Backpack along Hurricane Creek

Rate this Adventure Arkansas White Rock Mountain-Shores Lake Trailhead

Added by John Chau

This backpacking trip is 2.5 hours from Tulsa, Oklahoma. You'll find quiet solitude by a burbling creek that few people have visited. Find arrowheads and fossils scattered among the rocks by the creek.

After arriving at the trailhead near the Shores Lake Campground (there is a $3 parking fee, so bring cash), head along the path and go west at the T-junction. Continue going west/northwest and you’ll cross over a forest road. Stay on the trail as it gradually descends, then veer off-trail to the left (toward Hurricane Creek). Hike (bushwack) alongside Hurricane Creek until you can come to a part that is relatively shallow and crossable. A few yards up to the right should be the confluence where White Rock Creek meets Hurricane Creek, and there will be a large rocky sand bar to your left. Cross here at the shallowest part.

Trek either along the creek as it bends around to your left (west) or along the small path that leads into the forest. If you opted for the path through the forest, you’ll eventually come out to a forested part where the trail ends, and the creek is on your right. Hop down to the creek and follow it upstream until you reach a gravel/rock/sandbar that juts out and the creek flows to the right of it. If you opted for following the creek, you’ll eventually arrive here too.

Establish your camp on that gravel/rock/sand bar at the small campsite that is relatively flat and has a fire ring out front. Fish for bass and bluegill in the peaceful waters, or go exploring further upstream. The next day, you’ll head back toward where you cross the creek, only this time you’ll cross it, head north to where White Rock Creek is, and then follow White Rock Creek east and northeast. You’ll wade along White Rock Creek until you reach the falls (or earlier, depending on how long you want to wade upstream) where you can hop back onto the White Rock Mountain-Shores Lake Loop trail and follow it south back toward the trailhead. You’ll pass by some small caves and trickling waterfalls, so check them out if you have time!

Note:
  • Watch the water levels and check the forecast before you head out. The campsite does have the potential to be flooded if severe rains occur
  • It’s a fairly easy off-trail hike, but use caution when crossing the creek and definitely use a walking stick
  • Due to the close proximity of the campsite to the creek, the leveled area for the tent and the fire ring might not exist. Be prepared with a backup site in mind (such as closer to where you had crossed the creek)
  • When you get back onto the trail after wading up White Rock Creek, you will probably have to fight your way through thorny vines and shrubs until you reach the trail. Try to follow an animal trail if at all possible

Pack List

  • 2-day backpacking gear and food
  • Cellphone
  • Water shoes or Chacos
  • Fishing gear
  • Camera
  • First Aid Kit
  • Flashlight
  • Extra batteries
  • Compass
  • Map
  • Water filter
  • Camp stove
  • Lighter
  • Clothes than can get wet
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Activities:

Backpacking, Camping, Fishing, Hiking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Spring, Autumn, Winter

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

6 Miles

Features:

Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
River
Scenic
Swimming Hole
Waterfall
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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Added by John Chau

W-EMT at Whiskeytown, soccer coach, and adventurer - making the most of every opportunity that comes my way. Check out my blog at: theruggedtrail.com and keep on adventuring! If you need a guide or an adventuring partner, shoot me an email at: johnachau@gmail.com!

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