Vicinity Location: The trailhead is about 50 miles southeast of Portland, Oregon in the Mt. Hood National Forest.
Directions: From Portland take I-84 East to the Wood Village, exit (16A). Head south and turn left onto NE Burnside Rd. Heading East, Burnside will merge into Highway 26. Follow Hwy 26 past Government Camp and exit on Highway 35 to Hood River. Follow Hwy 35 for 4.1 miles. Turn left into the White River West Sno-Park. If you cross over White River then you have driven too far.
In winter, it is required to carry chains or have traction devices.
The parking lot is a very popular location and can fill up on nice weekends during the snowy season.
A current Sno-Park permit is required to be displayed between November 1 and April 30. Oregon permits cost $4 a day, $9 for three days or $25 for the season. The permits can be bought on-line, in Government Camp other outdoor stores or DMV offices.
National Weather Service Snow Level forecast: Northern Oregon Cascades
There are pit toilets at the parking lot.
Length and Elevation:
4.9 miles roundtrip. Elevation loss of 588 feet and gain of 588 feet. Elevation at the northern trailhead is 4,282 feet. Highest point is 4,282 feet. Lowest point is 3,694 feet.
White River Trail #538 with connections to multiple trails
There are no geocaches along this trail.
Review: December 21, 2021
Walk downstream from the White River West sno-park and go under Highway 35. Follow the right bank of White River downstream for about 700 feet then follow a gully away from the main streambed.
Use the GPS route to find your way through the open forest to the corridor cut through the forest for the trail. There are blue diamonds of various ages sporadically along the route.
Take Trail 538 downstream from Highway 35 for about 2 miles to where it crosses one of the braided streams of White River. Continue along Trail 538 until you’re ready to turn around and come back to the braided stream at mile 2.
Turn right and follow the stream in the direction of North by Northwest. You’ll need to cross the little stream a couple of times as the stream flows in a large gully to a couple of deadfalls blocking the gully. Go left through the brush to find more openings in the forest heading north by northwest. There comes a point where the forest closes in and you’ll need to head generally north through breaks in the forest and cross over the little stream again. Route find through open areas in the trees until you come out onto the debris flow of White River.
From here it is easy to find open spaces to snowshoe upstream back to your trail along the White River.
This loop offers routefinding challenges along with solitude and scenery and this route has no avalanche danger because the whole route is in the White River floodplain and does not get close to any steep slopes.
Enjoy the photos!!