The Osage River is a tributary of the Missouri River, 360 mi (579 km) long, in central Missouri in the United States. The largest river entirely in Missouri, it drains a rural area of 15,300 sq mi (39,600 km²) on the north edge of the Ozark Mountains west to east across Missouri, with its watershed stretching into eastern Kansas. It is impounded in two major locations such that most of the river has been converted into a chain of two reservoirs, the Harry S. Truman Reservoir and the Lake of the Ozarks.
Water quality is very good to excellent, flowing clean, clear and cold through a pristine wilderness area far removed from industrial, commercial or residential pollution. Flows are adequate for paddling almost year-round, weather and climate permitting.
The Osage River is basically a flatwater river with occasional small rapids and riffles. There are sharp bends around which dead-fall debris and log jams can pile up, causing hazards to boaters, especially in high water conditions. With adequate caution and vigilance, there should be no major dangers lurking on this river for competent boaters.
Dead-fall debris and log jams can pile up.