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Cooper Spur

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Hikers reach the crest of Cooper Spur (Tom Kloster)
Icefall on the Eliot Glacier (Tom Kloster)


Cooper Spur is the highest point reached by formal trail on Mount Hood. From the rocky summit, there are stunning views of Mount Hood's north face, the massive ice falls of the Eliot Glacier to the north, and views across the smooth ice of the Newton Clark Glacier to the south. Oregon's high desert country spreads out to the east, and the orchards of the Hood River Valley spread out to the northeast.

The large boulder perched on the narrow saddle between Cooper Spur and Mount Hood is Tie-in Rock, the traditional spot where climbers rope up before continuing toward the summit. The Cooper Spur route to the summit was once the most popular approach, in the days when the Cloud Cap Inn was the main tourist destination on the mountain. Today, it continues to be a popular climbing route for intermediate climbers.

Other highlights at Cooper Spur include several stone windbreaks used for nearly a century by climbers and the etched signature in a small boulder left by a Japanese climbing party in the early 1900s. If you wait long enough on the crest, you might also be lucky enough to hear to hear the surreal crack and roar of the Eliot Glacier creaking down the mountain.

Cooper Spur is named after David Rose Cooper, who in 1885, constructed a steep 22-percent grade wagon road up to 6,000 feet and almost to the terminus of the Eliot Glacier. Visitors could then ascend this eastern slope of Mount Hood for views of the glacier, the rugged ridges, and Cascades volcanoes from Mount Rainier to Mount Jefferson. The road was soon purchased by William Ladd and C.E.S. Wood, who owned the Mount Hood Stage Company. Wood and Ladd built the existing Cloud Cap Road and constructed Cloud Cap Inn.

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Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.