Explore the most popular wild flowers 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
18 days 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.

A good challenge and a nice payoff at the summit.

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!

Don't let the short length of this trail fool you - it's a doozy! I wouldn't recommend it to hiking newbies or anyone not in pretty good shape, as it's not a maintained trail and it is VERY steep in parts. For the intrepid/experienced, this is a fun trail that offers a bit of a challenge, and two lovely waterfalls. I have been on this trail after very heavy rains and was able to visit only one waterfall due to creek levels - use your head and be safe!
A historic structure known as the Rock House is nearby on the OHT, and is worth visiting as long as you're here - cross the road to the Ozark Highlands Trail and take a left when you come to the fork.
Information about the Rock House from a descendant of its original inhabitants can be found here: https://ozarkmountainhiker.com/2018/03/31/rock-house-history/

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
6 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!

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.

Abundant trails that can be challenging for a novice but skilled riders have no problems. Absolute blast to ride and beautiful views!! Not quite Colorado but also not quite 16 hour drive either! Lots of UTV owners whose skill is only that they bought a caged offroad vehicle but don’t really know what they r doing. Be aware!!!

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
8 months ago

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

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
11 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
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!

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!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

A really nice hike especially after some substantial rainfall. It's worth noting that the mileage listed represents the hike in and back. Don't give up on it, it's a long 2.8 miles in and I met a couple of ppl on the way out that needed some reassurance that they still had some track left to get there. Also the trail will lead directly to the falls. Moderate is a good rating for this trail unless you haven't hiked much and are somewhat out of shape. If this is you, then it will be moderately hard hike.

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, November 21, 2016

First, some "business" details: Clicking the directions link here will not take you to the trailhead. I'm guessing it takes you somewhere near the White Rock Cabins.
Using your map app to get to Shores Lake Recreation Area will get you where you need to go. There are some dirt roads, and the paved road into the recreation area is in bad shape in some spots, be warned. The camping area will be off to the right. There's a sign indicating the trail is that way. Follow the road a little ways into the camping area and you can park right next to the trailhead.
If you decide to park in the recreation area (this is easiest), there is a $3 day use fee (honor system). The restrooms are well-maintained!
If, for whatever reason, you need/want to avoid the fee, there are other places to park. I'd suggest an old road that goes off to the left. It's uphill after you pass the camping area, just before a really sharp turn. The trail crosses the road right here.

The good stuff: the trail is GREAT. There are rocky areas, trees to scramble over, bluffs, springs, the pretty little creek with lots of picturesque pools, and the waterfalls (just the main one had any water today). The scenery can't be beat.

The trail is pretty well-traveled - we passed three other groups - but it's a bit out of the way, so I doubt it's ever over-crowded. There's some steepish up/down, and the trail is a bit narrow at points, but it's mostly easy hiking. I'd say "moderate" is a good rating.

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......

off road driving
Wednesday, June 01, 2016

We're riding dirt bike the trails are average as rated but the area is open to side by sides and they were everywhere a large number riding around drinking and very inconsiderate about the kids that were riding slower than they wanted to wait for. We ran into groups of sxs as large as 18 vehicles our group has decided not to go back again we normally go here at least once a year

hiking
Sunday, April 24, 2016

It was VERY VERY hard and very dangerous in spots.

Awesome trail
This map is pointless though. Don't count on it for crap well maybe wiping

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

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I always love mill creek. The leaf fall made it a little slick so make sure you have good tires.

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.

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