Use the links below to find info on the sign you are looking at.
Mate for life and live in pairs in fixed territories. Ravens are one of the smartest animals. When it comes to intelligence, these birds rate up there with chimpanzees and dolphins.
The Native Americans weren’t far off about the raven’s mischievous nature. They have been observed in Alaska and Canada using snow-covered roofs as slides. Ravens make toys - a rare animal behavior - by using sticks, pine cones, golf balls or rocks to play with each other or by themselves. Ravens show empathy toward each other.
Black-tailed deer live in forested mountains and foothills of the Pacific coast. Deer are edge-adapted species using the region’s dense forest cover to hide during the day and more open forest to feed at dawn and dusk. Black-tailed deer typically spend their entire lives in areas that measure less than three square miles. Deer don't migrate, but mountain-dwellers often seek lower elevations during winter.
Roosevelt elk are the third largest land mammal in North America. They are named after President Theodore Roosevelt, who created what is now Olympic National Park in Washington state, mostly as an elk reserve. Roosevelt elk occupy most of western Oregon, with concentrations in the Cascade and Coast ranges.
Oregon is home to about 25,000 to 30,000 black bears, North America's most common bear species. Adult bears are generally 5-6 feet long, and 30 inches high at the shoulder; female bears typically weigh 125-200 pounds and males typically weigh 200-250 pounds. Dens usually are well hidden by dense vegetation and, in colder regions, often open to the north or west.
Oregon is home to more than 6,000 cougars, or mountain lions. Their primarily food source is deer, but they will also consume elk, raccoons, bighorn sheep, and other mammals and birds. They have ranges up to 300 square kilometers and may roam up to 80 km in a single day
Meadows has put in a lot of work to rebuild wetlands that you will see in the base area. One is under the Stadium chairlift and one is between the Mt. Hood Express and Blue chairlifts. The wetlands were replanted using willows that were cut from other parts of the base area, transported and planted by the trail crew team. The team spent hours using augers to drill holes in the ground deep enough for the willows to take and regrow in the wetland. They also built a less noticeable one in the Sunrise lot using willows cut and transported from the Yellow Meadow.
After the trees were replanted, the team made an irrigation system using recycled pipe and sprinklers to water the areas by Stadium and Blue. The area in the Sunrise lot had to be watered twice a day using a truck and water wagon with a fire hose. All three areas were finally approved as wetlands by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
On any given day, you can see creatures such as frogs, newts, and salamanders in the wetlands, and you may even see a deer or coyote wandering through the area. We ask that you please stay out of these areas so they can continue to flourish.
MT. HOOD HISTORY
Fun Facts About Mt. Hood:
- Mt. Hood's base spreads over 92 square miles
- Mt. Hood dates from the late Pleistocene Era
- 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 Mt. Hood National Forest encompasses 1.2 million acres, has four designated Wilderness Areas, and over 1,200 miles of hiking trails
MT. HOOD MEADOWS HISTORY
We have a ton of great history - including videos - on the history page of our website.
Learn all about Meadows on our History page
Glaciers and perennial snowfields on Mount Hood cover about 13.5 square kilometers (5 miles²) and contain more than 300 million cubic meters (nearly 400 million yards³) of ice and snow. The largest glaciers, Eliot and Coe on the north flank, are about 2.5-3 km (1.5 to 1.8 mi) long.
During the last ice age, glaciers radiated outward up to 15 km (9.3 mi) in all of the major Hood drainages and filled valleys with hundreds of meters of ice. Glaciers were even more extensive during several older ice ages. Many lava flows erupted during times of extensive glacier cover, which strongly influenced their distribution. During the Polallie eruptive period, pyroclastic flows from collapsing lava domes mantled glaciers with debris, which was transported by the glacier and dumped in moraines that formed at the glacier snout.
