Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Shores Lake Loop is a 12.7 mile moderately 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.

Length 12.7 mi Elevation gain 2,201 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Camping

Fishing

Hiking

Nature trips

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Blowdown

Bugs

Over grown

Rocky

Description
Waypoints (0)
Facilities
Contact
Getting There

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.

Parking at the trailhead on the north end of the Shores Lake Campground

Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, One Capitol Mall , Little Rock, AR, 72201, Phone: 501-682-7777 Boston Mountain Ranger District, 1803 N. 18th St., Ozark, AR, 72949, (479) 667-2191 www.fs.fed.us/oonf/ozark

Directions from Mulberry: To start at the Shores Lake Campground, take Arkansas Hwy. 215 (paved) north for 15 miles; continue on Forest Service Road 1505 (gravel) for 1/2 mile.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (124)
Photos (292)
Recordings (81)
Completed (290)
Billie Howard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 2, 2020
Backpacking

End of day 2. For an old man Not in shape-The last 1 1/2mile climb to the trail intersection on top of WhiteRock Mountain was hard but really great as well. Definetly testing me with 45lb pack (10 of that is water) Rest day tomorrow I hope then 2 more days on the west side of Shores Lake Loop

View Billie's Recording
Lori White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 31, 2020
Hiking

This trail was tough. We hiked in carrying 20-30 lb packs. We hiked to the waterfall and camped overnight. The waterfall is beautiful and great for swimming. We had a 7 year old and 3 month old puppy. Both did well. In the future I want to return and do the full loop.

Richard Widen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 29, 2020
Hiking

Love this trail. First hike of the year and it’s a great hike and workout to start the year. Waterfalls and creeks not super high but made for easy crossings. Little rocky in spots but not to bad considering it’s is Arkansas. Great views this time of year.

View Richard's Recording
Katie Gallagher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 24, 2020
HikingFeeRocky

I really liked this trail. It is pretty rocky so if you have bad ankles probably not the best choice. The trail is marked really well and if you can’t see a marker you can see the moderately traveled trail. There is also a $3 dollar fee at the trailhead which isn’t too terrible.

Braeden Windham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 21, 2020
CampingFeeMuddyOff trailRocky
View Braeden's Recording
Clay Eldridge
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 14, 2020
BackpackingWashed out

I did this trail about a year ago and guided some guys in the youth at church, this trail was perfect! it was difficult at times but not terrible. would 10/10 reccomend! beautiful views!

Kevin Meadows
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJanuary 26, 2020

we done the West loop to White Rock Creek Falls,and it was gorgeous! Pretty strenuous,but worth the trip!

Pj Nixon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 24, 2019
HikingFloodedWashed out

We were unaware the area had received so much rain. The amount of water running in the creeks was wonderful and beautiful until it wasn’t. The large amount of water made the creeks and waterfalls amazing. But it also created a mudslide about four miles in. We were able to get around (barely) the debris as the trail crosses the creek. Then the trail crosses the creek again a few yards up. With the water level so high we were unable to find a spot to cross back over without getting wet even were we had crossed the first time. It was cold and we didn’t want to get wet and try to finish so we made camp. The next morning we moved tons of rocks to create a bridge to cross and backtracked our way out. We then drove to the top and hiked the white rock rim trail. Just amazing. No other words can describe it. Will definitely go again earlier in the season. 11/21/19

View Pj's Recording
Afton Tucker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 24, 2019
HikingRocky

Very beautiful trail. I completed this loop in 7 hours. Definitely recommend this trail to anyone looking to get in a good amount of miles for a day hike with a good challenge. I will say that I had to get my feet wet a few time crossing over water. The water level was high and there were boulders and rocks to jump on for crossing however, some of the rocks were slightly under the surface of the water making it difficult to avoid getting my feet wet. I recommend take trecking poles because that will help with your balance while crossing the water. I also recommend a spare pair of socks or crocks to have along the trip just in case you give up and just walk across the water without trying to play survivor of the fittest :) This was a great trail for my dog and I!

McKenzie Dildy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 23, 2019
HikingRocky
View McKenzie 's Recording
Joseph Ewing
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 2, 2019
Hiking

Great trail! Me and 2 other guys did the full loop over two days. We drove in and started about 10am and hiked a little less than 6 miles on day one and about 7.4 on day two. We started on the west side and I think that’s the way to go if you are doing the full loop. Very little traffic in late fall (early November). You don’t want to zone out on the east side because you might miss a bend in the trail but it’s hard to get too far off. Only thing to watch out for is a not super well marked turn on the east side near the top.

View Joseph's Recording
Shane Davis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarAugust 15, 2019
Hiking

We did this 8/25/18 so I'm a year late in writing this report. Started at the top and went clockwise, total loop was about 14 miles and 2,500' of gain. August isn't a good time to do it, too hot, very overgrown, no good views to speak of, tons of ticks and poison ivy. Pretty tough trail for Arkansas so be prepared.

