White Rock Loop Trail

HARD 57 reviews

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.

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 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.

backpacking
48 minutes 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
1 month 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
2 months ago

A good challenge and a nice payoff at the summit.

6 months ago

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
7 months ago

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
8 months ago

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
9 months ago

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
9 months ago

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

hiking
Monday, November 09, 2015

camping
Monday, September 07, 2015

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lVnuIhM5pA

camping
Monday, September 07, 2015

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.

hiking
Monday, December 01, 2014

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.

hiking
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Backpacked up to White Rock Mtn. via the west side loop in mid-October. This side very scenic and had several nice stream crossings. After crossing the stream just below the first major falls, keep those wading shoes on as the you will be crossing the stream again several hundred yards up the trail. You might have to venture off a trail a little to find best place to ford stream depending on water level and flow. Trail gets very steep for quite a while. Trail opened into a small meadow which was entirely underwater and about 8" deep due to heavy rains day before. Had to route to the right through a thick thicket of young oak trees to get around meadow. Shortly after, there is a nice open view through the trees and you can see a shelter up on the rim of WRM. Took me 4 hours to reach the top of White Rock Mtn. If you are primitive camping on top, the CG is top notch. Very scenic, clean and well kept. Lots of trees and each site has lots of room. Water and bathroom nearby. Must hike the 2.1 mile rim trail and be sure to view the sunrise and sunset from here. The views on top are the finest you will see in the Ozarks. Backpacked back down to Shores lake via OHT/ East Loop. It is a long 7.4 miles and took me 5 hours. Lots of overgrowth for first several miles until you leave the OHT for the right forked East Side Loop. Plenty of deer in the woods and on the trail. Large Buck crossed trail in front of me. No significant stream crossings on east loop as they are very small. The west side is the more scenic of the two and is shorter. If I had to do again, I would hike up and down via the West Side Loop and only hike in late fall and winter. Too many weeds, flower plants, etc. encroaching/ leaning over on trail and the beggar lice plant was a real issue as those little green seeds will stick on your pants by the hundreds. It just best to wait until the cold knocks all that stuff back as well as insects, snakes, etc.

hiking
Monday, September 29, 2014

I did this as a two day backpacking trip. Nice place.

camping
Saturday, July 19, 2014

The view from White Rock was outstanding! The lake was nonexistent when we went and not sure that the whole loop is worth such a hike. Last couple of things; the fee to park is a couple dollars, the trail was very overgrown in places, the tics were crazy this time of year, be sure to do the east loop first and bring a LOT of water.

hiking
Saturday, July 12, 2014

lake drained.......

hiking
Monday, March 10, 2014

Wholly Snikeez! This was tough! We hiked the east loop and it was nice and mild until the falls then...... wow! Uphill, rocky, very steep! Talk about feeling a sense of accomplishment at the top. Wondered if we'd make it down. We were VERY glad to see our car. Beautiful in winter though.

hiking
Monday, June 24, 2013

Very overgrown a lot of uphill. Not much of a view. There were a few little waterfalls near the west end of the loop. But not much.

hiking
Friday, May 31, 2013

Great trail, the west side is easier, but still steep. If you just want to see the waterfalls then you can pick up the trail as it crosses 215, like you were heading up to the top of White Rock, about a two miles past the Shores Lake campground. The trail is marked with blue and heading east will take you down to the waterfalls. About 2.5 miles down.

hiking
Sunday, October 28, 2012

The trail is best hiked clockwise. the west side is the most scenic. You also want to take the time to hike the adjoining white rock rim trail for its fabulous views and sunsets. There are a couple nice waterfalls along the west side of the trail. Many hike it as a backpack trip. I did it as a day hike. It is a rough 13 miles. very rocky, steep.

hiking
Monday, April 02, 2012

The trail is awesome there love the staff there too. Very helpful people and the water fall is awesome there.

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