Frequently Asked Questions

Geography & History

How did Mt. Hood get its name?

  • On October 29, 1792, Lt. William Broughton, under the command of George Vancouver, identified and named the peak after Lord Samuel Hood, a respected admiral of the British Royal Navy.

How tall is Mt. Hood?

  • According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Mt. Hood is 3,426 Meters (11,239 Feet) tall. To learn more about Mt. Hood geology visit


Are there different kinds of Recreation Passes? Where can I learn which Recreation Pass may be most suitable to meet my needs? What recreation sites require a Recreation Pass? Where can I buy a Recreation Pass?

  • Please follow the Recreation Pass link for more information. 
  • The goal of the recreation fee program is to retain fee revenues to supplement appropriations and other funding sources to repair, improve and maintain recreation sites and settings to quality standards (including eliminating the backlog of recreation maintenance) and to enhance the delivery of recreation services. 80% of the funds earned from pass sales stay at the purchase site. To learn more about accomplishments achieved through revenues from Northwest Forest Pass sales, visit:

Where can I hike and where can I camp?

  • Updated trail and campground information can be found on our site under Recreation or by clicking here.

Are there trails for mountain biking, horseback riding or all terrain vehicles?

  • Yes, each trail has designated user groups that are identified on our trail list and at the trailhead. Look for the symbol that represents the use you are interested in. For all terrain vehicles, currently there are no trails that are specifically identified for that use. All terrain vehicles can only be operated on dirt or gravel Forest Service roads and may be prohibited in some areas. OHV use is permitted at Rock Creek OHV Riding Area. Call a local Forest Service office for more information.

Sno*Park Permits

When am I required to possess a Sno*Park permit?

  • You must have a valid Sno*Park permit displayed in the windshield of your vehicle if you park in designated winter recreation parking areas (Sno*Parks) between November 15 and April 30. Each of these areas are posted with signs idenifying them as a Winter Recreation Area. You will find Sno*Parks in all mountain passes of the state as well as most recognized ski, snowmobile, and snow play areas.

What types of permits are available?

  • There are three types of permits:
    • An annual permit - $20.00
    • A three-day permit - $10.00
    • A daily permit - $7.00
    • Permits are sold at all DMV offices and by permit agents in resorts, sporting goods stores, and other retail outlets. Agents are allowed to charge a service fee for each permit they sell.
    • The cost of the annual permit provides a discount to frequent Sno*Park users over the three day and daily permits. A recent survey of Sno*Park users indicated that an annual permit is used more than 13 times per winter.

What about Sno*Park permits issued by other states?

  • Sno*Park permits issued by Washington, California and Idaho are honored in Oregon, and Oregon permits are honored in those states. (However, if your vehicle has Washington plates, you must have a Washington permit to park in a winter recreation area in Washington.) Parking in an Oregon Sno*Park without a permit may result in a $30.00 fine, so be sure to obtain a permit and display it on your vehicle.

Will I see wildlife in Sno*Park areas?

  • It's an exciting experience during a winter outing to see wildlife. Though the backcountry visitor just wants to watch these animals, human activity frequently causes big game animals to run away, using needed energy reserves. Please view big-game animals from a distance.

Can I bring my pet with me?

  • All cross-country skiers are encouraged to leave their dogs at home. Dogs punch holes in the set tracks with their paws, making the tracks difficult and dangerous to follow. 


How can I find a job with the U.S. Forest Service?

  • Check out our employment page. We offer a variety of employment opportunities (both paid and unpaid) ranging from student programs to volunteer programs, and full-time employment for men and women with skills in several hundred areas.