Explore the most popular camping trails near Ozark with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
5 days ago

Great trail for a day hike or overnight backpacking. This was our first backpacking trip and we had a blast. Great place to hammock camp right on the rock overlook. Trail is well marked and maintained. Both of us are beginners but are in good physical condition; it took us about 2.5 hours to reach the rock and about 1.5 hours to hike back down.

Was not paying close attention to the length of this trail when we hiked it. Was very long... but there are several waterfalls along the way. It really is worth the distance. I had a puppy and 2 7 year old kiddos who enjoyed it!

I'd rate this trail as moderate. The trail is narrow but slopes gradually and has only a few rugged areas. The trail is well-marked and -maintained. There are more sources of water on the east loop than the west, but I suspect that those will disappear during the dry season. There is no water source at the summit campsite, but the view is great. We arrived just in time to see the sun set.

One more thing. The trailhead is no longer at Redding campground. It is located on a small dirt road just east of the campground off the main highway. The new parking lot is located directly on the east loop. The spur leading to Redding campground still exists though. Make sure you don't accidently take it and end up in someone's campsite like we did.

Every time I hike a little part of the OHT, I think "what a lovely stretch of trail." This portion is no exception. The views as you head up the mountain just get more spectacular. On the Spring day when I visited, the wildflowers and butterflies were going like gangbusters. The old chimney and well at the homesite are neat, and worth the very short detour to check them out.
You do go UP, though fairly gradually. And then it's all downhill to get back to the trailhead!

Great little hike. Definitely not a hard trail. I would say moderate at best.

easy to follow, well kept and all around great trail!

hiking
1 month ago

This is a fun hike, is mostly covered, and has a breathtaking overlook at the end! We went up on the west side trail and down on the east, though you could easily choose the opposite. There are camp sites along the east side. The east side also has bluff overlooks and waterfalls, but it is more rocky. If you’re starting on the west side, make sure to not turn prematurely when you’re getting close to the top - pass the road closed sign on the trail as the trail shoot off for spy rock is clearly marked with brown/yellow wooden signs. There’s great hammocking and two camp sites at top of spy rock! Might have to pay $3 for parking so bring cash.

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.

Beautiful hike in a secluded area!! Once we finally found our way to the trail, we loved every minute of it. There are amazing rock structures, a crystal clear creek, lots of pine trees and gorgeous views. We were not disappointed! The trail itself was not very difficult but it was tough to locate the trailhead. Once you get to the parking area described by others, you will walk down what looks like an atv trail and look for the trail to go off to the right (up a hill). We missed it but eventually found our way. If we had been looking at the app, we probably wouldn’t have missed it. The trail is not marked well at all but occasionally you will see blue tape tied to trees showing the general direction.

Absolutely LOVE this trail! I've taken my kids many times for a quick day hike. Such a beautiful trail and the lookout is so amazing! My go-to place when needing some mountain therapy!!

Quiet, secluded, and beautiful. Very well marked and maintained in the Winter. Don't miss the detour to the view at Spy Rock, one of the prettiest around. If you're going to park near the trailhead be sure to bring $3 and a pen to fill out your day use tag and envelope.

hiking
4 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!

We did this hike Dec. 28th and it was chilly - but totally worth it! the trail is narrow the whole way and steep and rocky at some points. the trail was really well maintained and marked. all the downed trees and the pricier bushes were cut so we could pass through without any problems. the river along the way and the falls at the end were really amazing. We're not sure how long the whole hike was, but moving nonstop at a pretty fast pace we hiked back in about 80 minutes (we were trying to beat the sunset). if you're doing this hike in the winter leave plenty of time for exploration before dark, it may take you longer than anticipated!

