There’s plenty of sights to see in the great state of Oregon. If you’re searching for a starting point in your adventures, then look no further than the majestic Mt. Hood. This magnificent, natural landmark sits about 50 miles east of Portland. For those people that choose to fly to Portland from the east, Mt. Hood’s brilliant, white peak can be seen from the skies on a sunny day. The mountain is so large that it can be seen as far as 100 miles away at ground level. It stands tall with an impressive elevation of 11,249 feet. This high of elevation makes it Oregon’s tallest mountain as well as the fourth tallest mountain the Cascade Range. In addition to being the state’s tallest mountain, it also holds the title of, “The Oregon Volcano Most Likely to Erupt”. Yes, Mt. Hood is more than a majestic mountain. It’s a massive volcano that silently sits and waits for it’s next bout of rage with Mother Nature. No worries though- it isn’t expected to erupt anytime soon!
Now that we’ve introduced you to the tallest mountain in Oregon, let’s take a look at its incredible history…
Mt. Hood was first discovered by European explorers in 1792. Then it was discovered again by Lewis and Clark in 1805. When Lewis and Clark explored the area, they initially called the mountain, “Falls Mountain” and had written that they could see it from 37 miles away.
It’s also interesting to note that the Multnomah natives always referred to Mt. Hood as “Wy’east”. Many descendants of the Multnomah natives still call the great mountain, “Wy’east” to this day.
Mt. Hood has had three volcanic eruptions over the last 1,800 years. Geologists have informally stated that Mt. Hood is potentially active but is mostly dormant. However, there have been some occasional earth tremors from the mountain. Don’t worry- it hasn’t been enough to warrant any major concerns. The most recent volcanic activity occurred in 1907, but it was very minor.
Things to do at Mt. Hood
Mt. Hood attracts visitors from all over the country for its towering beauty and adventurous experiences. If you’re considering a trip to Mt. Hood, then you’ll want to take a look at the things to do there! There’s plenty of fun to be had at this historical, geographical landmark.
Many visitors flock to Mt. Hood every year to embark on a climbing adventure. In fact, the mountain has an average of 10,000 climbers per year! Since the mountain has many snow fields and glaciers at 7,000 feet and above, it’s a winter wonderland up there year round. Once you reach those heights, there’s many ice caves and other natural wonders to be discovered. The mountain has easy access and the southern side of it is said to provide the easiest climb. If you do plan on climbing Mt. Hood, be fully prepared with the technical gear as there are some challenging crevasses, stretches and loose rocks. The best time to climb is from April to late June. However, even during the peak season, you should always be prepared for inclement weather conditions. Sometimes, the weather can change in an instant during climbing situations. With that being said, climbers’ favorite route starts at the Timberline Lodge and takes you to Crater Rock. From there, you can work your way to Coalman Glacier then to Hogsback and finally to Pearly Gates, near the summit. (However, if you’re one of those climbers that strives to reach the summit, please be aware that there are no trails directly to the summit.) This route is only one of 30 ways to reach the summit.
Mt. Hood provides the perfect opportunity to explore with hiking. One of the most popular hiking trails at Mt. Hood is the Timberline Trail. This trail is the real deal. It was created in the 1930s by a group known as the Civilian Conservation Corps and has given people the opportunity to experience the calm serenity and beauty of the mountain. The trail circles around the entire mountain which means it’s a whopping 40 mile hike! Yikes! If you’re desiring to do some serious, long-distance hiking, then you’ll have the option to rise as high as 7,300 feet on the Timberline Trail.
Another alternative to the Timberline Trail is the Pacific Crest Trail. Keep in mind though that the Pacific Crest Trail is for some serious long-distance hiking and horseback riding. The trail starts at Mt. Hood and travels south to the border with Mexico. Yes, you read that correctly! However, most visitors to Mt. Hood only hike the Pacific Crest Trail to stay in the area. It’s a picturesque trail with tons of memories to be made.
People don’t just visit Mt. Hood without taking in the views! If you’re staying at the Timberline Lodge, then you’ll want to take a ride on their skyride. It’s called the Timberline Magic Mile Skyride and it takes you up the side of the mountain for a view that’s totally worth it. If you don’t feel like hiking, this is a great way to reach the top of the mountain! (Well, it doesn’t take you to the summit, but you get the point!) Many people like to take the skyride earlier in the day so they can spend some time at the top of the mountain. However, if you just want the incredible view above the treetops, then it’s an awesome ride up there and back down.
4. Stay in a Tiny House Village!
Obviously, you’ll have to find somewhere to stay while visiting Mt. Hood. Why not stay somewhere that’s unique and fun? Mt. Hood Tiny House Village provides the perfectly unique experience for any traveler needing a place to stay. Oregon is already known as being the environment-friendly state. So it’s no surprise that they would have a tiny house village that conserves space and resources as well! These tiny homes are cute, stylish and nestled in the woods on Mt. Hood. Everything is updated, and pets are welcomed!
Mt. Hood is a spectacular place to visit on vacation or for any locals that are in need of a weekend getaway. The natural beauty is overwhelming to any soul that loves being outdoors. Only 50 miles east of Portland, it’s a must-see sight!