Mount Hood is a mountain located in the northwestern United States of Oregon. With an official height of 3,426 meters, Mount Hood is the highest mountain in Oregon and the fourth highest peak in the Cascade Range. Named after British general Samuel Hood, British navigator William Broughton first discovered it in 1792.
Mount Hood is a dormant volcano in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, but it last erupted in the 1790s. With its iconic peak shape, Mount Hood was selected for the beautiful National Parks quarter in the United States.
Early settlers followed the mountain with its snow-capped summit as a signpost, and today Mount Hood is the centerpiece of the Mount Hood National Forest, a tourist destination. From the rugged peaks of Mount Hood to the winding Columbia River Valley, there are wonderful outdoor adventures for visitors to experience all year round.
Mount Hood Introduction
Mount Hood, Oregon's highest peak, forms a prominent backdrop to the state's largest city, Portland, and contributes valuable water, scenic, and recreational resources that help sustain the agricultural and tourist segments of the economies of surrounding cities and counties. A rich and diverse landscape, including cascading peaks, lush valleys, and a high desert, is interspersed with culturally rich communities, making it an ideal base for camping and relaxation.
Mount Hood had two major eruptive periods during the past 1,500 years. During both recent eruptive periods, growing lava domes high on the southwest flank repeatedly collapsed to form pyroclastic flows and lahars distributed primarily to the south and west along the Sandy River and its tributaries. The last eruptive period began in AD 1781 and affected the White River and Sandy River valleys. The river was choked with sediment generated by erosion of the deposits from the eruption. In the mid-1800s, local residents reported minor explosive activity, but the volcano has been quiet since that time.
The estimated elevation of Mount Hood has varied substantially over the years. Elevation changes since the 1950s are predominantly due to improved survey methods and model refinements of the shape of the Earth. Many modern sources and official announcements list 11,240 feet (3,426 m) as the height of Mount Hood.
Mount Hood is host to 12 named glaciers or snow fields, the most visited of which is Palmer Glacier, partially within the Timberline Lodge ski area and on the most popular climbing route. More than 80 percent of the glacial surface area is above 7,000 feet (2,100 m). Head to the historic Timberline Lodge and Ski Area for some snow sports. Olympians come to Palmer Glacier every summer to train and spend the longest ski season in North America.
The glaciers and permanent snow fields have an area of 3,331 acres (1,348 ha) and contain a volume of about 282,000-acre feet (0.348 km3). Eliot Glacier is the largest glacier by volume at 73,000 acre-feet (0.09 km3) and has the thickest depth measured by ice radar at 361 feet (110 m). The Coe-Ladd Glacier system is the largest glacier by surface area at 531 acres (215 ha).
Climbing Mount Hood
Mount Hood has convenient access and a minimum of technical climbing challenges. About 10,000 people attempt to climb Mount Hood each year. There are no trails to the summit but six main routes approaching the mountain with about 30 total variations for summiting. Even the "easier" southside climbing route is a technical climb with crevasses, falling rocks, and often inclement weather. Ropes, ice axes, crampons, and other technical mountaineering gear are necessary. Peak climbing season is generally from April to mid-June.
It is a great time to head to Mount Hood for an exciting backcountry adventure. There are not only snow-capped Oregon's highest peak, towering woods, and rushing rivers in the mountain area, but they are also full of wineries, restaurants, and shops, which offer endless possibilities for your outdoor activities. Mount Hood is the only mountain globally with a year-round ski season.