All About the Mt. Hood National Forest

Mt. Hood National Forest Website

Located twenty miles east of Portland, the Mt. Hood National Forest extends south from the strikingly beautiful Columbia River Gorge, across more than sixty miles of forested mountains, lakes, and streams to Olallie Scenic Area, and high lake basin under the slopes of Mt. Jefferson. The Forest encompasses some 1,015, 854 acres.

Mt. Hood’s many visitors enjoy fishing, camping, boating, and hiking in the summer, hunting in the fall, and skiing and other snow sports in the winter. Berry-picking and mushroom collection are popular, and for many residents, a trip in December to cut the family’s Christmas tree is a long standing tradition.

Mt. Hood is an Oregon icon, exemplifying the connection between local communities and a special place. Through dedicated collaboration, the forest staff fosters citizen-stewards who contribute their talents toward the betterment of our natural resources. Commitment to sustainable partnerships and community engagement have allowed the Mt. Hood National Forest to grow, learn, and evolve with its most important constituency: the public.

Ninety-eight percent of the Forest is somebody’s municipal water supply  Forest water resources also have implications for irrigation, hydroelectric power, wildlife and vegetation, and recreation. For this reason our watershed, hydrology, and fisheries programs strive to maintain high quality fish habitat and water resources while collaborating with our partners to implement high priority stream and forest restoration on private and public lands where opportunities exist to improve fisheries and water quality.

Climbing Mt. Hood: An 11,239ft. Challenge

Mt. Hood was first known to the Northwest Indians as Wy’East. Geologists agree that Wy’East, like all the Cascade volcanoes, may only be “resting” from more active volcanic activity.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Mt. Hood is 11,239 feet tall (3,426 meters). It is one of the highest mountains in Oregon, and the most frequently climbed peak in the United States. The most popular route is the South Side Route, which begins at Timberline Lodge. Year-round snow and a moderately technical ascent at the top of the mountain means that most climbers wear crampons and helmets, and use ice axes to perform self-arrests.  As visitors ascend Mt. Hood, they enter the Mt. Hood Wilderness area, which encompasses an area of 64, 742 acres, and is truly a national treasure.

1,067,000 acres
297,000 acres of wilderness
5,720 miles of lakes and streams
5,155 total acres of lakes
208 miles of wild and scenic rivers
146  developed recreation sites


  • Your Fees At Work

    A placeholder image

    See what was accomplished this last year on the Mt. Hood National Forest thanks to recreation fees.