White River West Sno-Park is one of many “Sno-Parks” in Oregon. These are effectively parking lots, or roadside parking areas, where people can park their vehicles and enjoy time playing in the snow. Sno-Parks are operated by the U.S. Forest Service and many of them are kept closed during the warmer months. However, there are still a few that are kept open all throughout the year, and White River West Sno-Park is one of them.
What also makes this Sno-Park unique is that it’s large enough to hold 30 or 40 RVs.
It’s located along State Highway 35, about five miles northeast of Government Camp, and about 30 miles south of Hood River. It sits right at the base of Mt. Hood, and offers some of the most stunning views of the iconic Oregon landmark.
White River West Sno-Park is an asphalt paved parking lot. The lot is not striped, hence everyone who parks there tends to just park as they please. The only amenities are two pit toilets. There are no trash bins, no running water, no picnic tables. Verizon 4G came in at 2 bars for us, unboosted. There are no specific rules on length of stay; we assume the standard 14-day limit applies. However, we never saw a forest ranger come by.
White River runs right along the Sno-Park, but because of the high embankment, you can’t hear the running water from the parking lot, nor can you see it. You have to climb the embankment to enjoy the river. There is a dirt driveway that leads up the embankment and takes you right to the river bed, but you will need 4 wheel drive and high clearance to get up. And once your get up there, expect the wind to increase.
Sash and I camped there for five nights, from Sept 6-11, 2018. The first night, we found four other RVs camped overnight. One of them complained about our generating running at night, and responded by playing Pink Floyd rather loud. While I didn’t mind Pink Floyd, we turned our generator off. The next night, the complainers had left, and we were free to run our generator. There was also one tent-camper located several feet into the woods.
There are several other Sno-Parks further north along State Highway 35, and appear as if they provide more shade and privacy. However, Verizon 4G completely disappears just a 1/4 mile north of White River West Sno-Park. You can also search Google Maps for “sno-park” and find dozens more. Be sure to cross-reference them on the U.S Forest Service website to find out if they are closed or open off-season.