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Barely visible along the Alpine Trail, connecting Government Camp to Timberline, are orange wood and tin, triangle shaped signs hung high in the trees.  I had read about these signs in Mt. Hood, Adventures of the Wy'east Climbers 1930-1942, by Ric Conrad.  I wasn't sure they'd still be in place given they were installed in the late 30's.

Sure enough, I spotted one earlier this winter about halfway up the trail on the West side of the steeper section.  Not a very detailed location, I know.  But if you've been on the trail, I do hope this helps you with the sign's location.  

I recently inquired about them at the Mt Hood Cultural Center and Museum and received a detailed response from Lloyd Musser, volunteer curator.  Below is the message I received from Lloyd on the topic.


These are the vintage ski trail signs installed by the Forest Service when Timberline Lodge opened in 1937-38.  They were handmade out of tin and wood, painted orange with black lettering.  They were likely made in the US Forest Service, CCC sign shop at the Zigzag Ranger Station.  The same sign was used for all three trails with the trail name stenciled on one side of the triangle.  The three trails were Blossom (an existing wagon road/horse trail from Government Camp to Camp Blossom and the Timberline Cabin, Glade and Alpine trails; newly constructed by the Forest Service from Timberline Lodge to Government Camp.  The plan was for people to park their cars in Government Camp and ride the shuttle bus to Timberline and ski the trails all day.  No chairlifts or ski runs were planned in the original Timberline Lodge plan.

Most of those vintage signs are 12 feet plus off the ground as we used to get more snow and they had to be seen in the middle of the winter.

People like to pull these signs down and bring them to the museum.   We ask people to not pull them down and leave them where they are for historical purposes.  Additionally they are over 50 years old and therefore considered artifact and are illegal to remove from Forest Service Lands.


I've only spotted these signs on the Alpine Trail.  Its exciting to hear that they exist on the other two trails, as well.  Much more exploring to be done in search of these historic signs of a bygone era on Mt. Hood.  

My girls love to seek out the blue diamond trail markers on trees along the PCT and other trails around the mountain.  Spotting these orange triangles will be a fun new challenge considering their vintage and rarity.  We call it treasure hiking in our family.  If nothing else, it helps to distract them from any discomfort they may want to otherwise share and keeps it fun for all.  At least for a while longer.  

NOTE:  These signs are posted on the uphill side of the trees so that skiers could see them while bombing down the trails toward Govy on skis.  So you'll have the best luck finding them if you are hiking down the trails.  Another bonus for little legs that might otherwise tire of trudging uphill.  Good luck tracking them down and please let me know if you come across any.  
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