Hood River County is a county located in the U.S. State of Oregon. The county was established in 1908 and is named for the Hood River, a tributary of the Columbia River. In 2000, the county's population was 20,411. The seat of the county is the City of Hood River.
Agriculture, timber, lumber and recreation are the major sources of revenue and industry. Fruit grown in the fertile valley is of such exceptional quality the county leads the world in Anjou pear production.
The Columbia River, which runs right by the City of Hood River, has become a premier windsurfing destination, attracting wind surfers from throughout the United States and around the world. Cool, moist coastal air is drawn through the Columbia River Gorge as the desert to the east heats up on warm days, creating winds between 15-35 knots most days in the summer. With the current in the Columbia River flowing from east to west, and the wind blowing from west to east, large swells are created on the river that wind surfers enjoy riding like waves.
Windsurfing has affected the local economy in many ways: windsurfing-oriented businesses and upscale restaurants catering to visiting wind surfers have reinvigorated the downtown area, many people who first visited Hood River in search of wind and waves have settled in the area and become an integral part of the community, and the local economy has been infused with much needed tourist dollars.