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Powell Butte

Portland Parks & Recreation

Trail facts at a glance

Name - Powell Butte Nature Park

Parks agency - Portland Parks & Recreation - click for more information

Contact - 503-823-7529 [Monday – Friday 8:30 am – 5:15 pm]

Location - 16160 SE Powell Blvd, Portland 97236

Transit - TriMet bus #9 – SE Powell Blvd and SE 164th Ave [.5 mile from park]

Length - proposed hike is 2.9 miles

Hours - see Park hours panel to the right for important information

How difficult do we consider it - Easy - Difficult. Some of the natural surface trails have rocks or loose gravel with steep grades.

Date of last visit - February 25, 2016

Powell Butte is an extinct cinder cone volcano that has been transformed into a unique nature park with more than 611 acres and 10 miles of trails of hiking, biking, bird watching, and equestrian opportunities.

The closest public transit is TriMet bus line #9 at SE 164th Ave and Powell Blvd.  From there one would turn onto 162nd Ave and walk uphill for a half mile, to reach the parking lot and new Visitor Center.  If one drives, there are accessible parking spaces close to the Visitor Center where one will find drinking fountains and an accessible restroom.  There is also parking for horse trailers, but in a separate lot.

Around the Visitor Center, there are picnic benches, shady areas and interesting artistic displays.  The Visitor Center was not yet open at our visit.  Call for center hours, if interested.

There is a large trail map at the trailhead.  The trails are an assortment of asphalt, compacted gravel and natural surface with various grades.  The steepest grade on our suggested trail loop is on the Forest Edge Trail, a natural surface trail with a short section estimated to be at about 17%.

From the Visitor Center trailhead, the trails begin with a wide asphalt trail, designed for accessibility.  This trail leads to the summit with exceptional views and the occasional bench.  Most trail junctions are marked with directional signage.  Some have small trail maps on them as well.

At the summit, there are picnic tables, benches and a “mountain finder."  The mountain finder has a series of plaques pointing out the various peaks visible from the summit.  When we arrived in early spring, we had a clear view of the snowy mountaintops of Mount Hood, Mount Adams and Mount St Helens.

This nature park is comprised of meadowland and forest.  Before the turn of the 19th century, a large meadow was cleared and an orchard was planted.  Fruit trees, are still maintained and bearing fruit on site.

Vehicle access is restricted to the main parking lot.  The entry gate is closed promptly.  All visitors should plan on returning to the parking lot in time to vacate the park before closing time.  The park is open from 5 am to 10 pm, but parking lot access is restricted to the seasonal hours listed in the Park hours panel, above.

Park hours

Park hours: 5:00 am - 10:00 pm.  Vehicle access is restricted to the Visitor Center and parking lot.  The entry gate is closed promptly without exception and all visitors should plan on returning to the parking lot in time to vacate the park before closing time.  For safety and security reasons, the parking lot access is restricted to the seasonal hours listed below.

Fall: 7:00 am - 8:00 pm  (Labor Day until switch to Pacific Standard Time)

Winter: 7:00 am - 6:00 pm  (until switch to Daylight Savings Time)

Spring: 7:00 am - 8:00 pm  (until Memorial Day)

Summer: 7:00 am - 10:00 pm  (Memorial Day to Labor Day)

Click on bus symbol to access TriMet information

Bus 9http://trimet.org/schedules/r009.htm

Click on image above to learn more about the Powell Butte Reservoirs Project, which helped create this beautiful trail system.  Thanks, Portland Water Bureau!

Click on map to open a larger map that can be downloaded or printed