required trail.
13. Scenic Waypoint (
This is a cool spot to stop and have lunch. It would be even a cooler spot to overland camp if allowed. Either way, this spot is a must to stop and take a photo.
14. Trigger - Stay In Valley (1.55
The next trail you pass is Trigger. This is an intermediate trail along the route. Just stay on the valley floor to stay on the trail.
Note on picture 3 how the valley floor is mostly limestone past this point.
15. Puppy Licker - Stay In Valley (1.57
Puppy Licker splits off to the left. It is one of the hardest-rated trails in the park. Continue on the valley floor.
16. Bump It - Stay In Valley (1.67
Bump It splits off to the left. This is one of the more challenging trails in the area. Stay on the valley floor to continue.
17. Trailhead for Pee Wees at Ranch Road 1 and Rocker Knocker - Follow Trail East Up Creek (1.87
This is the western trailhead for Pee Wee's. At this point, you can take Ranch Road 1, which is the easier route, or do Rocker Knocker, which is a more challenging route.
If you are entering this way, you turn north then east up the creek.
Camping is not permitted along the trail; however, SMORR does offer electric campsites suitable for RVs as well as tent/primitive campsites, all located at the park entrance. The nearest hotel is located in Seymour.
Park Office, Southern Missouri Off-Road Ranch
Pee Wee’s Crossing is most commonly entered from its eastern trailhead, just west of the park office and electric campsites; however, the trail is two-way, so travelers may also enter the western trailhead off Ranch Road 1 near the rear of the park.
Pee Wee's Crossing is one of the longer trails at SMORR and provides access to a number of side trails, so you can easily spend your day using this trail as your base. Other reviewers have mentioned the primary challenges here, which I agree were the very tippy drop into the creek near the mid-point and the extremely steep and challenging climb out. I took the bypass around the first one and had my own challenges making a very sharp turn and squeezing between two trees without rubbing. I elected to back out the way I came instead of attempting the final climb in my stock Gladiator, after watching a couple of JLs with lockers and a side by side or two struggle with it.
That said, it was a fun trip and a great first outing with my Jeep. The staff at SMORR is fantastic and don't miss the roastery and coffee shop in town.
Picked up my first jeep the day before and less than 24 hours later my wife and I tackled this trail. We had a great time and had no major issues in a stock 2016 Cherokee Trailhawk though there were some parts where I definitely learned more about the vehicles capability and my own as a driver. I would recommend this trail to anyone and found it to be enjoyable. Park staff is very friendly and helpful and we look forward to going back.
Just a heads up, we planned on spending a day at SMORR while on vacation in Branson with my Power Wagon. I called ahead, and was told full sized trucks are no longer allowed in the park at all. It might be worth adding that note to the description so people know ahead of making the trip out there.
I attended the Jeep Jamboree USA event at the SMORR over the weekend and was able to catch Pee-Wee's Crossing during the event. Southern MO has received 42" of rain so far in 2020, so the trail was very wet with Pee-Wee's Crossing resembling a river from start to finish. The waterfall at Waypoint 3 is difficult and best suited for a vehicle with a little lift and a locker. An open diff TJ with our group got a little hung up at the tree on the right and needed a little tug to get past the section. This trail was a lot of fun playing in the water.
PeeWee's rating is slightly deceptive, given that your departure angles will dictate your overall rating. It is of note that if the trail is wet, that difficulty goes up a level. Also of note - the by-passes on this trail are worse than the challenges on the trail, so go ahead and tackle that off camber ledge drop into a wheel eating hole in the creek (it's better than the WAY OFF CAMBER bypass between two trees that will cause panel damage). Even with 2.5" lift, we hit the skids many times on this trail - and enjoyed every minute.
We were *really* surprised by the "camp road" at the end of PeeWee's which is a challenge in itself with a monster hill that took an unexpected amount of skill to make it up just to get back to camp. While PeeWee's might be Moderate, the getting back to camp is another test in itself.
Our custom '05 Jeep Liberty Limited w/ Tru-Lok, w/ 2.5" lift and 32" tires had few issues.
Overall, Guard Rail and PeeWee's are located at SMORR which has dozens of trails that scale on up to "INSANE" and will challenge and/or break your toys. It is a great weekend expedition.
Pee-Wee's Crossing was a beautiful trail that runs through half of SMORR. You are in and out of the creek bed for a majority of the trail. A mild trail that has a few mild off camber spots from rocks or drop offs. Highly recommend taking a ride down the trail.
From the Community
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Mapping Crew - California
Joshua Noesser grew up in Southern California but has lived in different parts of the country during his young adult life. Josh was first turned to four wheeling when he road with one of his friends dad up Surprise Canyon in the Panamint Valley at age14. After nearly 3 different roll overs later and a half dozen intense waterfalls, Josh was hooked. At 16 he purchased his first Jeep a CJ 7 and by 17 was putting his first locker in it.
Currently, Josh is the owner and CEO of Nybble, an IT Solutions Company based in Orange County, California. Nybble isn't your normal IT company where everyone stays in and plays video games. Nybble's average company trip is out on the trails since a good amount of his staff enjoy wheeling too. As Josh likes to say, he offers the only IT Company with the ability to provide services in extreme locations. "If you want a server at the top of The Hammers, we will take care of that for you."
Today you can find Josh out on the trail behind the wheel in one of his three different off-road vehicles. See the vehicles below for more information.
If you ever run into Josh, please say high, he is a very friendly person and is always happy to have a new person join the group.
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