White River Wildlife Area Visitors' Guide

White River Wildlife Area was established in 1953. Located along the east slope of the Cascade Mountains in the north central part of Oregon, the wildlife area encompasses 29,480 acres. An additional 1,280 acres of land owned by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is managed by the ODFW bringing the total acres managed by the department to 30,760. The primary purpose of White River Wildlife Area is to provide winter range habitat for black-tailed deer and Rocky Mountain elk and to minimize big game damage to adjacent private agricultural lands.

A parking permit is required to park at this wildlife area. Find out how to buy a parking permit

Best time to visit: Year-round. July and October - November for viewing turkeys. December - February for viewing deer and elk.

Visiting hours: White River Wildlife Area is open year-round except for lands north of Forest Road 27 from December 1st through March 31st. All Wildlife area lands, south of Forest Road 27 are open to foot, horseback, and mountain bike traffic from December 1st through March 31st. See map below.

White River Wildlife Area Map (pdf)

What to see and do: A mix of fir, pine and oak forests offer diverse habitats for a variety of wildlife. Wild turkey populations here are the highest in northern Oregon. Silver gray squirrels are abundant. Spring and summer are the best times to see Lewis woodpeckers. This is a popular hunting area during the fall, and feeding stations provide good deer and elk viewing during winter.

  • Wildlife:  Abundant species include black-tailed deer, Rocky Mountain elk, bear, coyote, bobcat, western gray squirrel, California ground squirrel, wild turkey, mourning dove, Lewis woodpecker, bald eagle, golden eagle, red-tailed hawk, rough-legged hawk, prairie falcon, western fence lizard and more.
  • Facilities: primitive camping, camp host, fishing, hunting, trails, horseback riding, mountain biking.
  • Nearby: White River Falls State Park is a popular picnicking, hiking and fishing retreat for visitors to the Deschutes River corridor.

Directions: From The Dalles, travel 34 miles south on Hwy. 197 to the blinking light at Tygh Valley. Turn right into Tygh Valley and follow the signs to Wamic on Wamic Market Road. Continue straight ahead on Dodson Road rather than follow the sharp curve. Continue on Dodson Road through three 90-degree turns. Turn left on the gravel road 1/4 mile past the last curve, and continue 1-1/2 miles to the cattleguard

Address and Phone:
White River Wildlife Area
78430 Dodson Road
Tygh Valley, OR 97063
(541) 544-2126

Additional resources: