White River Trail 538

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birdhiker
Posts: 27
Joined: May 23rd, 2016, 6:23 am

White River Trail 538

Post by birdhiker » September 4th, 2023, 12:28 pm

I have been exploring the washed out section of the 538 trail on Mt Hood. It goes from the sno-park on Hwy 35 downhill to the end of the 240 Rd off the Barlow Road.
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The first time I went I headed downhill off Hwy 35.

The first part is an easy wander down along the White River. I saw no sign of the trail until I was about 1.7 mi down.
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You can pick up the trail where it leaves the river. Someone has cut the trail open a bit down there. Eventually you wind up in a bit more of an open woods. I ran out of time on my trip down from 35 so I went back after about three miles of wandering.
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Next time I started where the Bonney Meadows Trail crosses FR 48. I went downhill. There is a very small area to park at the start.

The trail crosses the White River. The shallow spot I found is to the right when you hit the sand of the river.
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Below is the crossing
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You pick up the trail on the other side and continue a short way to the Barlow Road. Turn right and head up the an interchange. You want to take the blocked off 240 Road (fallen tree in way).
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The 240 takes you up to the end of the old White River Trail

From 48 down to the White , over to the Barlow Road and then up 240 there are beautiful trees.
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Above are scenes from the 240 Road

At the end of the 240 Rd is a ski cabin.
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The bottom of the White River trail is hard to spot, a downed sign behind the cabin alerts you to the old path. It is heavily overgrown and with lots of limbs and trees in the way.
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A short distance up there is a bridge across a creek, Red Creek?
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The beautiful trees continue past the bridge. The trail is covered in branches and a few downed trees.
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Once you are past the bridge, you really do feel you are in some woods that belong in Lord of the Rings.

I turned back before I connected up with where I stopped coming down from 35. It would be a fun exploration to find the entire trail from 35 down to 240. I have one middle section to do.

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retired jerry
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: White River Trail 538

Post by retired jerry » September 4th, 2023, 12:58 pm

Did you get your feet wet crossing white river?

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Charley
Posts: 1788
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Southeast Portland

Re: White River Trail 538

Post by Charley » September 4th, 2023, 6:16 pm

My buddy and I have tried to ski that but found it unfindable. The FS could reduce trail use elsewhere by putting a little effort in maintaining this trail. It's a bummer because the trail clearly goes through some beautiful areas!
Believe it or not, I barely ever ride a mountain bike.

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bobcat
Posts: 2690
Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
Location: SW Portland

Re: White River Trail 538

Post by bobcat » September 4th, 2023, 7:10 pm

Great post! I tried this once several years ago from Klingers Camp, but there was stacked blowdown from the beginning of the trail although the sign was still there.

The White River changed its course and took over Mineral Creek, which wiped out some sections of the trail. The bridge intrigues me. It's not Red Creek. I wonder if it's Mineral Creek, now the main channel of the White River? In which case, you can get to the east side and the main outwash plain, which is where most of the trail was routed.
retired jerry wrote:
September 4th, 2023, 12:58 pm
Did you get your feet wet crossing white river?
To be clear, this is the Bonney Meadows Trail crossing. I've done it twice, but in early summer. I went to the right the first time and was up to my waist. I tried straight across the next time and was only up to my knees. Of course, it will change over the years.

You should be able to drive closer to the south end of Road 3530-240 so you don't have to do this.

birdhiker
Posts: 27
Joined: May 23rd, 2016, 6:23 am

Re: White River Trail 538

Post by birdhiker » September 6th, 2023, 7:12 am

I took my shoes and socks off and walked across. Sandy gravel bottom in mid sections. There are deeper pools lower down but photo shot had water maybe half way up lower leg at most. Easy.

And yes you can park at the start of 240 but not as fun :).

The bridge is right beyond the cabin. Trail looks blocked by shrub and branches but it opens about 30-50 yds up from cabin. Creek might be Alpine. The bridge crosses the creek that is a stones throw from the cabin. You can hear the White River down slope as you pass through the amazing forest behind the cabin

wnshall
Posts: 166
Joined: July 17th, 2009, 10:31 am

Re: White River Trail 538

Post by wnshall » September 6th, 2023, 7:43 pm

Charley wrote:
September 4th, 2023, 6:16 pm
My buddy and I have tried to ski that but found it unfindable. The FS could reduce trail use elsewhere by putting a little effort in maintaining this trail. It's a bummer because the trail clearly goes through some beautiful areas!
And now they've let the bridges over Clark Creek (and related creeks) between Pocket Creek TH and Teacup ski area fall apart, with no plan for funding and replacing. XC ski loops from Pocket Creek will be increasingly difficult.

I know this is a hiking forum, but you have to have something to do in the winter months!

Anyway, great trail exploration! Yet another area I should spend some time.

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