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Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Hood River Valley, Oregon"
Includes ... Hood River Valley ... Missoula Floods ... Panorama Point ... Van Horn Butte ...
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mount Hood and the Hood River Valley, Oregon. View from Panorama Point. Image taken April 6, 2016.


Hood River Valley ...
The Hood River Valley landscape was shaped by glaciation and flooding, and is characterized by steep, narrow valleys and terraces of clay, silt, sand, gravel and boulders. The valley extends for twenty miles with an average width of five miles. Rock formations along the Hood River system are primarily basalts of the Columbia River Basalt Group, and abundant glacial till and outwash can be found in the valley and is exposed in roadcuts and along the Canyon walls.

"Hood River is an important agricultural area with many commercial fruit orchards and vineyards. Nathaniel Coe became the first white settler in Hood River during the early 1850s. The Hood River Valley extends for 20 miles to the south with an average width of 5 miles. The east wall of the valley is a fault escarpment with a vertical displacement of more than 2,000 feet. Abundant glacial till and outwash occupy the valley bottom and are exposed in roadcuts and in the youthful canyon of the river, which is incised 200 to 300 feet below the valley surface."


Source:    David K. Norman, Alan J. Busacca, and Ron Teissere, 2004, "Geology of the Yakima Valley Wine Country -- A Geologic Field Trip Guide from Stevenson to Zillah, Washington: Washington Devision of Geology and Early Resources Field Trip Guide 1, June 2004.

"The area locally known as the Hood River Valley is actually three distinct geographic areas. The "Lower" valley is a gentle, broad north-sloping bench immediately adjacent to the Columbia River. While the land is generally gentle in relief, Hood River and many of its tributaries cut deeply into this bench forming steep canyons. The central feature of the Valley is Middle Mountain, a 2,642-foot massif that bisects the Valley east to west. Middle Mountain is rugged terrain unsuited to agricultural uses. The "upper" valley is situated between the northeast shoulder of Mount Hood and Middle Mountain. This area, like the lower valley, is gently north-sloping but streams here are not deeply incised and have a greater tendency for channel meander."


Source:    Hood River Watershed Assessment Report, 1999.

Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Hood River Valley looking east, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Hood River Valley looking south, Oregon. View from Panorama Point. Image taken April 6, 2016.


Hood River Watershed ...
According to the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority website (2004), the Hood River watershed covers 339 square miles, with three major folks combining to form the mainstem Hood River. The West Fork Hood River enters the mainstem Hood River at River Mile (RM) 12, and the Middle and East Fork Hood Rivers converge near RM 15, giving the Hood River watershed an estimated 695 miles of streams.

"The Hood River flows north from Mount Hood and empties into the Columbia as little as thirty miles from its headwaters. The watershed is bounded on the west by the Cascade Range, on the south by the Sandy and White Rivers and on the east by the Mosier, Mill, Threemile, Rock creeks and Fifteen Mile drainages. Watershed elevation varies form 11,245 feet to 74 feet above sea level. Its headwaters drain into three main tributaries - the East, Middle and West Forks, which converge to form the Hood River mainstem about 12 miles from the Columbia River. The total drainae area is 217,337 acres, or 339 square miles. ... In addition to the Hood River mainstem and the East, Middle and West Forks, major tributaries include Green Point, Lake Branch, Ladd, Tony, Evans, Neal Creek and Dog River."


Source:    Hood River Watershed Assessment Report, 1999.

Geologic Background ...
"The Hood River Valley is an incompletely understood structural depression extending north into Washington and southweard toward Mount Hood. The valley's east margin is a series of anastomosing normal-slip faults that displace the Columbia River Basalt Group by about 550 meters in the area of Panorama Point. Panorama Point itself is a promontory of the Wanapum Basalt Formation, but the hills to the east in the Hood River escarpment are underlain by the Grand Ronde Basalt, a stratigraphically lower formation (also in CRBG) displaced upward by the faults.

The valley extends north a few kilometers into Washington, although an early Pleistocene shield volcno, Underwood Mountain, fills much of it there. ...

