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Mount Hood is Oregon's highest peak and the fourth highest peak in the Cascade Range.

Mount Hood has had at least four major eruptive periods during the past 15,000 years. The last three occurred within the past 1,800 years from vents high on the SW flank and produced deposits that were distributed primarily to the south and west along the Sandy and Zigzag rivers. The last eruptive period took place around 170-220 years ago shortly before the arrival of Lewis and Clark in 1805. Minor 19th-century eruptions that were witnessed from Portland were in 1859, 1865 and 1903 A.D. When Mount Hood erupts again, it will severely affect areas on its flanks and far downstream in the major river valleys that head on the volcano. Volcanic ash may fall on areas up to several hundred kilometers downwind.


The Palmer Glacier, on the east side of the mountain, was once known as the Salmon River Glacier after its 1924 discovery. It was thought to be a snowfield until a mild winter in 1923 - 1924 revealed the crevasses of the glacier. It is situated in the valley below Triangle Moraine and drains into the Salmon River.

The Zigzag Glacieroriginates in the crater between Crater Rock and Hawkins Cliff below Illumination Rock. This was the first Glacier on Mt. Hood to be trod upon by the white man when Joel Palmer climbed the slope in 1845. The Zigzag Glacier today has receded vastly. It drains into the Zigzag River, Lost Creek, and Rushing Water Creek.

Reid Glacierlies between Illumination Ridge and Yocum Ridge. It was named in 1901 for Professor Harry Fielding Reid of Johns Hopkins University, who was an expert in glaciology who did extensive studies of the White River Glacier. Reid Glacier drains into the Sandy River.

Sandy Glacier, on the west-northwest side of the mountain is seldom seen and drains into the Muddy Fork of the Sandy River.

Glisan Glacierwas named for Rodney L. Glisan. It is situated on the northwest side of the mountain and drains into McGee Creek.

Ladd Glacier, on the north-northwest side of the mountain is named for William Ladd, one of the builders of Cloud Cap Inn. It is situated between Cathedral Ridge and Eden Park and drains into Ladd Creek.

Coe Glacieron the north side of the mountain was named for Henry L. Coe, a Hood River store keeper and an early developer of the north side area. It is situated below Pulpit Rock and is divided by Horseshoe and Anderson Rocks. It drains mostly into Coe Creek with some flow into Elk Cove.

Langille Glacierlies just west of Langille Crags and drains into the East Fork of Compass Creek.

Eliot Glacierwas named for Thomas L. Eliot, an early north side explorer. It lies northwest of the summit. It is the most spectacular glacier on Mt. Hood and can be accessed easily from Cloud Cap Inn. It drains into Eliot Creek.

Newton Clark Glacierwas named for a well-known Hood River surveyor from the 1800's. It is on the east side of the summit and drains into Newton Creek to the north and Clark Creek on the south with a large morain between the creeks.

White River Glacieron the east side due south of the summit originates in the crater to the east of the Hogsback. The White River is a branch of the Deschutes River flowing into it near Tygh Valley. It has receded vastly since it was first spotted in 1845 by the Barlow Party. It will occasionally release pockets of retained water and will devastate Highway 26 at the White River Bridge.

Coalman Glacierwas named for Elijah Coalman legendary Mountain Man. It lies on the south-side. It changes in shape dramatically from a sloping body of ice down to Hot Rocks, to a 40 foot ice cliff in the same place.


The White River flows southward and southeastward and joins the Deschutes River, a tributary of the Columbia.
The Salmon River takes a southwesterly course, then northwesterly and joins the Sandy River.
On the west side of the mountain the Zigzag River drains the southwest slope of Mount Hood. The Zigzag River flows westward to join the Sandy River near the community of Zigzag.
The Sandy heads on the west side of the mountain and flows westerly and north westerly to its confluence with the Columbia River at Troutdale.
The north and east sides of the mountain are drained by tributaries of the Hood River, which joins the Columbia at the city of Hood River.


Lost Lake Frozen, Mt. Hood in Background , 1920's
Photo: Gary Randall, Brightwood, Or.

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