Directions: Take Highway 26 past Government Camp and get onto Highway 35. Follow 35 for about 4 mile or so until you reach the White River West Sno-Park on your left.
We would recommend not parking along the edge of the parking area near the trail going up the snowbank. Many people were choosing to sled down the hill here and were not very careful around the cars at all.
From the parking lot there is a well worn path that leads up the snowbank and onto the main path. The first half mile of this snowshoe is on a very hard packed snow path, this is from all the people who sled in this area. We got up here pretty early and there was already about 10 cars in the parking area and they were all sledding. Once you get past this area it gets a lot better, it turns into snowshoe and cross-country ski trails. You follow along the river the whole time. it’s mostly snow covered but you will see parts of it at all times. You also get an amazing view of Mt. Hood right in front of you the whole way.
Basically you follow along the river out in the open with trees lining your path. After about a mile you will go under some power lines and head uphill into the trees. It’s not heavily wooded so you will still see the mountain peeking through. Once we got almost to the top of this hill we decided to go down the side of it to get back down to river level. We followed the river a bit longer and decided to call it a day. We went a little over a mile and a half in making for a nice 3+ mile snowshoe. You can definitely go farther and I know we will be back soon to explore this area more.
On your way back to the parking area we would recommend that you stay down near the river once you get back to where all the sledders are. They come flying down the hills and don’t pay much attention to who’s around. Plus it’s much easier to walk in the nice snow instead of the hard packed stuff from the sleds.
Distance: 3 miles (you can go farther if you want)
Elevation: 500 feet
Pet Friendly: Yes
Good For: All ages
Parking Fee: A Sno-Park pass is required.
Seasons: Anytime there is enough snow.
Overall: The areas with all the sledding are a bit frustrating but it’s worth it once you get past all the crowds. The views of the mountain are amazing.