The west side of the valley slopes gently upward toward the Cascade Range summit. Pliocene and Pleistocene lava flows blanket the CRBG on the most of the the visible upland surfaces. The alley floor is mantled by middle Pleistocene alluvial depotists of the Hood River, indcluding at least one lahar deposit derived from Mount Hood. The lahar probably originated from a large debris avalanache on the upper flanks of either the present or an ancestraal cone. Missoula flood deposits form a late Pleistocene capping of sand and silt as thick as 30 meters in some parts of Hood River Valley."


Source:    W.E. Scott, et.al., 1997, Geologic History of Mount Hood Volcano, Oregon - A Field-Trip Guidebook, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 97-263.


Hood River Valley and the Missoula Floods ...
During the Missoula Floods, 12 to 15 thousand years ago, the Hood River Valley was inundated by backwater from the floods. In 2004, Norman et.al., quoting from Newcomb (1969) and O'Connor and Waitt (1994), writes that Newcome found "fine-grained lacustrine deposits" as high as 800 feet, and O'Connor and Waitt reported that the highest ice-rafted erratics in the Hood River Valley were found between 840 and 880 feet. Peak high was estimated at approximately 925 feet.

"The Hood River Valley was inundated by backwater from the Missoula floods. Newcomb (1969) reported "fine-grained lacustrine deposits" as high as 800 feet, probably slackwater deposits of Missoula floods. The highest ice-rafted erratics in the Hood River Valley are between 840 and 880 feet. If this was the maximum stage achieved by the largest flood, the water surface dropped substantially through Bingen Gap (O'Connor and Waitt, 1994)."


Source:    David K. Norman, Alan J. Busacca, and Ron Teissere, 2004, "Geology of the Yakima Valley Wine Country -- A Geologic Field Trip Guide from Stevenson to Zillah, Washington: Washington Devision of Geology and Early Resources Field Trip Guide 1, June 2004.

[More]


Hood River Valley, etc.

  • Mount Hood Railroad ...
  • Orchards ...
  • Panorama Point ...
  • Smudge Pots ...
  • Van Horn Butte ...
  • Views around the Valley ...


Mount Hood Railroad ...
The Mount Hood Railroad was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.

"The Mount Hood Railroad linear historic district encompasses 22.13 miles of the Mount Hood Railroad main line extending from Hood River, Oregon, to Parkdale, Oregon, in Hood River County. All of the original Mount Hood Railroad main line is included in the nominated area. The railroad, constructed between 1906 and 1910, passes through the communities of Hood River, Pine Grove, Odell, Winans, Dee, and Parkdale.

Stations were generally located at settlements, mill sites, or fruit packing/cold storage warehouses. Stations included sidings and platforms, depots or station houses, and wyes or loops. ... Established stations along the Mount Hood Railroad main line were Powerdale, the Switchbacks, Sears Wye, Pine Grove, Odell, Mohr, Lentz, Odell, Duke's Valley, SUmmit, Bloucher Spur, Holstein, Winans, Dee, Trout Creek, Camp No.1, Woodworth, and Parkdale."


Source:    National Register of Historic Places Nomination, 1993.

[More]


Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mohr Station, Mount Hood Railroad, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Mohr Station (MP 6.8), looking west from Ehrck Hill Drive. Mohr clay tile cold-storage warehouse building and crossing. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mohr Station, Mount Hood Railroad, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Mohr Station (MP 6.8), looking west from Ehrck Hill Drive. Mohr clay tile cold-storage warehouse building and crossing. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mohr Station, Mount Hood Railroad, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Mohr Station (MP 6.8), looking south from Ehrck Hill Drive. Mohr clay tile cold-storage warehouse building and crossing. Image taken April 6, 2016.


Orchards ...

Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Orchards, Hood River Valley, Oregon. View from Panorama Point. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Orchards, Hood River Valley, Oregon. View from Panorama Point. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Orchards, Hood River Valley, Oregon. View from Panorama Point. Image taken April 6, 2016.


Panorama Point ...
Panorama Point is an outcrop of Columbia River Basalt, Wanapum Formation. A circular drive leads to the top, providing great views of Mount Hood and the Hood River Valley.

