About

Council Crest Park is reputed to be the highest point in Portland. It isn’t, but it’s the highest point that’s easy to get to. And it is the only place in Portland (that I know of) where you can see all four nearby Cascadian volcanoes: Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Hood.

Since the first day of spring, 2012, every time I ride my bike over this hill, I take a picture of Mt. Hood, or of the grayish place behind the clouds where it is hiding. I have done this more than 1000 times since then.

On July 19 2020, I rode a Wy’east on Council Crest: 13 repeats of the hill, with a total elevation gain greater than that of Mt. Hood (11,273 ft).

In the Molalla Language, Mt. Hood might be called nífti yáŋint, which means “great mountain” generically. The legendary Multnomah name Wy’east is probably a literary invention. It was given the English name Mt. Hood by the George Vancouver expedition in 1792.

The name “Council Crest” is a similar literary invention, as is the popular story of church elders visiting the site in 1898. Its true name in any local language remains unknown. In the early 20th century, Council Crest hosted an amusement park, which was served by a trolley line from downtown Portland.