There are about 463 glaciers or perennial snowfields in Oregon (35 of them named), covering an area of about 42.5 km². They can be found in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon and along the crest of the Cascade Range from Mt. Hood south to Mt. Thielsen. The fundamental requirement for a glacier is that more snow accumulates in winter than melts away in summer, so glaciers can exist in relatively warm environments where annual average air temperatures are above freezing as long as enough winter snow accumulates to survive the summer.
View U.S. Geologic Survey shaded relief map of glaciers on Mt. Hood.
The Mazamas, a hiking club based out of Portland, realized the
glaciers on Mt. Hood were shrinking and established a program to measure their changes. These measurements included glacier length, thickness change, and melt rates. The Mazamas continued their research for 60 years, which is quite unique to have a hiking club contribute so significantly to American glacial studies. Much of their information is still being used to track the glacier retreat to this day.
GLACIERS AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Glacier retreat is one of the early indicators of climate change. They are the most visible evidence of global warming today. In addition to raising sea water levels, widespread loss of glaciers will likely alter climate patterns in other, complex ways. For example, glaciers’ white surfaces reflect the sun’s rays, helping to keep our current climate mild. When glaciers melt, darker exposed surfaces absorb and release heat, raising temperatures.
One of the hazards posed by glacier retreat on volcanoes such as Mt. Hood is massive failure of the valley walls. The glacier erodes the volcanic edifice and deposits the material along the glacier margin (moraines). When the glacier retreats, it leaves behind an over-steepened wall of loosely packed sediment that is no longer buttressed by the glacier. These walls are subject to failure, particularly during rainstorms that turn the streams into debris-choked flows. Some examples of this damage are still very visible along Highway 35 in both directions of the Mt. Hood National Forest. On Christmas Day 1980, an intense rainstorm rapidly melted snow and triggered a small landslide in fragmental debris in upper Polallie Creek. The resulting lahar moved down the valley at 25 to 35 miles per hour. At the mouth of Polallie Creek, the lahar spread out, killing a camper and temporarily damming the East Fork of the Hood River. Flooding after failure of this temporary dam destroyed five miles of highway, three bridges, and a state park — at a cost of at least $13 million. Small lahars such as this occur every few years on Mt. Hood, but few have been as destructive.
Mt. Hood has erupted episodically for about 500,000 years and hosted two major eruptive periods during the past 1,500 years. During both recent eruptive periods, growing lava domes high on the southwest flank collapsed repeatedly to form pyroclastic flows and lahars that were distributed primarily to the south and west along the Sandy River and its tributaries. The last eruptive period began in AD 1781 and affected the White River as well as Sandy River valleys. The Lewis and Clark Expedition explored the mouth of the Sandy River in 1805 and 1806 and described a river much different from today's Sandy. At that time, the river was choked with sediment generated by erosion of the deposits from the eruption, which had stopped about a decade before their visit. In the mid-1800's, local residents reported minor explosive activity, but since that time the volcano has been quiet.
The U.S. Geologic Survey has a fantastic timeline detailing Mt. Hood's eruptive history. View the timeline on the USGS website.
Geologists have found evidence of active faults on Mt. Hood. Read the story and watch the video from KATU News.
Large and severe fires in the Pacific Northwest are associated with warm and dry conditions, and such conditions will likely occur with increasing frequency in a warming climate. According to projections based on historical records, current trends, and simulation modeling, protracted warmer and drier conditions will drive lower fuel moisture and longer fire seasons in the future, likely increasing the frequency and extent of fires compared to the 20th century. Interactions between fire and other disturbances, such as drought and insect outbreaks, are likely to be the primary drivers of ecosystem change in a warming climate.
The impact to the forest from the 2020 wildfires will continue for months and years. The four major fires that occurred in Oregon that year damaged many recreation sites, forest structures, and road corridors. Thousands of dead and weakened trees are likely to fall during rain storms and wind. Burned hillsides are unstable and may cause landslides. Stay safe and respect closures.
You can watch a video below of firefighters' efforts during the September 7, 2020 wildfire that burned in the Jack's Woods section of Heather Canyon at Mt. Hood Meadows.