Mount Hood National Forest

Coordinates: 45°22′14″N 121°42′14″W / 45.37056°N 121.70389°W / 45.37056; -121.70389
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Mount Hood National Forest
Snow-covered Mount Hood in the Mount Hood National Forest
Map showing the location of Mount Hood National Forest
Map showing the location of Mount Hood National Forest
LocationOregon, U.S.
Nearest cityGovernment Camp, Oregon
Coordinates45°22′14″N 121°42′14″W / 45.37056°N 121.70389°W / 45.37056; -121.70389
Area1,071,466 acres (4,336.07 km2)[1]
EstablishedJuly 1, 1908[2]
Visitors4.4 million[3] (in 2006)
Governing bodyU.S. Forest Service
WebsiteMount Hood National Forest

The Mount Hood National Forest is a U.S. National Forest in the U.S. state of Oregon, located 62 miles (100 km) east of the city of Portland and the northern Willamette River valley. The Forest extends south from the Columbia River Gorge across more than 60 miles (97 km) of forested mountains, lakes and streams to the Olallie Scenic Area, a high lake basin under the slopes of Mount Jefferson. The Forest includes and is named after Mount Hood, a stratovolcano and the highest mountain in the state.

The Forest encompasses some 1,067,043 acres (4,318.17 km2).[4] Forest headquarters are located in Sandy, Oregon.

The headquarters building of the Mount Hood National Forest

A 1993 Forest Service study estimated that the extent of old growth in the Forest was 345,300 acres (139,700 ha).[5] The Forest is divided into four separate districts – Barlow (with offices in Dufur), Clackamas River (Sandy), Hood River (Mount Hood-Parkdale), and Zigzag (Zigzag).

In descending order of land area, Mount Hood National Forest is located in parts of Clackamas, Hood River, Wasco, Multnomah, Marion, and Jefferson counties.[6]


Mount Hood National Forest was first established as the Bull Run Forest Reserve in 1892. It was expanded in 1893.[7] It was merged with part of Cascade National Forest on July 1, 1908, and named Oregon National Forest with 1,787,280 acres (7,232.9 km2). It extended from the Columbia River to the South Fork of the Santiam River until 1911 when the Santiam National Forest was proclaimed and the southern border of the Oregon National Forest was moved north to the divide between the Santiam River and Clackamas River.[8] The name was changed again to Mount Hood National Forest in 1924.[9]

In 1940 it was under consideration to become Mount Hood National Park, but this proposal did not materialize.[10] A modern campaign opposed to logging in the national forest revived the push for national park status along with the Columbia River Gorge.[11]

The 1952 film Bend of the River was partly shot in Mount Hood National Forest.[12]

In 2010, Mount Hood National Forest was honored with its own quarter under the America the Beautiful Quarters program.[13]


Old-growth Douglas Fir in the Mount Hood National Forest

The Mount Hood National Forest is one of the most-visited National Forests in the United States, with over four million visitors annually. Less than five percent of the visitors camp in the forest. The forest contains 170 developed recreation sites, including:[3][4][14]

Other common recreational activities in the Mount Hood National Forest include fishing, boating, hiking, hunting, rafting, horseback riding, skiing, mountain biking, berry-picking, and mushroom collecting.[4] A portion of the Pacific Crest Trail passes through the National Forest on the flanks of the mountain. Mount Hood is a popular destination for mountain climbers.

Several nonprofits lead free hikes into the National Forest to build support for further protection from logging and off-road vehicle use, including BARK[15] and Oregon Wild.[16]

Mount Hood National Recreation Area was established within Mount Hood National Forest on March 30, 2009. The recreation area comprises three separate units.[17]


Mount Hood (3429m) in 2006

There are eight officially designated wilderness areas within Mount Hood National Forest collectively adding up to 311,448 acres that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. Acreages are as of 2011.[18]

The Olallie Scenic Area is a lightly roaded lake basin that also offers a primitive recreational experience.[4]


  1. ^ "Land Areas of the National Forest System" (PDF). U.S. Forest Service. January 2012. Retrieved June 30, 2012.
  2. ^ "The National Forests of the United States" (PDF). Retrieved July 30, 2012.
  3. ^ a b Revised Visitation Estimates - National Forest Service
  4. ^ a b c d "About Us". Mt. Hood National Forest. U.S. Forest Service. Retrieved 2007-09-06.
  5. ^ Bolsinger, Charles L.; Waddell, Karen L. (1993). Area of old-growth forests in California, Oregon, and Washington (PDF) (Report). United States Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. Resource Bulletin PNW-RB-197.
  6. ^ Table 6 - NFS Acreage by State, Congressional District and County - United States Forest Service - September 30, 2007
  7. ^ "History of the Mt. Hood National Forest". Retrieved 2018-12-05.
  8. ^ Macdaniels, E.H. (1941). "Twenty-Five National Forests of North Pacific Region". Oregon Historical Quarterly. Oregon Historical Society. 42 (3): 251.
  9. ^ Davis, Richard C. (September 29, 2005). National Forests of the United States (PDF) (Report). The Forest History Society. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 28, 2012. Retrieved July 20, 2009.
  10. ^ Hale, Jamie (2016-07-26). "3 national parks in Oregon that never happened". oregonlive. Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  11. ^ "Mount Hood National Park Campaign | Main Page". Retrieved 2019-09-10.
  12. ^ Maddrey, Joseph (2016). The Quick, the Dead and the Revived: The Many Lives of the Western Film. McFarland. Page 184. ISBN 9781476625492.
  13. ^ "Mount Hood Quarter Introduced". United States Mint. Archived from the original on 2011-10-15. Retrieved 2010-08-26.
  14. ^ Michael Milstein (September 20, 2007). "Rethinking camping—A Forest Service plan could dramatically change Mount Hood's offerings". The Oregonian. Archived from the original on October 4, 2008. Retrieved 2007-10-06.
  15. ^ Bark Abouts - BARK
  16. ^ Hikes & Events - Oregon Wild
  17. ^ "Mount Hood National Recreation Area, Oregon". Public Lands Information Center. Retrieved March 9, 2012.
  18. ^ "Wilderness Data Search, website". Archived from the original on 2009-08-20. Retrieved 2012-06-24.

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