Hood River County, Oregon

Transcriptions: Fir Top is Scenic

Fir Top Mountain 1912 Oregonian Article
Oregonian (Portland, Oregon)
October 6, 1912, Section 4, Page 1

Rare view is Obtained from Summit
and Columbia River Roar Three
Miles Away is Heard.

    HOOD RIVER, Or., Oct. 5—(Special.) — Not many people have ever climbed to the summit of Fir Top Mountain, which is the most prominent of the points in the range forming the eastern rim of Hood River Valley. From the East Side road Fir Top presents the outlines of a perfect pyramid, but as one rides through the pass leading to The Dalles, at its northern base, it is found to be the western point of a range that has its beginning in the Hills of Mosier.
    Last Sunday a party of Hood River people who had many times passed its frowning face on the Hood River side made the climb and came back enthusiastic about the trip. This party climbed the range at a point two miles to the south of the peak, and walked north along a path that has the appearance of being well traveled, but it is four-footed travelers that have made it and not the feet of humans. The ridge along this range of hills is a level plateau extending eastward from three-quarters to a mile and a half wide before it drops into Mosier Valley.
    Like many other mountains, the point that seems to be the top from the surrounding country is not the highest by any means. The real tip of Fir Top is half a mile from the group of firs that grace the point seen from the ranches below, and instead of being wooded, as one might expect, it is rock and covered with small brush. On the summit someone the early part of this year erected a cache of stone, placed a pole in the center, and inside a cigar-box. In the cigar-box was found by Sunday’s party a register containing about 25 names, to which they added their own. Evidently some one who had visited the peak before had ascended this Spring with the idea of making Fir Top a point of interest to visitors, but had neglected to have proper publicity given to their action.
    Names of visitors from Los Angeles and Indianapolis were among those in the 25. One of the strange things in the panorama viewed is the seeming nearness of the Columbia River. At least three miles to the north the river runs, but from a certain point, looking through the firs, one of the party declared they could hear the swish of its waters, and a small boy in the party came home telling his father the next time he went up he was going to take his fishing rod and go down the hill and try fishing in the Columbia.
    The view of Mount Adams offered from Fir Top is probably the best to be seen from anywhere in this region, for not only its snow-clad peak stands out against the skyline, but most of its mighty base.

Transcribed by Beth Perry Johnston
February 24, 2005

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