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Tualatin Mountains
Mountain Range
West slope of the mountains from Beaverton looking north
Country United States
State Oregon
District Multnomah County
Coordinates 45°34′50.420″N 122°47′45.359″W / 45.5806722°N 122.79593306°W / 45.5806722; -122.79593306
Highest point
 - elevation 330 m (1,083 ft)
Timezone Pacific (UTC-8)
 - summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
Topo map USGS Linnton
location of Tualatin Mountains in Oregon [1]

The Tualatin Mountains (also known as the West Hills or Southwest Hills of Portland) are a range of hills on the western border of Multnomah County, Oregon, United States.[1] A spur of the Northern Oregon Coast Range, they separate the Tualatin Basin of Washington County, Oregon from the Portland Basin of western Multnomah County and Clark County, Washington.

The range includes Mount Sylvania, Elk Point, Dixie Mount, Rocky Point, Bald Hill, Long Mountain.

The hills date from the late Cenozoic era, and range up to over 1000 ft (305 m). Composed mainly of basalt, the mountains were formed by several flows of the Grande Ronde basalt flows that were part of the larger Columbia River basalts.[2] Human settlement goes back 10,000 years to the area's earliest known residents, the Chinook people.

Despite steep slopes, periodic landslides, and multiple earthquake faults, many residences have been built in the Tualatin Mountains, though much of the northern portion is undeveloped land within the 5,000 acre (20.23 km²) Forest Park. The landscape, inside and outside the park, is predominantly forested.

U.S. Route 26 (the Sunset Highway) is the principal transportation link across the hills, traveling through a canyon and over the pass at Sylvan. This route through the hills connecting the agricultural Tualatin Basin to the navigable Willamette River was developed as a plank road in the 19th century, and was a major factor in the early growth of the city of Portland.

Since 1998, the west side MAX Light Rail has run roughly parallel to US 26 through the hills, including a section tunneled deep underground.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Tualatin Mountains". Geographic Names Information System. U.S. Geological Survey.  
  2. ^ Bishop, Ellen Morris. In Search of Ancient Oregon: A Geological and Natural History. Timber Press, 2003.


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