Mount Hood National Forest Quarter

The fifth and final 2010 coin to be issued in the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters™ Program is the Mount Hood National Forest Quarter for the state of Oregon. It was released into circulation on November 15, 2010, and ceremonial introduced by the United States Mint and the United States Forest Service on November 17, 2010.

2010 Mount Hood National Forest Quarter
2010 Mount Hood National Forest Quarter - Click to Enlarge

More than 1 million acres of pristine mountains, streams and lakes make up Mount Hood National Forest. This picturesque area is located only 20 miles east of Portland, Oregon.

The quarter’s reverse depicts a view of Mount Hood with Lost Lake in the foreground. Inscriptions include MOUNT HOOD, OREGON, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. The coin was both designed and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill.

Several quarter design proposals were created, as shown below. These candidates were placed under scrutiny by several individuals, as well as the two major entities responsible for reviewing all U.S. coin and medal designs — the United States Commission of Fine Arts (CAF) and the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC).

Mount Hood National Forest Site Quarter, Design Candidate OR-01 - Click to Enlarge
Mount Hood National Forest Site Quarter, Design Candidate OR-01 - Click to Enlarge
Mount Hood National Forest Site Quarter, Design Candidate OR-02 - Click to Enlarge
Mount Hood National Forest Site Quarter, Design Candidate OR-02 - Click to Enlarge
Mount Hood National Forest Site Quarter, Design Candidate OR-03 - Click to Enlarge
Mount Hood National Forest Site Quarter, Design Candidate OR-03 - Click to Enlarge
Mount Hood National Forest Site Quarter, Design Candidate OR-04 - Click to Enlarge
Mount Hood National Forest Site Quarter, Design Candidate OR-04 - Click to Enlarge

A design featuring a rippling lake surrounded by pine trees in front of the beautiful Mount Hood, as depicted on quarter design candidate OR-3, was suggested by both the CFA and CCAC.

It was this base design that was selected for the Mount Hood quarter by U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner after receiving recommendations from United States Mint Director Ed Moy. The Mint made the design announcement for all the 2010 America the Beautiful Quarters on March 24, 2010.

As mentioned, the Mt. Hood National Forest Quarter is the last of 5 quarters to be issued in 2010 and follows the Hot Springs National Park Quarter, the Yellowstone National Park Quarter, the Yosemite National Park Quarter and the Grand Canyon National Park Quarter.

The Oregon coin released in 2005 as part of the US Mint’s 50 State Quarters Program featured an image of Crater Lake, which is located in southern Oregon. Similar in landscape to what you may find in Mount Hood National Forest, the lake was created when Mount Mazama collapsed thousands of years ago after a violent eruption. Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the United States at over 1,900 feet.

Also issued by the US Mint and containg the same basic design as this 2010 quarter is the Mount Hood America the Beautiful Uncirculated Silver Coin.

Additional 2010 America the Beautiful Quarter releases for the year include:

Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon

Peak at Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon (NPS Photo) - Click to Enlarge
Peak at Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon (NPS Photo) - Click to Enlarge

Mount Hood received its name in 1792 when Lt. William Broughton named the peak after Lord Samuel Hood, a respected admiral of the British Royal Navy. For the next 100 years, the region remained in relative obscurity.

This changed when land in the area was first put under the protection of the federal government in 1892 as the Bull Run Forest Reserve. In 1908, Bull Run was merged with Cascade National Forest and the two became the Oregon National Forest. Finally, in 1924, the whole area was renamed Mount Hood National Forest.

Over 25% of the forest lands are designated wilderness, meaning a concerted effort is maintained to restrain human influences on the area. This does not prevent almost 4 million annual visitors from enjoying Mount Hood as a whole, however.

Most any outdoor activity you can think of is undertaken within the boundaries of Mount Hood. Some of these include boating, rafting, hunting, hiking, skiing and mountain biking. Camping is also enjoyed by thousands, both in and out of the multiple campgrounds.

Interestingly enough, local Oregon citizens find winter a perfect time to visit Mount Hood as they continue the annual tradition of finding their Christmas tree within the boundaries of the National Forest.