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Trail facts at a glance
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 #9 or bus 74, just east of SE 162nd Ave at 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 Trail facts at a glance, at the top.
Powell Butte Nature Park
Portland Parks & Recreation
Name: Powell Butte Nature Park
Parks agency: Portland Parks & Recreation
Contact: (503) 823-7529 [Monday—Friday 8:30 am—5:15 pm]
Location: 16160 SE Powell Blvd, Portland 97236
Hours: 5:00 am—10:00 pm for humans—for cars, see below:
Fall: 7:00 am—8:00 pm (Labor Day until switch to 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)
Public transit: TriMet bus #9 or bus 74—SE Powell Blvd and 162nd Ave stop ID 13597, eastbound; or 164th Ave, stop ID 4609, westbound, each about a half mile uphill, to the visitor center
Length: proposed hike is 2.9 miles
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: September 4, 2021
Click map image for larger map
Note: vehicles are no longer banned due to Covid; check this website for further information