The United States Congress designated the Lower White River Wilderness (map
) in 2009 and it now has a total of 2,871 acres
All of this wilderness is located in Oregon
and is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service.
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.