Cloud Cap Inn
July 11, 2015
The last Sunday in June a friend and I went to Cloud Cap Inn for a tour offered by the Forest Service. It’s only available during summer and only on Sundays.
It’s one of those places near me that I’ve always wanted to go see, but until now didn’t take the opportunity.
Bear Grass blooms lined one section of the winding gravel road bringing life back to the charred forest from the Gnarl Ridge wildfire in 2008.
Ranger Ron Kikel is incredibly knowledgeable and led us through the Inn room by room, telling us the history of the Cloud Cap Inn.
Most of the interior was too dark for my camera without a tripod or flash but one of the tiny bedrooms, flooded with light from a window displayed signatures from those who stayed at the inn and signed their names on the bedroom walls.
The dining area ~ boots lining the top beam belong to Crag Rats, the oldest volunteer mountain rescue group in North America. They have leased this building for more than 50 years as a staging site for rescues on Mt. Hood.
“Built in 1889, the Cloud Cap Inn is the country’s oldest high alpine ski cabin. It was built on the site of the first “season long” public resort at timberline (1883), a tent camp hosted by Mrs. David Cooper, of the Cooper Family which gave its name to the distinctive ridge above the inn.
The inn, built at an elevation of 5837′, was constructed of amabilis fir, cut from a site about 2.5 miles below the inn and hauled up the mountain by teams of horses. William Marcy Widden, a Portland architect drew the plans.”
You can read more here and Google for images of days gone by.
Out the back door, we enjoyed our picnic lunch, then hiked this little path.
Clouds gently blew in and we caught a few sprinkles of rain.
One last shot of Mt. Hood before heading back to our ‘city’.
By the way, we thought we had to park at the campground below Cloud Cap Inn and walk up, but there’s a large gravel parking lot you drive up to. The road isn’t as daunting as it looks.
On the way back down we stopped at Inspiration Point. The waterfall and river were muddy brown.
At the bottom of the Inspiration Point trail is this stone monument. I would love to know the story of Stephen.
Driving on Cloud Cap Road through the scorched forest was eery. On a clear day we could’ve seen Mt Adams glow as the sun lit her up.