The NW Alpine Blog of Alpine Pursuits — mt. hood
New Routes on Mt. Hood (Part 1)
Cathedral Ridge: Mt. Hood's rarely climbed classic
Illumination Rock on Mt. Hood
ILLUMINATION ROCK, Clackamas County. On this rock occurred the first successful illumination of Mt. Hood. This illumination was part of the Independence Day celebration in Portland on July 4, 1887. Will G. Steel organized a party that carried one hundred pounds of red fire to this rock and the light was seen as far as the mountain was visible. I had no idea that this was how Illumination Rock was named and think it would have been really awesome to have seen this. For some reason I think the Forest Service would probably frown on a re-enactment, especially since I-Rock sits in the Mt. Hood Wilderness area.
This blog post goes into significantly more detail about the first and subsequent illuminations (the first even made the New York Times!) Interestingly the Steel Cliffs are named after the man in charge of the original efforts, William Gladstone Steel.
Illumination Rock is also home to some fantastic mixed climbing and makes a worthy day trip destination from Portland during the winter and spring.