Mt. Hood Scenic Byway
When my friend and I were driving into Portland, we saw views of Mt. Hood off in the distance. Knowing we were going to explore the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway sometime in the next few days, we did not stop to get photographs. Bad call. Clouds and haze settled in for several days, so seeing Mt. Hood again did not happen.
Mt. Hood, however, is an impressive peak, even if not visible. The Multnomah Tribe named this volcano Wy’east. But in 1792, the peak was labeled Mt. Hood by a member of an expedition exploring the Columbia River. In notes, the peak was described as “A very high snowy mountain. . . rising beautifully conspicuous in the midst of an extensive tract of a low or moderately elevated land.” “Very high” is a good description since Mt. Hood is a bit over 11,200 feet high. It is the highest point in Oregon and the fourth highest point in the Cascade Range. Although officially considered a “potentially active volcano,” it is typically considered dormant.
The Mt. Hood Scenic Byway was a beautiful drive, even though I did not see Mt. Hood all day. The drive is a rough circle, taking Highway 26 southeast out of Portland, then picking up Highway 35 north, and eventually taking Interstate 84 west back to Portland. The clouds were consistent throughout most of the day, and there was even a little rain.
Along the Columbia River on I-84
The route drove through the small town Rhododendron, Oregon, and found some namesake flowers, even though it seemed the end of the season.
The roadsides wove through some little canyons bordered by trees and impressive cliffs.
The wildflowers were gorgeous! I especially enjoyed the Lupine, Indian Paint Brush, and Dogwood.
(Does anyone know what this flower is?)
There was a little campground with some pretty fields and Dogwood trees.
Late in the afternoon, I took a side road, following a sign for Lavender Valley. It was not as big an area as I had hoped, but it was rather picturesque.
It was a good afternoon.