Want to feel like a Mount Hood local? Read this quick overview about the mountain’s geography and weather patterns and you’ll be on your way.
Mount Hood is an 11,249-foot semi-dormant volcano located about 50 miles east of Portland. The last major eruption occurred around 1800 shortly before Lewis and Clark explored the area, and there have been no major eruptions since. However, scientists feel that this is the volcano in Oregon that is most likely to erupt.
There are six ski areas on Mt. Hood. The two major resorts are Mt. Hood Meadows on the southeast shoulder of the mountain and Timberline Lodge on the southern flank. Both locations offer skiing to over 8,500 feet with base areas around 5,500 feet.
Since Mt. Hood is the highest point in Oregon, the westerly winds off the Pacific Ocean encounter no resistance when they move inland and bring copious amounts of precipitation to the mountain. The average snowfall for Mt. Hood Meadows is about 430 inches, with up to 757 inches falling during the 2007/2008 season. Lack of snow is rarely an issue for this resort, though winds and temperatures are very important to skiers and riders. Wind gusts over 100 mph and above-freezing temperatures can lead to ‘difficult’ ski conditions, but occasional days like this are the price to pay for deep snowfall throughout the season.