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Mount Hood

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Mount Hood

Mt. Hood reflected in Trillium Lake
Elevation 11,249 feet (3,429 metres)
Location Oregon, USA
Range Cascades
Coordinates 45°22′24.65″N, 121°41′45.31″W
Topo map USGS Mount Hood
Type Stratovolcano
Age of rock < 500,000 years
Last eruption 1790s (exact year unknown)
First ascent 1845 by Sam Barlow and party
Easiest route rock/glacier climb

Mount Hood is a dormant stratovolcano in northern Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located about 50 miles (80 km) east-southeast of the city of Portland. Its snow-covered peak rises 3,429 meters on the border between Clackamas and Hood River counties. It is the highest mountain in Oregon and the fourth-highest in the Cascade Range. It can be seen easily from both Portland and Vancouver, Washington.

Mount Hood is part of the Mount Hood National Forest, which has 1.2 million acres (4,900 km²), four designated wilderness areas and more than 1,900 km (1,200 mi) of hiking trails. The popularity and relative ease of the climb has led to some carelessness and tragedies, especially climbers in late spring when the glaciers tend to soften. Avalanches have taken their toll from time to time; and in a partly live-televised incident on May 30, 2002, several climbers were killed and others injured when they fell into a crevasse in the "hogsback" that connects the crater rock with the summit ridge. Most unusual was the startling crash-and-roll of a rescue helicopter whose rotors clipped the sloping ice bridge.

The mountain has six ski areas including Timberline, the only ski area in North America that is open 12 months of the year. Timberline Lodge is a National Historic Landmark located on the southern flank of Mt. Hood. The Palmer Glacier, uphill from the lodge at about the 8,000 foot level, has been used for summer practice by the Olympic skiing team from time to time. The other areas are Mt. Hood Meadows, Ski Bowl, Cooper Spur, Snow Bunny and Summit.

Mt. Hood seen from the south. Crater Rock, the remnants of a 200-year-old lava dome, can be seen just below the summit.
Mt. Hood seen from the south. Crater Rock, the remnants of a 200-year-old lava dome, can be seen just below the summit.
Mt. Hood as seen from the Mt. Hood Highway (Hwy-35)
Mt. Hood as seen from the Mt. Hood Highway (Hwy-35)



The glacially eroded summit area consists of several andesitic or dacitic lava domes; Pleistocene collapses produced avalanches and lahars (rapidly moving mudflows) that traveled across the Columbia River to the north. The eroded volcano has had at least four major eruptive periods during the past 15,000 years. The last three occurred within the past 1,800 years from vents high on the SW flank and produced deposits that were distributed primarily to the south and west along the Sandy and Zigzag rivers. The last eruptive period took place around 170 to 220 years ago, when dacitic lava domes, pyroclastic flows and mudflows were produced without major explosive eruptions. The prominent Crater Rock just below the summit is believed to be the remnants of a dacite dome from the last eruptive period.

The last major eruption occurred in 1781-1782, with the most recent episode ending shortly before the arrival of Lewis and Clark in 1805. It is considered an active volcano, but no major eruptive events have been catalogued since systematic record keeping began in the 1820s. Twelve glaciers cling to the mountain's rocky slopes; these may be a source of potentially dangerous lahars when the mountain next erupts. Although dormant, there are vents near the summit which are known for emitting noxious gasses such as carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Prior to the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, the only known fatality related to volcanic activity in the Cascades occurred in 1934 when a climber suffocated in oxygen poor gas while exploring ice caves melted by fumaroles in the Coalman Glacier.

Mt. Hood summit and Palmer ski run, looking uphill from Timberline Lodge
Mt. Hood summit and Palmer ski run, looking uphill from Timberline Lodge

Origin of its name

The Native American name for Mount Hood is Wy'East. Legend has it that the name Wy'east comes from a chief of the Multnomah tribe, the tribe after which Multnomah County was named. The chief competed for the attention of a woman who was also loved by the chief of the Klickitat tribe. The anger that the competition generated led to all three of them being turned into volcanoes, with the Klickitat chief becoming nearby Mount Adams and the target of their affection becoming Mount St. Helens.

It was given its present name on October 29, 1792 by Lt. William Broughton, a member of Captain George Vancouver's discovery expedition. It was named after a British admiral, Samuel Hood.

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:


  • Harris, Stephen L. (2005). Fire Mountains of the West, 3rd edition, Missoula, Montana: Mountain Press Publishing Company. ISBN 0-87842-511-X.

External links

Notable volcanoes of the Cascades v·d·e ] Image:Mount Rainier from southwest mini.jpg
Mount Garibaldi | Mount Baker | Glacier Peak | Mount Rainier | Mount St. Helens | Mount Adams | Mount Hood | Mount Jefferson | Three Sisters | Newberry Volcano | Mount Mazama | Mount McLoughlin | Medicine Lake Volcano | Mount Shasta | Lassen Peak

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