Tualatin Mountains

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Tualatin Mountains
Tualatin Mountains from Sexton Mountain close - Oregon.JPG
West slope of the mountains from Beaverton looking north
Highest point
Elevation 330 m (1,080 ft)
Geography
Tualatin Mountains is located in Oregon
Tualatin Mountains
location of Tualatin Mountains in Oregon [1]
Country United States
State Oregon
District Multnomah County
Range coordinates 45°34′51″N 122°47′45″W / 45.5807°N 122.7959°W / 45.5807; -122.7959Coordinates: 45°34′51″N 122°47′45″W / 45.5807°N 122.7959°W / 45.5807; -122.7959
Topo map USGS Linnton

The Tualatin Mountains (also known as the West Hills or Southwest Hills of Portland) are a range of hills on the western border of Multnomah County, Oregon, United States.[1] A spur of the Northern Oregon Coast Range, they separate the Tualatin Basin of Washington County, Oregon, from the Portland Basin of western Multnomah County and Clark County, Washington.

The highest peak in the range is Cornell Mountain at 1,270 feet (390 m).[2] Other notable peaks include Council Crest at 1,073 feet (327 m), the highest point in the city of Portland, and Pittock Hill, location of the Pittock Mansion.[2][3]

The hills date from the late Cenozoic era, and range up to over 1,000 feet (300 m). Composed mainly of basalt, the mountains were formed by several flows of the Grande Ronde basalt flows that were part of the larger Columbia River basalts.[4] Human settlement goes back 10,000 years to the area's earliest known residents, the Chinook people.

Despite steep slopes, periodic landslides, and multiple earthquake faults, many residences have been built in the Tualatin Mountains, though much of the northern portion is undeveloped land within the 5,000-acre (20 km2) Forest Park. The landscape, inside and outside the park, is predominantly forested.

U.S. Route 26 (the Sunset Highway) is the principal transportation link across the hills, traveling through the Tanner Creek Canyon and over the pass at Sylvan. This route through the hills connecting the agricultural Tualatin Basin to the navigable Willamette River was developed as a plank road in the 19th century. The Great Plank Road (Canyon/Jefferson Road) was a major factor in the early growth of the city of Portland.

Since 1998, the west side MAX Light Rail has run roughly parallel to US 26 through the hills, including a section tunneled deep underground.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Tualatin Mountains". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ a b "Tualatin Mountains". PeakBagger.com. Retrieved June 20, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Council Crest Park". Portland Parks & Recreation: City of Portland. 2008. Retrieved June 20, 2011. 
  4. ^ Bishop, Ellen Morris. In Search of Ancient Oregon: A Geological and Natural History. Timber Press, 2003.

Further reading[edit]