White Rock Loop Trail 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.
dogs on leash
This loop trail connects two of the more popular Forest Service rec. 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.
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!
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......
It was VERY VERY hard and very dangerous in spots.
First half of the loop was nice. Second half was not scenic and very rugged. I would not recommend this trip.
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
I'm not sure where my link in the previous comment went, so here is it again for the 1080P videos of the waterfall on the west loop. I also want to add that it would probably be considered strenuous for most people, so don't just go in recklessly. You can see my review below for more information on the trail itself.
I posted a link to an HD (1080P) video of the waterfall on the west side of the loop. We were there on Labor Day weekend of 2015 so it was about 90 degrees and it hadn't rained in a few days (beggers can't be choosers). There were some great views all around, but that trail is really steep for the temperatures we were trying to do it at and the horse flies were insane (probably because we were sweating so much). Every five feet of some of the trail had a spider webs that were impassible without taking them down (we used trekking poles - also we were the first out in the morning try to avoid the heat). I would definitely recommend this on a cold to cool day after some rain.
A friend and I did this trail in late November. We hiked to White Rock on the east side which is a terrible hike in my opinion. Not much scenery and some pretty tough uphill towards the end of the 7 or so mile hike to White Rock. I'd recommend taking the shorter, more scenic, west side of the loop and plan to spend some time at White Rock and the rim trail. The west side has more than its fair share of uphill but it seemed to mostly be gradual.