My girlfriend and I backpacked this trail in October and we both enjoyed it thoroughly. The leaves were only beginning to change colors but still, much to see. Our goal was to camp on top of Spy Rock so we reached the top after only a few hours of hiking. We crossed several dry creeks and found nowhere to replenish our water. However, we prepared for this and packed plenty of water as most of Arkansas is dry during that time of year. The trail is moderately inclined going to the top of the mountain. I would not say it was difficult. Once at the top we found a few great primitive campsites. The view was beautiful. A must see. We enjoyed plenty of time to relax at the top (bring a hammock) before cooking supper and turning in for the night. Sunrise from the top was spectacular and we broke camp after saying goodbye to another backpacker who also camped at the top. I can't remember if we hiked this loop clockwise or counterclockwise but we did see a few trickling waterfalls on our hike out. This was a short overnight trip but left us plenty of time to get done with Sunday chores once we were back home. I certainly recommend this hike.

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.

Did this yesterday. Great trail.

The trailhead has been moved from the Redding campground to a little parking area 1/4 mile further down the highway. All the signage at the new trailhead is missing so it was a total guess where to go but we got it right. From the parking lot, follow the trail that starts out the back of the parking lot and turns right toward Redding campground. It will take you to the intersection of the old trail beginning and the west and east loops, We met another hiker on the trail that said the old trailhead at Redding was just across from the restrooms.

The trail spends a good amount of miles along bluffs, teasing you with views of the valley through bare trees. Sometimes the trail is narrow and the bluff drop off very severe, but nothing too scary. The trail meanders through both deciduous and pine forest but stays primarily in the woods. At this time of year, the leaves are deep enough to obscure ankle rolling rocks, so be careful and you might want to opt for ankle high boots for support. The creeks were all dry but some rock formations on the east loop surely make some awesome waterfalls after a rain.

Spy Rock is a nice view for a lunch break. Plenty of big rocks to sit on while you enjoy the view. Looks like enough space for 2 campsites at Spy Rock, would make a great side trail for someone backpacking the OHT.

rock climbing
5 months ago

awesome area. tons of rock and creek to explore!

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.

It was a decent outing. All the trees were still changing colors so it was pretty. However, some people were camping up on Spy Rock which just made that part non-enjoyable and quick. I would like to come back in the raining season and see the waterfall.

backpacking
6 months ago

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

backpacking
7 months ago

New trail head is located NE of the parking lot of the trail head. Do not take the trail head located in the new trail head parking lot

Hike feels really long, when I tracked our distance straight back it was actually about 3.5 miles so the hike feels longer than it says because it's closer to 7 miles.

Negatives: the trail wasn't really well kept in some places, to the point we were not a 100% sure we were still on the trail. We actually said we should have brought a machete to clear some of the path.

Positives: there are some fairly challenging inclines and declines, cliffs, a few water features, and probably some wildlife (we were kinda noisy so didn't see anything but spiders). We didn't leave with any ticks and or other bugs. The worst we got was some whips and slashed from the over grown areas which did include thorns but fortunately nothing poisonous.

hiking
9 months 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
11 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.

hiking
11 months ago

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

backpacking
11 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!

hiking
Sunday, May 14, 2017

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!

backpacking
Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Good early season hike to get back into backpacking shape! It should be only be rated moderate, with some elevation gain and rocky stretches. Blue blazes on the trail could use some repairs, but the trail was always easy to find with good signage. Water was abundant all along the trail except for the Spy Rock section. Spring was just starting to hit the higher elevations, with some dogwood flowering and the trees just leafing out. It seems like they recently did a prescribed burn here, as the understory vegetation was very sparse.

I paid $3 and parked in the Redding campsite overnight, although I'm sure parking in the Spy Rock parking area would have been fine. Even though the Redding campsite looked full, I saw no one else on the trail both days. I took the east loop and camped at the second waterfall. There was very little flat ground, but it worked. Be warned, there is a lot of ATV noise along the east loop at night.

I went up to Spy Rock the next day, which was less elevation gain than I expected. I found a smoldering fire at the top--shame on the campers who stayed there the night before! I put it out with the extra water I brought with me. The view from the top was well worth the hike!

The west loop was all downhill and very easy but not very interesting.

hiking
Sunday, March 19, 2017

Incredible place. Took the long way past the pond and came in the back.

hiking
Monday, March 13, 2017

This was my second visit, this time with the dog. We are now both big fans of this trail. The views are incredible, and both waterfalls were flowing a little. This trial is easy to find and follow, and, while it's rated "hard," it's really somewhere between "easy" and "moderate."

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