The White River originates on Mt. Hood, at the leading edge of the White River Glacier. As the glacier melts in late summer, it releases large amounts of silt which gives the river the milky appearance for which it is named. The Lower White River Wilderness is located approximately mid-way between the river's source and it's end where it enters the Deschutes River. It is in a transition area from mixed conifer forest to arid steppe, and centered on a deep and rugged gorge which, as it descends, holds onto firs and pines on north facing slopes while south facing slopes become dominated by junipers and oaks. The river is home to the genetically distinct White River race of redband rainbow trout. Very rugged cross country hiking can be found here, the ruggedness creating outstanding opportunities for solitude.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Lower White River Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 - Public law 111-11 (3/30/2009) An act to designate certain land as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, to authorize certain programs and activities in the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, and for other purposes.