White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (Ozark Forest) – 2 mi

White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Panoramic view of Sunset Shelter from the Rim Trail

The Rim Trail on White Rock Mountain in the Ozark National Forest about 20 miles north of Mulberry is an awesome trail, and it is not difficult. It is a 1.9-mile loop with less than 100 feet net elevation change.

The Rim Trail is over 2200 feet above sea level, and almost the entire trail has amazing vista views of the surrounding Ozark mountains.

White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Bluffs just north of Sunset Shelter. The Rim Trail is on the right.
Getting to White Rock Mountain

To get to White Rock Mountain from the south, take Exit 24 from I-40. If you are coming from the Fayetteville-Rogers area, I suggest taking I-49 south and then take I-40 east to Exit 24.

At Exit 24, get on Arkansas Highway 215 heading north.

It is about 22 miles from Exit 24 to the White Rock Mountain Recreation Area. Once you are in the national forest, just follow the signs. You will be passing Shores Lake on the right on your way to the mountain.

CLICK – Google Maps Directions to White Rock Mountain Recreation Area

 

White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Eastward view from south side of White Rock Mountain, near Sunset Shelter (panoramic)
The Rim Trail

I recommend starting the trail at Sunset Shelter where the picnic area is. It is at the southwest corner of the mountaintop. To get to it, just take a right at the fork after passing the campground and caretaker’s residence/store. There is parking and a vault toilet there.

There are great views at Sunset Shelter from almost every angle.

White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Sunset Shelter on White Rock Mountain (panoramic)

From here, you can go left or right to start the Rim Trail. I usually go right, heading clockwise.

The 1.9-mile trail follows the roughly triangular shape of the top of the mountain. The west side is about .6 miles, the  east (or northeast) side about .8, and the south side is about a half-mile.

You will first be walking up the west side, then crossing the road over to the east side. When you get to the southeast corner of the mountain, you will see a spur that leads to the Ozark Highlands Trail. (Stay on the Rim Trail though unless you are wanting a hike on the OHT.)

You will finish the trail along the mountain’s south side ending up back at Sunset Shelter.

Safety note: Even though this is a beautiful trail, the safety issue cannot be overemphasized. There are many parts of the trail with dangerous bluffs. Be very careful. There are no guardrails. This trail is not appropriate for young children.

White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Southwest-facing view from West Shelter on White Rock Mountain Rim Trail

Be sure to check out the views from the three other shelters along the trail (west, north, and south).

Although the views are great from almost the entire trail, the vistas where you can see the furthest are on the west and south sides.

White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
White Rock Mountain Rim Trail on the west side of the mountain
Final Notes

There are no blazes, but the trail is very well-traveled and easy to follow.

A number of structures on White Rock Mountain were originally built in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). Much of the restoration work done on the structures (and maintenance work on the trail) has been done by Friends of White Rock.

White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Panoramic view of nearby mountains from the North Shelter (on the northeast part of the mountain).

I had cell coverage (AT&T) part of the time on the trail.

These photos are all from my November 1, 2014 hike. It was a beautiful morning, and there was some nice fall foliage.

White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (panoramic)
White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Panoramic shot from northeast part of White Rock Mountain
White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
White Rock Mountain Rim Trail on the east part
White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
White Rock Mountain Rim Trail, Ozark National Forest
White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
White Rock Mountain Rim Trail on the south side of the mountain
Maps
White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
White Rock Mountain Rim Trail Contour Map (Click to Enlarge).
CLICK – Interactive Trail Map

 

White Rock Mountain Rim Trail (Ozark Forest) - 2 mi photo
Elevation profile based on gps data.
Photo Gallery

Click here or below for full-screen photo gallery.

White Rock Rim Trail (Ozark Forest)

LocationBoston Mountain District - Ozark National Forest, Franklin County, Arkansas
Length/Type1.9 mile loop
DifficultyMildly challenging (2 of 5)
Other Permitted UsageNone
Gpx file by MikeGpx file link
Date HikedNovember 1, 2014 (and earlier)
DirectionsGoogle Maps Directions to White Rock Mountain Recreation Area
Official Info(479) 369-4128 White Rock Recreation Management Website Official Recreation Area Flyer (pdf)

[Last revised: 9-3-2017]

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