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Groomed trail
No
Elevation Gain
?
Distance
3.75 mi (6.04 km)
Warming hut
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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 

$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 • $181.61 • 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

 

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.

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Sno-Park Parking Permit (required in OR + WA 11.01 thru 04.30)

Pros

Close to Portland. Excellent view. Backcountry access. Sledding.

Cons

Crowds. Avalanche potential. Steep descent in sections.

Trailhead Elevation

4,247.00 ft (1,294.49 m)

Net Elevation Gain

779.00 ft (237.44 m)

Features

Snowshoeing
Big vistas

Trail type

There-and-back

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area

Comments

12/26/2017
Great day of snowshoeing! Lovely view and easy going trek. Recommend for strapping your snowshoes back on post summer/fall.

Glad we showed up in the earlier part of the day for this trail. About 10 cars in the lot when we arrived -most of these folks were there for the lower area sledding - only passed 2 sets of snowshoers on the way up. The low clouds and fog parted as we approached the view point. However, on the way back down we encounter many more snowshoers and a couple cross country skiers on the trail. The sledding area was crazy busy with families - very crowded. Parking lot was pretty full - glad we were leaving as more were piling in.

Trail was gorgeous and fresh - able to go back-country style and cut your own tracks without being too far off the main trail.
12/05/2017
Conditions good on Tuesday... about 12" of very dry powder. Path was well-trodden and firm, a bit crusty. Made for easy, enjoyable travel.
01/23/2017
More snow this season at this elevation than there's been in 15 years!
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