White Wild and Scenic River
Guide

Introduction

White River is an approximately 50-mile long river that flows from Mt. Hood all the way to its confluence with Deschutes River, offering outstanding recreation opportunities and remarkable values to guests who visit on vacation. This Wild and Scenic River, managed by the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, lies south of the Columbia River Gorge and east of the Cascade Range. The access point to the river lies west of Maupin, Oregon, along paved and maintained roads, as well as some dirt roads.

If you’re visiting this BLM river park, rest assured you’ll have amazing opportunities to enjoy a wide variety of recreational activities on offer. If what you seek is solitude, feel free to visit the river canyon areas. Hikers and backpackers also visit the canyon area to explore the nooks and crannies of the beautiful landscape. The fish habitat and populations in the area is a major attraction for anglers. Sightseeing knows no bounds here, as guests can watch birds, wildlife, plants, and geological features here. Many more fun opportunities are provided at Mt. Hood National Forest.

Primitive and semi-developed camping options are available along the corridors of the river within campsites that accommodate tents and small RVs.

RV Rentals in White Wild and Scenic River

Transportation

Driving

White Wild and Scenic River lies west of Maupin, Oregon. If you are driving to this BLM river park from Maupin, you’ll drive through paved and maintained roads as well as rough, dirt roads. Head southwest from the town on to Oregon Highway 216 W and turn on to Kelly Cutoff. Left and right turns on to Old Wapinitia Road and Claymier Lane respectively will take you to Victor Road.

These roads are quite easy to navigate. White River Crossing Road is your turn-off point from Victor Road, and this route is a dirt road. The access to the river is 1.8 miles from the junction of White River Crossing at Victor Road. There are no other driving access routes to White Wild and Scenic River besides this point.

Parking

Parking spaces are available within the primitive campsite at the White River access point west of Maupin. Spots for parking are also available en route the park at designated places along the road. Ensure you only park in these provided sections.

Public Transportation

There are no direct public transportation services to this BLM river park in Oregon. If you need camping or travel equipment such as motorhomes, RVs, or trailers, you’ll be able to get rentals at Mt. Hood National Forest and Warm Springs.

Campgrounds and parking in White Wild and Scenic River

Campsites in White Wild and Scenic River

First-come first-served

White River Campground

White River Campground is a primitive BLM campground that sits on the lower Deschutes River, Oregon. This campground offers three single sites and two group sites, most of which are above the river and only partly shaded. The campsites are however well spaced, so you’ll have enough room to do what you want within your site without interference from fellow vacationers.

One thing is sure at this campground - you’ll enjoy excellent views of Deschutes canyon and White River canyon from here. Other recreational opportunities available include non-motorized boating, fishing, hiking, rafting, and kayaking.

Within this BLM campground, tent, RV, and group camping are available. Amenities provided are picnic tables, vault toilets, and fire pits. The maximum RV length here is 25 feet.

This campground is open all year, so feel free to visit whenever you choose.

Pets are welcome here.

Forest Creek Campground

Forest Creek Campground is a first-come, first-served campground within Mt. Hood National Forest, west of White Wild and Scenic River. This campground is open between May and September and features eight campsites that accommodate tents and vehicles less than 17 feet long.

Only one restroom (a vault toilet) is available here, so campers are required to come with all they’ll need for their vacation.

While you’re here, you can fish in the creek for rainbow trout and steelhead, and also enjoy hiking and backpacking adventures. Picnics are also memorable here too.

Feel free to bring your pets, but keep them on a leash and clean up after them.

Seasonal activities in White Wild and Scenic River

In-Season

Flora

The botanical significance of White Wild and Scenic River attracts flora enthusiasts to the river’s corridors and makes wildflower viewing a common activity in the area. Flowing through a wide variety of plant life zones, the vegetation in the area ranges from subalpine to desert steppe, as well as many other unique and sensitive plants such as bog communities and stiff club moss.

Mixed conifer is present in the downstream areas, while the river mouth features forbs, shrubs, and grasses.

Wildlife and Bird Viewing

White River is a good place to visit to pursue wildlife-related interests. This BLM river park is home to diverse endangered, threatened and sensitive bird species such as harlequin ducks, northern spotted owls, and peregrine falcons. Other birds you’ll sight here are elk and various raptors. If you want to see Lewis woodpeckers, visit this BLM river park in spring and summer.

In fall, hunting game is a popular exercise here. In winter, however, wildlife enthusiasts prefer to just watch deer and elk in the area.

Fishing

If your interest is fishing, you could camp here at White Wild and Scenic River, or visit White River Falls State Park to get good angling opportunities. The redband rainbow that you’ll catch in this river is genetically distinct from other redband rainbow trout. You should check to see if you spot any difference.

Guests at White River Falls State Park get to enjoy fly fishing for both steelhead and wild trout in Deschutes River. This river is even touted as one of the greatest rivers in the west and one of Oregon’s finest.

Off-Season

Geology

If you fancy nature study and observation, look out for evidence of recent volcanic activity around the White River area. The active fumarole field, ghost forests, steep canyons with impressive waterfalls, and an active mountain glacial valley that’s carved on the flank of Mt. Hood are even more geological wonders that are present in this area. So, whether all you wish to do is just take pictures and appreciate the scenery, or you’re interested in a deeper study of these landscapes, explore away.

OHV Riding

Off-Highway Vehicle Riders are attracted to Mt. Hood National Forest where three areas are provided for them to pursue their recreational interests. These areas include the La Dee OHV Area, McCubbin’s Gulch OHV Area, and Rock Creek OHV Area.

McCubbin’s Gulch and Rock Creek OHV Areas are closer to White Wild and Scenic River park so you can easily go about riding your OHVs in any of them whenever you choose. Permits are required for all who wish to ride OHVs here and regulations are in place to guide the activity.

Lower Deschutes River

Designated a Wild and Scenic River, lower Deschutes River flows through a canyon that makes access to it from the canyon rim quite difficult. Be that as it may, the shade offered by the high canyon walls make it a great place to spend evenings on hot and sunny days.

The riparian zones by the river feature white alter, cottonwood, willow, while the upland areas are dominated by bunchgrasses and sagebrush, as well as western juniper in places.

This river is known for two main recreation activities – fly fishing and whitewater rafting.

Find the perfect campsite.