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White River West Ski Trail

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon

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White River West Ski Trail

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  • - White River West Ski Trail
  • White River flowing off of Mount Hood.- White River West Ski Trail
  • Former quarry.- White River West Ski Trail
  • - White River West Ski Trail
  • - White River West Ski Trail
  • - White River West Ski Trail
  • Be aware of avalanche conditions before you head up.- White River West Ski Trail
  • - White River West Ski Trail
  • Lots of backcountry access.- White River West Ski Trail
  • - White River West Ski Trail
  • An early arrival could allow for a beautiful sunset view as well as a lack of crowds!- White River West Ski Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Close to Portland. Excellent view. Backcountry access. Sledding.
Cons: 
Crowds. Avalanche potential. Steep descent in sections.
Region:
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Groomed trail: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
779.00 ft (237.44 m)
Parking Pass: 
Sno-Park Parking Permit (required in OR + WA 11.01 thru 04.30)
Total Distance: 
3.75 mi (6.04 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,247.00 ft (1,294.49 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

Since it is only a little over 60 miles from Portland, the White River West Sno-Park gets a lot of use, but much of that traffic stays within a half-mile of the enormous parking lot.  Part of the reason is that even the views from the parking lot are gorgeous, and the crowds are usually sledding or taking shorter snowshoe or ski trips.  So although you don’t need to go very far to enjoy this incredible valley, the rewards increase exponentially for those willing to increase their range. 

The farther you are able to go up the river, the more the crowds will dwindle and the closer you'll get to Mount Hood.  The trail starts climbing immediately upon leaving the Sno-Park and the river is always on your right.  Before too long you will reach an old quarry, and this is where many turn around.  If you are out for a longer ski, stay left and climb above the quarry.  Look for tracks and the occasional trail marker, or just stay on the ridge above the river as you keep climbing up the valley.  After approximately 2 miles you will reach a fantastic view point and a good spot to turn around. 

If you have metal-edged backcountry skis, consider bringing them along for this trip.  If you do find any tracks, chances are they won’t be in great shape, and metal edges will help you manage them.  Additionally, much of the downhill return is steep enough to warrant the extra control the metal edges provide.  That said, traditional cross-country skis will also get the job done, and snowshoes always suffice.  And it’s a good idea to check avalanche conditions before you go.  Visit the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center site and make sure you understand the snow conditions before going too far.

Recommended Gear

Before you head out on your next Mount Hood adventure, make sure you have the right gear! 

Here's a list of our go-to snowshoeing essentials to get you started:

Snowshoes: MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe

Men's and Women's • $229.95 • Cushioned, Made in USA, Ultralight, 98.8 oz

Jacket/Shell: Arc'teryx Zeta AR Jacket

Men's and Women's • $475.00 • Waterproof, Adjustable Drawcord Hem, Pit Zips, GORE-TEX

Pack: Mammut Nirvana Pro Pack 

Standard Fit and Small Fit • $189.95 • 35L, Carry-On Size, Hip Belt, Ice Axe / Pole Loops, Hydration Compatible

Insulating Layer: Moosejaw Dequindre Down Jacket

Men's and Women's • $134.25 • Water-resistant, Insulated, Adjustable Drawcord Hem

Poles: Black Diamond Traverse Pole 

$79.95 • Aluminum, Adjustable with Lever Lock System, 21 oz.

Gloves: The North Face GORE-TEX Gloves

Men's Powdercloud and Women's Powderflo • $99.95 • Waterproof, Adjustable, Insulated, GORE-TEX

Boots: Vasque Snowblime UltraDry Boot

Men's and Women's • $149.95 • Waterproof, Cushioned, Insulated

Gaiters: Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiter 

Men's and Women's • $64.95 • Waterproof, Breathable, Lightweight, Abrasion-resistant

Backcountry Safety Gear

If you are snowshoeing into avalanche terrain, you should be prepared, equipped and educated on how to use avalanche rescue and snow safety gear - including but not limited to an avalanche beacon/transceiver, probe, and shovel. Learn more and shop here.

Backcountry Safety

Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Map

Field Guide + Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(60 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(151 within a 30 mile radius)

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