This Digital Public Library image from the 1930s shows that Mount Hood did indeed have a summit hut in the pioneer days of outdoor recreation.

Not long after the first pioneers found their way to the Cascade Range, they started dreaming up ways to climb - and ski - Mount Hood. It's a rich tradition of ingenuity that continues to this day. This timeline should give you an appreciation for the rich history associated with Oregon's tallest mountain.

700,000 BC: Volcanic eruptions form the Cascade Range and the mountain called Wy’East by the Klickitat people.

1792 AD: Mount Hood is named after British Admiral Samuel Hood, who never set foot on the mountain.

1889: Cloud Cap Inn opens on the north side of Mount Hood.

1890: The Langille brothers ski the north face of Mount Hood to Cloud Cap Inn.

1894: 100 people climb Mount Hood together and form the alpine club Mazamas.

1899: Oliver Yocum builds the first hotel in Government Camp.

1903: Three Mazamas shred Hood wearing 10-foot wooden skis and carrying nine-foot balancing poles.

1905: Tourists visiting Portland for the Lewis and Clark Exhibit sign up for $5 guided tours to the peak of Mount Hood.

1914: First solo car trip up to Government Camp.

1915: Climbers build a fire lookout at the mountain’s peak.

1926: Plan to connect Cooper Spur to the summit with a cable tramway are rejected.

1926: State begins plowing Highway 26 regularly in winter.

1927: Snow clubs formed on Mount Hood.

1928: Summit opens as first ski resort on Mount Hood.

1928: The Mutorpor ski jumping hill is developed (the photo below from the Digital Public Library indicates the popularity of early jumping events).


1931: Andre Roch, Hjalmar Hvam and Arne Stene summit on skis.

1933: Fire lookout at the peak is torn down.

1935: Plan announced to build Timberline Lodge, a Works Progress Administration project, part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's economic recovery plan.

1936: Timberline foreman Ira Davidson invents the modern Snow Cat.

1937: FDR travels to Oregon for the dedication of Timberline Lodge.

1937: Russ McJury and Joe Leuthold (pictured below, photo courtesy of Daniel Becker) complete the first ascent of the Sandy Glacier Headwall.


1937: Hjalmar Hvam invents the modern ski binding after injuring himself on Mount Hood.

1938: The Timberline Trail is completed.

1939: Magic Mile opens, the first chairlift on Mount Hood and at the time the longest ski lift in North America.

1939: Olympic Trials held on Mount Hood.

1942-1945: Skiers and climbers from Mount Hood and other mountains train and serve with distinction with the 10th Mountain Division.

1946: Women are  allowed into the Mt. Hood Ski Patrol.

1947: Ty Kearney climbs to summit with bike parts, assembles them and rides the peak.


1947: A plan is announced to connect Government Camp and Timberline with the Ski-Way Tram.

1949: Multorpor Lodge is completed.

1949: A laborer dies during construction of Ski-Way Tram connecting Government Camp with Timberline Lodge.

1951: Ski-Way Tram completed connecting Government Camp to Timberline.

1953: Criticized as unreliable, expensive and slow, the Ski-Way Tram closes after just two years of operations; investors eat losses.

1955: Timberline Lodge gets its power shut off for failure to pay the bills.

1957: A 29-year-old social worker from New York, Richard L. Kohnstamm,  rescues Timberline from bankruptcy, forms RLK Inc. and takes over Timberline’s Forest Service Lease.

1958: Helicopter piloted by W.C. Hartley lands on Mount Hood summit.

1961: Tram towers are removed from the mountainside.

1962: Mount Hood National Forest visitors top 3 million.

1964: SkiBowl and Multorpor merge.

1966: Forest Service grants permit for a major new Mount Hood resort to Franklin Drake of Portland.

1966: SkiBowl intalls first lights for night skiing.

1968: Mt. Hood Meadows opens.


The opening of Mt. Hood Meadows provided access to a huge swath of varied terrain.

1976: The population of Metro Portland hits 1 million.

1977: Timber companies harvest 500 million board feet of timber from Mount Hood National Forest, at the height of the industry.

1978: Palmer Lift opens, launching the summer training industry on Mount Hood.

1981: Film and TV director Boris Sagal (The Twilight Zone) steps out of a helicopter at Timberline Lodge and is killed by the rotor blades.

1984: Sandy Union High School graduate and Mount Hood racer Bill Johnson wins the first U.S.  Olympic gold in the men’s downhill.

1986: Alan Pennington and John Smolich, climbers who helped save Silcox Hut, die in an avalanche on K2.

1986: Difficult search and rescue process leads to the development of the Mount Hood Mountain Locator Unit.

1987: Kirk Hanna, son of Oregon car wash king Daniel Hanna, buys SkiBowl out of bankruptcy.

1988: Snowboarding champ Craig Windell buys the run-down Shamrock Hotel on Highway 26 and starts Windell’s Camp, now billed as the ”funnest place on earth” and one of the world's top training programs for hot young snowboarders and freeskiers.

1992: Jeff Kohnstamm takes leadership of RLK at Timberline.

2004: Dan Howitt climbs from Timberline to Summit in 1:57 with his dog Caddis in 2004.

2006: Matthew Drake takes over as president of Meadows.

2007: Timberline builds the Jefferson Flood chairlift.

2010: Freeski star Sammy Carlson lands the first triple rodeo at a jump built at Timberline.

2012: Meadows installs advanced rfid lift pass and tracking system.

2013: Ski Patrol celebrates its 75th anniversary.

May 1, 2014: Skier, philanthropist and Mount Hood legend Fred Noble dies after a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Jan. 21, 2016: Olympic downhill gold medalist Bill Johnson dies in Gresham. Skibowl later changes the name of its classic Dogleg run to Bill's Gold.

October 2018: Scientists discover significant fault lines on the north and south flanks of Mount Hood, capable of producing a massive 7.2 magnitude earthquake.

Corrections? Suggestions?

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The Oregonian

On Mount Hood, by Jon Bell

Mount Hood: A Complete History, by Jack Grauer

Timberline Lodge: A Love Story, edited by Jon Tullis

Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum

Mt. Hood Ski Patrol



Mt. Hood Meadows