Mt. Hood Area

Mt. Hood Area

Welcome to the communities of the Mt. Hood area. The area includes Government Camp, Welches, Rhododendron, Zig Zag, Wemme, Brightwood and Alder Creek. The surrounding communities are also know as the Villages of Mt. Hood and Hoodland. All communities are located along the Mt. Hood Corridor and are located along Hiway 26 only forty five minutes to an hour from Portland. Located in the foothills of the Cascades, the area is surrounded by the Mt. Hood National Forest and presents incredible beauty. Recreational opportunities abound from skiing, snowboarding, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, fishing and golfing. It’s also a haven for naturalists, history buffs, artists, musicians and writers.

Government Camp



Zig Zag



The Villages of Mt. Hood

Visit these websites to learn more about our area:

Mt. Hood Chamber of Commerce

Clackamas County Tourism & Cultural Affairs (CCTCA)::

The Villages of Mt. Hood Tourism Marketing Alliance:

Mt. Hood National Forest:


Fascinating Facts about Mt. Hood in Oregon’s North Cascade Mountains

Mt. Hood rises 11,235 ft. above sea level; its base spreads over 92 miles.

Mt. Hood dates from the late Pleistocene Era.

Mt. Hood is the highest mountain in Oregon; the 4th highest in the string of Cascade Mountain Range volcanoes that stretch from Mt. Garibaldi in British Columbia south to Mt. Lassen in Northern California.

"Wy’East" is the American Indian name for Mt. Hood. (Mt. Adams was Klickitat and Mt. St. Helens was Loowit, and the Great Spirit was called Tyee Sahalie.)

Mt. Hood is a dormant or "sleeping" volcano, with steam constantly spewing from fumarole areas.

Recent eruptions (all minor): 1804, 1853, 1854, 1859, 1865, and 1907. Scientists believe Mt. Hood could have a significant eruption within the next 75 years.

Eleven glaciers grace Mt. Hood’s peak.

Mt. Hood is 22 miles south of the Columbia River.

The first white men "discovered" the mountain on October 29, 1792, when British Navy Lt. William E. Broughton and his crew (representing King George III) saw it from the Columbia River near the mouth of the Willamette River. Broughton named the peak for famed British naval officer (and later, Admiral) Alexander Arthur Hood (who never saw the mountain).

In 1805, Lewis & Clark became the first Americans to see the mountain, first calling it "the Falls Mountain, or Timm Mountain", until learning of the prior naming by the British. Timm was the Indian name given to the falls area in the Columbia River just above the site of The Dalles.

In 1845, Oregon Trail pioneers Samuel K. Barlow, Joel Palmer and their parties opened the first wagon trail over the Cascades on the south side of Mt. Hood. While still a very difficult trail, the Barlow Trail became much preferred over the treacherous Columbia River rafting route to Oregon City.

First ascent: August 14, 1845 by 3 members of the Barlow party - Sam Barlow, Joel Palmer and Phillip Locke.

Oregon’s first golf course was built in 1928 in Welches, at the base of Mt. Hood.

Mt. Hood is the second most climbed mountain in the world, second only to Japan’s holy Mt. Fujiyama.

The largest party to ever climb Mt. Hood: 411 people, August 9, 1936.

The famed climbing dog, Ranger, born in 1925, climbed an alleged 500 times during his life, with his owners and friends. Ranger made his last climb in 1938, died in 1939, and was buried on the summit of Mt. Hood in a grave suitable for this famous canine mountaineer. Other animals sighted on the summit of Mt. Hood over the years include a badger, chipmunks, mice, a couple of bears, an elk, red foxes, a wolf, and three domestic sheep.

The first wedding held on Mt. Hood’s summit was in July 1915, united Blanche Pechette and Frank Pearce.

Mt. Hood boasts 5 ski areas: Timberline Lodge Ski Area, Mt. Hood Meadows, Mt. Hood Ski Bowl, Cooper Spur Ski Area, and Summit Ski Area.

National Historic Landmark, Timberline Lodge, was built at the 6000’ elevation by the WPA (Work Projects Administration) and the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps) and dedicated by President Roosevelt, September 28, 1937.

Timberline Lodge Ski Area has the only year-round ski season in North America, closed for only 2 weeks in late September. A record 318” base of snow was on the ground at Timberline during the winter of 1998-99.

Timberline Lodge Ski Area hosts the longest continually run ski race in America, the Golden Rose Ski Classic every June.

With 3590 vertical feet, Timberline Lodge Ski Area’s 1000 ski able acres boasts the most vertical feet of ski terrain in the Pacific Northwest.

Timberline’s Magic Mile chairlift, built in 1939, was the first chairlift in Oregon.

Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Area covers 2159 acres, with 240 acres of night skiing.

Mt. Hood Ski Bowl is the largest night skiing area in North America.

The Mt. Hood National Forest encompasses 1.2 million acres, has 4 designated Wilderness Areas, and over 1200 miles of hiking trails.

-Compiled by the Mt. Hood Information Center staff (Jan. 2000)