Shores Lake Loop is a 12.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Ozark, Arkansas that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
12.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,201 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

rocky

This loop trail connects two of the more popular Forest Service recreation areas: Shores Lake and White Rock Mountain. It offers an excellent weekend hike up a beautiful creek drainage to the top of spectacular White Rock Mountain, and returns via another creek drainage. Camping is open along the trail.

backpacking
4 days ago

This can be a challenging trail, lot of fun, great views, definitely one of my favorites. There are multiple camp sites on east and west side. I will repeat this trail more then once and camp at different spots. Cant wait to return and go counterclockwise from Shores Lake. Plenty of water sources, can also get water from White Rock rec area. Do the Rim trail if able, great hike.

hiking
18 days ago

Really enjoyed this trail especially going up the west side which got deleted somehow on my recording. Lots of waterfalls and several water crossings that we were able to cross using the rocks to jump across. Camped at the top where you can take a short hike to the top of White Rock mountain for some awesome views. Pretty hard hike for someone who just turned 60 and not in great shape yet. Quite a few stops but worth it. Going down wasn’t bad and trail was a little muddy, rocky and narrow in areas but not to bad. Weather was great around 50 daytime and upper 20’s at night. Will do it again when I get in better shape.

backpacking
1 month ago

Coming from two 23 year old, able bodied but slightly out of shape dudes, each carrying 40lb packs, this loop is definitely hard. If you do the full loop I recommend starting at the lake and going up the west side. It’s much prettier in terms of water features and is shorter in distance, still very steep. The east side (going down after camping on the mountain) is still very pretty but you barely see the river that is on that side. Lots of up and down expanses high up on the east side. It took us almost 5 hours to get up the mountain from the west side (stopping every 20-30 min with one break longer 15 min break for lunch, abt 12-15 stops). It took us only less than 4 hours the next morning to go down the longer east side (about 10 stops). If u want to just go for a day I would take two cars and park one at the lake and then start at the top of the mountain and go down the west side. 8/10 for views and overall experience, 2/10 for easiness. Wouldn’t go back unless for the day hike I mentioned.

hiking
1 month ago

A great trail! If you start on white rock mountain, the hike back to your car Is pretty tough. Overall, the views and scenery were great. We went early January and got great weather. Tons of water flowing throughout the mountain and multiple waterfalls. Highly recommend.

I had done this hike in July and it was not a good experience. Each of us got about 20 ticks, hardly any water sources, and overgrown. Wouldn’t recommend then, but highly recommend late fall and even in the winter if you don’t mind camping in the cold.

2 months ago

Great hike for December 2 weather! Beautiful scenery and camping at the Top of mountain. They have 3 cabins and a lodge. Ice cream at the Top!

backpacking
2 months ago

Great trail. I liked clockwise the best.

hiking
3 months ago

The trail is OK at the best. We got there on Nov 7 and it was 2-3 weeks too late. Leaves are mostly down and it made very rocky trail even less pleasant. But if leaves would be still there - the view has nothing unique or breathtaking about it. If you are going to walk it make sure to give yourself plenty of time especially now, when at 5 pm it is already very dusky and at 6 pm is very dark! If you'll walk it clockwise, decent is very rough and rocky. Makes very unhappy ankles. Very short distance after beginning of decent trail crosses a road. Walk it down till you get to a point of re-entry to the trail. Your ankles and your back will thank you.
Keep in mind that there is no phone/internet service at the trailhead and on most of the trail. LTE was at the top and in a few places on the east side of the trail.

3 months ago

Very well marked. Hope to do an overnight soon and visit the entire trail.

3 months ago

We loved this hike, it was challenging!

3 months ago

very fun hike. started at white rock abbs went down to shores lake. lots of steep narrow ridges. it's a tough hike but my 6 year old boy made it.

backpacking
3 months ago

A good trail with rewarding views at the top. You must put forth an effort to see the views, but that’s why we hike, right? Once you’re at the top make sure to check out the rim trail with great views all around. Rocks here are covered with beautiful, vibrant moss a lichen. There is also a water spigot at the top with clean water if you want to fill up. Do not camp at the top if you are backpacking.

backpacking
4 months ago

This is one of my favorite conditioning hikes to do in the early Fall. I completed it for the 5th time this past weekend. I hike the West side loop and come down the East side. I usually hike past the East side spur trail down the OHT a little further and camp next to Salt Fork Creek making this a wonderful overnighter. The first day you will hike along White Rock Creek which has a beautiful water fall and the 2nd day you will be hiking along Salt Fork Creek although you won't see it much. Be prepared for a lot of ascending on the first day. It's a real good workout! Thanks to the OHTA, too, this past weekend. They had done lots of underbrush weed-whacking so the trail was clear.

backpacking
5 months ago

Did this hike in early September. Started around 15:30, hiked in clockwise 3 miles before setting up camp. Most of the water is on this side of the trail, plan accordingly--top off before you begin the ascent. We set out at 7:00 the following morning and made it to the top at 9:00. There is a rim trail at the top that is not included in the 12.7 total, we spend about 90 minutes at the top. If you bring cash there is a general store. The hike down is fairly uneventful, just be mindful of where the OHT branches off--follow the blue blazes. For us most of the water was dried up on this side. Finished up at 14:00. If you have done your math correctly you can see that this hike can very well be done in one day; just start in the morning. The entire hike is very scenic and the view from the top of White Rock mountain is one of the best there is in the Ozarks. I definitely recommend. On a side note, there were a ridiculous amount of stick bugs and horse flies on this hike. Also, things we're INCREDIBLY overgrown this time of year--lots of bushwhacking.

