White River Oregon Fly Fishing, Camping, Boating

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White River

One of Oregon’s many waterways designated National Wild and Scenic Areas, the White River flows nearly 47 miles through Mt. Hood National Forest to join the Deschutes in Tygh Valley.

  • Located SE of Mt. Hood, White River heads on the mountain’s eastern slope and empties into the Deschutes River in Tygh Valley.
  • Glacial melt in the warmer months sometimes turns White River milk-white in color.
  • Volcanic landscapes add geologic interest to the river’s course.

Overview

Oregon’s glacial-fed White River often runs milky-white in late summer, when high freezing levels cause glacial and snow melt; thus the river earns its name. The White River canyon presents outstanding scenery, including breathtaking views of Mt. Hood’s eastern slopes, and diverse geologic and wildlife attractions.

Recent volcanic activity is apparent in the adjacent landscape, and the White River also runs through a ghost forest and a field of active fumaroles (volcanic holes venting hot steam). Bird and wildlife watching, skiing, hiking, backpacking, and camping are popular activities along the White.

Location & Information

The White River originates on the southeastern slopes of Mt. Hood beneath White River Glacier. It flows southeast along the Columbia Plateau and then east through Tygh Valley to its confluence with the Deschutes. White River Falls courses over a 90-foot basalt shelf not far from the river’s mouth and a state park lies near the falls.

White River Falls State Park is reachable via Highway 216 east of Tygh Valley. This park has no fee to use and more information is available at (800) 551-6949.

Activities

  • Fly fishing in season, although any milky glacial melt renders the river unfishable.
  • Nordic skiing.
  • Camping, hiking, and backpacking.
  • Wildlife and nature study.

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