Hood River County, Oregon

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Hood River County, Oregon
Hood River County Courthouse.jpg
Hood River County Courthouse
Map of Oregon highlighting Hood River County
Location in the state of Oregon
Map of the United States highlighting Oregon
Oregon's location in the U.S.
Founded June 23, 1908
Seat Hood River
Largest city Hood River
 • Total 533 sq mi (1,380 km2)
 • Land 522 sq mi (1,352 km2)
 • Water 11 sq mi (28 km2), 2.1%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 22,885
 • Density 43/sq mi (17/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Pacific: UTC-8/-7
Website www.co.hood-river.or.us

Hood River County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 census, the population was 22,346.[1] The county seat is Hood River.[2] The county was established in 1908 and is named for the Hood River, a tributary of the Columbia River.

Hood River County comprises the Hood River, OR Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The Hood River Valley is a top producer of apples, pears, and cherries and is known for its famous Fruit Loop driving tour that stops at family farms and fruit stands. Situated between Mount Hood and the Columbia River in the middle of the Columbia River Gorge, Hood River County is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, such as windsurfers, mountain-bikers, skiers, hikers, kayakers, and many more.


The first permanent settlers in present-day Hood River County filed a donation land claim in 1854. The first school was built in 1863 and a road from The Dalles was completed in 1867. By 1880 there were 17 families living in the valley. By the latter part of the nineteenth century farmers of Japanese, Finnish, German, and French ethnicity had settled in the valley.

At the turn of the twentieth century, the people of the Hood River region in the northwest portion of Wasco County expressed a desire for political separation from the parent county. The passage of a statewide initiative established Hood River as the thirty-fourth county of the state. It was made official by a governor's proclamation on June 23, 1908. The Columbia River Highway was completed in 1922 from Portland to The Dalles, improving access between both those cities as well as to Hood River.

In response to controversy surrounding county approval of locating a destination resort at Cooper Spur ski area on Mount Hood, on November 5, 2003 62% of the voters approved a measure requiring voter approval on residential developments of 25 units or more on land zoned for forest use. Opponents claimed that this measure was not enforceable and would end up in court.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 533 square miles (1,380 km2), of which 522 square miles (1,350 km2) is land and 11 square miles (28 km2) (2.1%) is water.[3] It is the second-smallest county in Oregon by area. 64% of the county's land is heavily forested and maintained by the Forest Service.

Adjacent Counties[edit]

Map of Hood River County
  U.S. Forest Service land
  Bureau of Land Management land

National protected area[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 8,016
1920 8,315 3.7%
1930 8,938 7.5%
1940 11,580 29.6%
1950 12,740 10.0%
1960 13,395 5.1%
1970 13,187 −1.6%
1980 15,835 20.1%
1990 16,903 6.7%
2000 20,411 20.8%
2010 22,346 9.5%
Est. 2014 22,885 [4] 2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[5]
1790-1960[6] 1900-1990[7]
1990-2000[8] 2010-2014[1]

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 20,411 people, 7,248 households, and 5,175 families residing in the county. The population density was 39 people per square mile (15/km²). There were 7,818 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was:

12.6% were of German, 10.7% English, 10.4% American and 6.8% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 76.0% spoke English and 22.8% Spanish as their first language.

There were 7,248 households out of which 35.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.60% were married couples living together, 8.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.60% were non-families. 22.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.70 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the county, the population was spread out with 28.00% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 29.40% from 25 to 44, 21.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 98.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,326, and the median income for a family was $41,422. Males had a median income of $31,658 versus $24,382 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,877. About 9.80% of families and 14.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 17.30% of those under age 18 and 7.80% of those age 65 or over.

Government and infrastructure[edit]

The Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facility (Norcor), a short-term jail, serves Hood River, Gilliam, Sherman, and Wasco counties.[10]


View from McCall Point across Hood River County to Mount Hood

Agriculture, timber, lumber and recreation are the major sources of revenue and industry. Fruit grown in the fertile valley is of such exceptional quality the county leads the world in Anjou pear production. A 1997 census recorded 15,553 acres (62.94 km2) of commercial orchards growing pears, apples, cherries and peaches. Hood River County also has two ports and two boat basins, one serving local barge traffic, a steel boat manufacturing firm and Mid-Columbia yachting interests.

The Columbia River, which runs right by the city of Hood River, has become a premier windsurfing destination, attracting windsurfers from throughout the United States and around the world. Cool, moist coastal air is drawn through the Columbia River Gorge as the desert to the east heats up on warm days, creating winds between 15-35 knots most days in the summer. With the current in the Columbia River flowing from east to west, and the wind blowing from west to east, large swells are created on the river that windsurfers enjoy riding like waves. Windsurfing has affected the local economy in many ways: windsurfing-oriented businesses and upscale restaurants catering to visiting windsurfers have reinvigorated the downtown area, many people who first visited Hood River in search of wind and waves have settled in the area and become an integral part of the community, and the local economy has been infused with much needed tourist dollars.

In 1987, a local group of businessmen purchased the 22-mile (35 km) branch line to Parkdale from the Union Pacific Railroad for $600,000, renaming it the Mount Hood Railroad. This rail line offers tourist rides and carries fruit from the local orchards.



Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Historical communities[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved February 25, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  5. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 25, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved February 25, 2015. 
  7. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 25, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved February 25, 2015. 
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  10. ^ "Norcor Home." Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facility. Retrieved on November 22, 2011.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°31′03″N 121°38′58″W / 45.51750°N 121.64944°W / 45.51750; -121.64944