Kristina Gonzalez
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 15, 2019
HikingBugsMuddyOver grownRocky

****HARD VERY HARD**** Please note the 4 stars are not for the east portion. Most people are reviewing the west portion and not the east and not clearly stating this. So my boyfriend and I traveled to lake shores to do the white rock trail that was listed on here as starting at the same point of shores lake east trail start. We get to the camp site where you pay and start. Well there’s an employee that operates the park and her name is Alice. Trust me when I say this, you really want to become friends with Alice. Alice will save your ass when you realize you are way in over your head. So after becoming friends with Alice. She gives us her contact info because she says “you’re going to want this because well trust me you will” so we start this “trail” if you can even call it that. it’s broken into two sides east and west. We choose to go east first (big huge mistake) and save west for coming down as it’s suppose to have a waterfall. We thought the waterfall would be our reward for the “13” miles..... it’s actually 17 miles FYI. It’s literal hell and I’m not exactly unfit. I mean I did it, but with a lot of bitching and moments of “I give up” when I said I did I mean I did the east part of the loop which is going up an estimated 7-10 miles ***(estimated because this trail counter doesn’t factor in the part where two trails merge. You will at some point start seeing two colors of trail markers and that’s how you know you have merged)*** to this rest area and then admitted defeat (I’m usually a stubborn I’m going to do this even if it kills me kind of person) and called Alice. So the entire trail is 100% not scenic. It’s like walking through overgrown bugged out wet sloppy woods no views what so ever unless your thing is just seeing lots and lots of overgrown shrubbery and woods. Yes some of the streams are nice, but definitely not worth the trail just to see. It’s a constant up hill battle and I’m being literal here. We averaged 2 miles per hour. This trail is not at all for dogs please do not bring your pup. You need to watch out for copperheads and bears as per Alice. Although we didn’t see any copperheads thankfully because this trail was a wreck without them as it was. Now we did see bears, but is was after Alice and her hubby picked us and were driving down the gravel road back to the shores lake camp site. So back too the trail, yes there are trail markers, but far in between and you really need to look for them. We think we saw mile markers, but can’t be sure because it just says hiker trail and then a number, so possibly mile markers. This trail is for endurance and those that like a hard challenge. This trail is very low trafficked so don’t except to run into people you are very much on your own. If you are not an experienced rough terrain hiker and do not have proper attire and equipment and plenty of water then do not I repeat DO NOT be a dumbass like myself and do this trail. You will 100% need a bug spray that includes protection from ticks. Be prepared to run into every spider web. Once at the top rest area the other sweet lady up there explained to us all the ways we went wrong. First we should have started west, second it was actually 17 miles and why and other reasons that I honestly can’t remember nor care too as I’m never going back to this trail. Also once at this area please take a moment to go the overlook area not far from the store because it is breathtaking. However do not do this trail just to see it, just drive up there to do so or do the west part first. I can’t not tell you anything about the west part as I didn’t do this portion. All in all be smart and be honest about your capabilities and if you do decide to do this part well I hope you have a much better time then we did.

Craig Gullett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 1, 2019
HikingRocky

Great trail very challenging. Mile markers are sporadic but plenty of blazes. On the west side there is lots of water and more camping than the east. I recommend checking out the white rock rim trail. If you don’t want to do the whole loop when you get to the trail head take a left and it will get you to the best views. We didn’t go in but there is a little general store at the top and some cabins. We averaged about 2 miles per hour for the whole loop.

DeeAnn W.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 19, 2019
Hiking

9:45a-4:30p for the full loop day hike. West loop had just been burned, prescribed burn 3/16/19-3/20/19. Only one river crossing that we took shoes off to cross. Would definitely be a good one night backpacking trip. Do the west side first, and come down the east.

Dave Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarFebruary 22, 2019
HikingWashed out

This was our first trip to Shores Lake. We’re from Tulsa but needed a hike with some elevation. The hike was beautiful but challenging. I thought it was well marked and the walk by the creek was beautiful. There had been a lot of rain so traversing the little creeks went from a step over to having to figure out new ways since the steppingstones were submerged. Alas, when we got to the big creek, just below the water fall (at the 2.75 mi. mark) we couldn’t get over at all short of wading

Bryan Burch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFebruary 14, 2019
Backpacking

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.

Richard Widen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 30, 2019
Hiking

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.

Nate Johnson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 7, 2019
Backpacking

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.

Sam Kyle
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJanuary 7, 2019
Hiking

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.

Bob Pielsticker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 3, 2018

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!

Billy Helton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 22, 2018
Backpacking

Great trail. I liked clockwise the best.

Showing results 1 - 22 of 124