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You can't walk to Tower Rock in the Mississippi River anymore

The Missouri Department of Conservation shared an update Tuesday afternoon.

ST. LOUIS — The formation in the Mississippi River that reached sudden popularity in recent weeks is no longer accessible.

Tower Rock sprung to fame thanks to low river levels on the Mighty Mississippi. The formation protrudes from the river in Perry County, Missouri, and is normally separated from the bank by the river. Low river levels made it accessible on foot for a number of weeks. 

The Missouri Department of Conservation shared an update Tuesday, warning the formation may not be walkable. The river level rose Tuesday night, again surrounding the rock with water.

The National Weather Service measures the river levels in Chester, Illinois. On Oct. 14, this gauge registered its 45th-lowest stage at .17 feet. 

Credit: Missouri Dept. of Conservation
A more typical view of Tower Rock.

The formation is walkable when the river is at extremely low stages, below 1.5 feet at the Chester gauge. As of Wednesday morning, the stage was 2.03 feet.

The river's stage is not a measure of the river's depth, but a measurement compared to a chosen "gauge zero" reading.

RELATED: Drought-like conditions turn Tower Rock into a tourist destination

The St. Louis area received several inches of rain Monday and Tuesday, increasing levels downriver.

TOWER ROCK SAFETY: Due to a projected 3.5 feet at the Mississippi River Chester gauge, the vertical geological formation...

Posted by Missouri Dept. of Conservation on Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Check the river stage at the National Weather Service.

The lowest all-time stage was -4.30 feet in January 1964. The highest stage at this gauge was the 1993 flood at 49.74 feet.

Despite no facilities, scarce parking and the 100-mile drive from St. Louis, thousands flocked to the site for the chance to walk to the formation that explorer Meriweather Lewis once noted as particularly beautiful. 

Tower Rock has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1970.

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