White River West Sno Park

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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White River West Sno Park

Post by mintchocchip584 » December 3rd, 2018, 2:57 pm

Hi there! Planning to snowshoe at White River West Sno Park this weekend. My husband and I are experienced hikers but beginner snowshoers and haven't been to this park before. Is there a set trail to follow at this sno park, or do you just walk around/forge your own path? Is signage pretty clear in terms of finding your way back to the car? Any advice or insight would be appreciated.

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Chip Down
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Re: White River West Sno Park

Post by Chip Down » December 3rd, 2018, 6:52 pm

Hi other-Chip! :D
White River follows a wide flat-bottomed river bed, where the relatively narrow river meanders down. It's a find-your-own-route affair. When you've gone as high as you want to go, just turn around and walk back in any direction. If you stay out of the trees, it would be impossible to get lost on the way down, as the highway crosses the river on a bridge that's visible on most/all of your hike. Parking lot is right at the highway. Expect crowds, as it's a beautiful place with great views right from the start. Even though you're in the shallow remnants of a canyon, it's straight enough that you can see right up the mountain. Enjoy!

Sugar Pine
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Re: White River West Sno Park

Post by Sugar Pine » December 3rd, 2018, 8:28 pm

The White River Snopark is a very popular sledding area and so can be very crowded, but just near the parking lot.
The field guide has the Boy Scout Ridge Snowshoe description. Agree, it would be hard to get lost here because you are between the river to the east and a ridge to the west. Eventually, you either turn around or head steeply uphill at the Timberline Trail. You can continue on to Timberline Lodge for a hot lunch.
The Yellowjacket trail heads west from White River to the Timberline road and Highway 26 or to Snow Bunny. The Yellowjacket is marked, but I don't know how well. You could also take the Yellowjacket to the PCT or to the ridge and head uphill.
I always bring a gps snowshoeing because I like to go off the nordic routes and can follow my track back if necessary. There are tracks on Gaia GPS of routes from White River.
I am very interested to hear if there is enough snow for snowshoeing by next weekend.

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Re: White River West Sno Park

Post by johnspeth » December 4th, 2018, 6:31 am

Snowshoeing is great for wandering because the notion of a trail disappears. That means you can easily travel off trail (if you can find it). But here's my advice for the novice: Don't depend on your tracks as a path that you can follow home. Wind and snow can wipe out your tracks in minutes. White River can get windy due to its lack of trees.

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Re: White River West Sno Park

Post by CyrusK. » December 4th, 2018, 11:03 am

The canyon can be a bit of a labyrinth if you go off trail, so just in case if you end up getting lost in the white river canyon area, find a creek. The canyon has several tributaries that all converge into the white river, which the highway crosses over. If you follow a creek down the canyon (carefully), you should end up by the snowpark. However, a few of the branches just southwest of white river converge into the salmon river instead, but following this will still lead you to the highway (just not at the snowpark). Alternatively, you could also climb out of the canyon on either side, which would be a bit more dangerous but would land you at Timberline or Meadows.
Cyrus "Ice" K.

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