Image, 2015, Mount Hood from Panorama Point, Hood River, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mount Hood as seen from Panorama Point, Hood River, Oregon. Image taken April 9, 2015.


Smudge Pots ...

Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Orchards and Smudge Pots, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Orchards and Smudge Pots, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.


Van Horn Butte ...
Van Horn Butte is a small Pliocene or early Pleistocene cinder cone located on the Hood River Valley floor.

"Mount Hood lies 40 km (25 miles) south-southwest of Panorama Point (approximately 3 miles south of the City of Hood River). Much closer (14 km - 9 miles) and nearly in line with it is Middle Mountain, which is underlain by lava of the Columbia River Basalt Group. ... Cinder cones of latest Pliocene or early Pleistocene age dot the surface between here and there: Van Horn Butte, Lenz Butte, and several cones at Booth Hill. Associated lava flows are exposed locally." [Scott, et.al., 1997, USGS Open-File Report 97-263]

Van Horn Butte was at one time called "Julia Butte", named for the wife of early Hood River Pioneer Peter Neal. Peter Neal once operated a sawmill on what is today called "Neal Creek", a creek which flows west of Van Horn Butte and merges with Hood River at Hood River Mile 4.0.

"This hill was originally called Julia Butte for Mrs. Peter Neal, but in 1906 the Van Horn brothers purchased the surrounding property and it has been called Van Horn Butte ever since. Willis and Bert Van Horn were residents of Buffalo and in the cold storage business there. Willis Van Horn moved to Hood River Valley and built a home on top of Van Horn Butte. There was a nearby railroad station named Van Horn." [McArthur and McArthur, 2003]

"The finest residence in the valley or city of Hood River is nearing completion. It is being built by Willis Van Horn on the sightly butte near Van Horn station on the Mount Hood railroad. Finishers and painters are putting on the finishing touches to the place, and it will be ready for occupancy in about 30 days. ... The house will be a model of convenience and beauty, modern in all its appointments, lighted from the plant of the Hood River electric light plant, and a magnificient home. Water will be supplied from a large spring, forced up to the grounds from the foot of the butte. The top of the butte is over 200 feet above the roadway, and is reached by a winding drive of easy grade. A large veranda on three sides of the house will make a pleasant place in summer to view the grandeur of the valley the larger part of which can be seen from this sightly place. ..."


Source:    "The Hood River Glacier", February 21, 1907, courtesy Historic Oregon Newspapers Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, 2016.

Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Van Horn Butte, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Van Horn Butte, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.


Views around the Valley ...

Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mount Hood as seen from the Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mount Adams as seen from the Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Mount Adams as seen from the Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Fruit boxes, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Scenic, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Scenic, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Scenic, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Scenic, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Scenic, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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"The Gorge White House", Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.

The Martin and Carrie Hill House, known as "The Gorge White House", was built in 1910 and is one of the best examples of the Dutch Colonial Revival architecture in Hood River County. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. It is open to the public.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Scenic, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.
Image, 2016, Hood River Valley, Oregon, click to enlarge
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Scenic, Hood River Valley, Oregon. Image taken April 6, 2016.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, ...
 




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*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources:    Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife Authority website, 2004; &nbps;  Hood River Watershed Council, 1999, Hood River Watershed Assessment Report;    McArthur, L.A., and McArthur, L.L., 2003, Oregon Geographic Names, Oregon Historical Society Press;    National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Mount Hood Railroad Linear Historic District, Hood River, Oregon, #93001507;    Norman, D.K., Busacca, A.J., and Teissere, R., 2004, "Geology of the Yakima Valley Wine Country -- A Geologic Field Trip Guide from Stevenson to Zillah, Washington: Washington Devision of Geology and Early Resources Field Trip Guide 1, June 2004;    Scott, W.E., Gardner, C.A., Sherrod, D.R., Tilling, R.I., Lanphere, M.A., and Conry, R.M., 1997, Geologic History of Mount Hood Volcano, Oregon - A Field-Trip Guidebook, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 97-263;   

All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
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April 2016