Break out of your comfort zone at the longest-running snowshoe event in the NW – the 2019 White River Snowshoe 8k/4k (Mt. Hood)

All runners have a race “bucket list”, right?! That group of events that they are planning for and desperately want to add to their list if time (and cost and training) allows. Once of those races for me is the White River Snowshoe Race 4k and 8k, a non-traditional running event that has me hooked – at least visually. The snowshoe race, put on by X-dog Events, takes place at the White River West Sno Park on Mt. Hood on January 20th, 2019. If you’ve never been there before it’s a few miles northeast of Government Camp off HWY 26 / HWY 35 Junction.

It has been a while since Run Oregon had anyone out to participate, and I truly hope I can figure out my schedule to attend this year. I am a non-winter sports person (give me sunshine and heat any day of the week), but I really wanna give this one a go. I must admit that I remain a little scared because I had never been snowshoeing, so I have no real reference point as to what to expect. But I guess that may be all part of the fun right? X-Dog  claims that the snowshoe events are designed for everyone and if you can walk 5 miles then you can finish the event.

The course itself is an adventure through the White River Canyon on Mt. Hood (and is always subject to change depending on the winter weather). In general though, the route is a narrow loop through the canyon  There are two different options for the race, either a 4k (single loop) or the 8k (double). They have had “temptation stations” in the past featuring cups of beer, and knowing X-Dog, there is sure to be many surprises. Here is a quote from a previous recap.

The first mile or so was a gradual uphill along the gorgeous White River Canyon.  The weight of the boots and snowshoes and the slight incline made this mile very exhausting. We turned and climbed up a little hill which lead us into a forested area of the course. This beautiful section of course had a couple small inclines but was relatively downhill for the remainder of the course.

If you don’t already own snowshoes don’t worry, you can still participate in this event and there are now many locations around town where you can rent snowshoes from. They are available from REI, Otto’s ski shop (located in Sandy), Mountain Shop, or Next Adventure. There is also this website which lists out a lot more options for snowshoe rentals.

You will also need to get a snow park pass, which is only $4 and can be purchased at various locations. You can probably double up and rent showshoes and a pass at the same location. Click here for more information about the parking passes.

For more information about the race, check out this video here. 

White River Snowshoe Race 4k and 8k
When: Sunday, January 20, 2019 at 10a
Where: White River West Sno-Park
Register: Online here; $30 for the 8k, $25 for the 4k


About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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