backpacking
5 months ago

Good views at the waterfall and summit, and plenty of good campsites along the way. Trail is quite overgrown in places, and water crossings on the West loop are often marked poorly or not at all

backpacking
7 months ago

Spent the weekend here at the beginning of June. The trail is clearly marked, but very overgrown and sometimes hard to see past the overgrowth. There's a beautiful campsite near a creek and one right past a dirt road. Plenty of camping spots near the waterfalls. It was strenuous. The climbs can be rough. A lot of loose rocks and larger rocks and roots. Wear very comfortable shoes that are water resistant. You have to cross some creeks.

hiking
8 months ago

A good challenge and a nice payoff at the summit.

Monday, February 05, 2018

Great trail with great views it was marked somewhat well but definitely do the west loop and come down the east side. It's a nice loop but make sure you start early we started at 9 and got back at 5:15 and wish I would have had a little more time.

hiking
Saturday, December 30, 2017

Great hike! I did the trail counter-clockwise from Shores Lake Campground and did the White Rock Rim Loop halfway through. I read someone's review earlier who said to do the loop clockwise, but I thought it might be better to do the steep part going uphill instead of down...less risk of injury if really steep boulders. However, after hiking it and seeing that the east approach to the mountain is not actually a "climb" and just a steep hike, I think clockwise is the way to go. It was nice to see the waterfalls on the west side of the loop on the way back, though...a reward for all the work put in going uphill. The whole creek is beautiful - I've never seen water that bluish color before!

Trail is well-marked, except that the overlapping part with the Ozark Highlands Trail does not have blue blazes. I got a bit nervous that I had missed the turnoff in the northwest part of the loop, but then I got to the intersection and it was very clearly marked with signs.

There's not much going on in the east side of the loop, but I really enjoyed the hike overall!

hiking
Friday, November 24, 2017

Was a good trail. West loop had a lot more to see then the east loop. At 36, and one who does not exercise more then a walk/run for 2-3 miles twice a week, this trail was more then I should have taken on for a day hike. We camped at white rock, went down the west loop, did the full loop and came up the east side. By mile 8/9 I was definitely hurting —- just in time to start the ascent. We started at 8am and made it back by 4:45, just as the sun was beginning To go down. Hiked the week before thanksgiving. Trail was easy to find and well marked. Most streams were dry.

hiking
Saturday, November 11, 2017

This trail was great! Closer to the peak of the mountain the difficulty level would be “hard”. Would strongly recommend going up East side and then coming down the West.

backpacking
Thursday, November 02, 2017

I went August and half the trail was covered in spiders and horse flies made it worse. The trail was pretty though.

hiking
Sunday, August 06, 2017

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
Saturday, June 17, 2017

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.

hiking
Monday, June 05, 2017

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

backpacking
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

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!

backpacking
Friday, February 03, 2017

It's actually the Shores Loop Trail - we started at Shores lake, went the east side up and camped overnight, came the west side down. West side was much prettier with the falls and creek than the east. Steep in places on the east going up, but overall a very nice hike and gorgeous views from the top of White Rock Mountain. Go all the way to the top and watch the sunset and do the rim trail. Worth it!

hiking
Monday, October 10, 2016

First, this is supposed to be the White Rock SHORE Loop trail. The White Rock RIM trail has signs pointing to it starting at the bottom of the mountain labelled White Rock and White Rock Loop Trail. If you follow the signs, you will end up at the wrong trailhead, and you better have a paper map to follow because you won't have the data service to double check the location online This trail starts at the (GIANT) primitive camp near the recreation area, not 10 miles up the road by the cabins. Sorry for being dumb about that, but I'm used to much clearer signage for trailheads.

Second, this was not a lightly trafficked trail. It might have just been that we chose a busy weekend, but despite only hiking about a quarter of the trail we encountered about 2 dozen people on it including 2 families with small children and a tour group.

Trail fee was unexpected and $3 per vehicle. This would probably be a much better hike in the spring when there is water coming down the mountain and a lake rather than mud puddles. The scenery was promising enough that we're thinking of returning in the spring to see if it's actually nice, but we'll see......

hiking
Sunday, April 24, 2016

It was VERY VERY hard and very dangerous in spots.

hiking
Friday, January 22, 2016

First half of the loop was nice. Second half was not scenic and very rugged. I would not recommend this trip.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

This was a nice trail even in mid January. Well marked trail. No office near trail head. There is a rim trail on White Rock Mtn. It is in the Ozark National forest. Made a night out of the trail, hiking the east side the first evening, up to White Rock Mountain, then camping on the west side. The previously used camp sites on the west side are a little better, more level, and more common. The west side has more creek crossings and is a more gradual climb, versus the varied east side until a mile from White Rock mtn, it gets steep. Can be done as a day hike. Self pay, park is open 10-6, $5 a night if on the trail, $8-12 a night for primitive sights

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