Why You Should Visit
Located in the transition zone between the moist, heavily-forested west side of the Cascades and the drier bunch grass prairies of the east, Tom McCall Preserve comes into spectacular bloom every spring.
Lava flows, catastrophic floods and volcanic ash deposits shaped a mound-and-swale topography that perplexes the experts. Earthquake sorting, freezing and thawing, erosion, soil accumulations by plants and wildlife burrowing activities have all been suggested as having caused the mounds.
On the Old Columbia River Scenic Highway, 11 miles east of Hood River
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The preserve is named for Oregon's late governor, Thomas Lawson McCall, whose commitment to conservation in Oregon remains an inspiration. A patchwork of ownership includes the Conservancy, Mayer State Park and national forest lands. The preserve is managed in cooperation with these agencies.
The rare plant populations are monitored by ecologists, and in spring and summer, volunteer docents lead interpretive hikes.
With assistance from the Portland Garden Club, Berry Botanic Garden, Native Plant Society of Oregon and others, the Conservancy also created a native plant garden in the turnaround at the viewpoint.