hiking
5 days ago

Did this as a day hike in Late July. Makes for a long day hike but it's doable and it might be more fun on a day where the air isn't completely saturated. This trail definitely needs some TLC as we had to do some bushwhacking and climb through/over many blow downs.

backpacking
2 months ago

Did an overnight on this loop with my dad. We decided to go up the right side, which was partially a mistake and partially a good thing. Note that the right side (when the trails forks right past the parking lot) is a good bit longer and more difficult terrain than the other side. We underestimated hiking time and ended up not reaching the primitive camp at the top of the mountain until 10 that night. Partially our fault for not planning and starting a bit late. There is a lot of poison ivy and ticks on the trail as well. A LOT. Not many good places to camp unless it looks previously used. So you either camp at the top or a few places around the bottom before it starts to go up. Overall, not an awful trail, just not the most scenic. Very muggy down near the river. Also take a large stick to whack spiderwebs out of your way. I felt like I had a sweater of spider string by the time we finished:P There are some pretty waterfalls and streams, and a few river crossings (you won't get too wet). I'd advise you be in decent shape for this one.

littered the west trail with poison ivy/oak. Be careful. Water was pretty though.

backpacking
2 months ago

Just Hiked this Trail this past week was a great hike. Just to fill in some questions I had before going on this hike that I hope will help out others. If your looking at going on this hike soon then this will help you out. With all the rain this area has gotten the streams and creeks are still passable. I crossed every stream and never got wet. To fill you in, the pictures show a descent sized river and people crossing it. I was worried about having to cross a river that size but know that you never half to cross that river. The trail runs parallel to that river. And I'm talking about the river on the west loop. The east loop has a river next to it but you never get close to it. The West loop is much more scenic then the east. When you reach the waterfall on the west loop you can cross the river there and there is campsites on the other side of it. When you pass the water fall you will come across a Y intersection. If you go left which will lead you to follow the river and you will pass a small hollow to the right of the trail with a small waterfall that probs only runs in the spring and if you go past that you will come to the end of the trail and you will see some really cool bluffs next to the river that has been carved out. also there is one campsite on the left side of the Y intersection just FYI. And yes if you go left you will half to walk back to the Y and go right. When you go right at the Y you start your climb up the mountain. I wanna say your about 3 miles in when you start hiking up it. There are not a lot of campsites going up so if its late you might want to camp down by the river. The climb up is hard, we had a lot of gear on our backs. When climbing up the mountain, and when i say climbing your not actually climbing your just hiking up hill, it will start to become falter and you will pass I believe 2 or 3 campsites before reaching the top. So there is like one campsite per mile you could say. Which isn't a lot so be careful when it starts getting late. Also you will come upon a intersection of another trail on the left side that is perpendicular to the one you are on near the top, stay on the trail your on do not go left just assure you guys. So when you get to the top there will be a campsite and a trail leading to the right and a trail that continues to the top. This is where I camped and if you continue to the top that is where you can see all the views of the mountain, its about .3 miles to the tip top. But that is not were you need to go to finish, you need to go right and this is starting your hike down the mountain, this trail is considered the east loop. The east loop like is said is not scenic at all. When hiking down about 2 miles in you will come upon another intersection. You need to go right, the trail that goes left is the Ozark highlands trail. Also you will cross a road on both the east and west trail but the east side when you cross the road we had a hard time finding where the trail continues. If you are walking down the east trail then you need to walk up the road you cross its only like 15 yards away, if you are walking up the east trail then hike down the road. There was not as many camping spots on the east loop and the east loop is a little bit longer than the west loop i believe. When I say this hike was fun, don't get me wrong this hike was hard because of how long it is and having to hike up the mountain. But it was a lot of fun and i would recommend this to backpackers out there. The view at the top was amazing. We were short on time so we didn't hike the full .3 to the top, instead we hiked down and drove to the top which was a 7 mile drive from shores lake to the top on gravel road. Also just a heads up the trail is slightly overgrown right now simply because its spring and there is a lot of things growing on the grown right now and there was a lot of ticks. Sorry this review is sloppy just typing it as quick as possible and I hope this answers and fills you in about this trail!

Quick Update:
This is the third time I've visited the Falls, and I've never seen them like this. The recent torrential rains have made for some excellent waterfalls. They've also resulted in some wet crossings where this is usually not an issue. We continued past the Falls a little bit, and had to get our feet wet a couple of times to do so.

Tick season is upon us, and they are REALLY bad right now. In spite of his (generally very effective) tick collar, I picked no less than 20 ticks off of my poor dog during/after this hike. We walked back on the road once we hit it to avoid picking up any more of the little critters. This trail seems especially bad tick-wise, as it includes lots of leafy/brushy bits. It's a wonderful hike, but be aware!

hiking
4 months ago

Did section 2, in April. The weather was great. Section 2 is roughly 19 miles. Very rugged. You will definitely want to have sturdy boots, strong soles. Camped on the river at a primitive camp at mile 6. Roughly 6 miles further is another chance to stop by a river and eat lunch and recharge. Stock up on water there for the push on to the end of section 2. the final 6 have a lot of up, and no water.

Great hike, great backpacking. Tough sledding but worth the effort.

Never ending climbs, it's awesome!

The West Side Loop is beautiful! The view from the White Rock Mountain Recreation Area (where you'll start) is breathtaking, and the hike is consistently lovely. We hiked just to White Rock Creek Falls and back, having hiked to the Falls from Shores Lake in the Fall, and I do like this route better but just by a little bit.

Do note that this route takes you down, down, down the mountain, and then back up, up, up - an elevation change of 1800+ ft in about 3 miles. If that is your idea of "moderate," the dog and I salute you! We were wiped out. He is snoring loudly on the couch as I type this.

We also hiked the easy 2-mile Rim Trail since we were there. Don't skip it, no matter how tired you are!

A really nice hike especially after some substantial rainfall. It's worth noting that the mileage listed represents the hike in and back. Don't give up on it, it's a long 2.8 miles in and I met a couple of ppl on the way out that needed some reassurance that they still had some track left to get there. Also the trail will lead directly to the falls. Moderate is a good rating for this trail unless you haven't hiked much and are somewhat out of shape. If this is you, then it will be moderately hard hike.