Powell Butte Nature Park, Portland

Our 1st Visit to Powell Butte!

We expected to walk in a park surrounded by houses when we drove to the Powell Butte Nature Park’s parking lot. However, as we climbed up the hill into the park, the houses disappeared. Suddenly, we were surprised to see the very beautiful and impressive Mount Hood. 

The view of the majestic mountain without any obstruction was breathtaking.

We didn’t realize that Powell Butte Nature Park, which opened to the public in 1990, is one of Portland’s most prominent natural areas with over 6OO acres of meadow and forest; it is also an extinct volcano.

We started walking up the well-paved Mountain View Trail to discover the circular Mountain Finder. This steel artwork points out every significant peak and butte with its distance in the horizon! Here we could witness an entire in-the-round vista of the valley and views of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, and other Cascade mountains.


About a half mile ahead, we took the unpaved South Trail that led us into the shaded forest with tall firs and cedars, a trail that mountain bikers also seem to like! From there, we crisscrossed many paths. The last part of our walk back to the parking lot revealed another hidden functionality: Powell Butte has TWO enormous tanks, each containing 50 million gallons of water. More than 85% of the water, supplied by the Portland Water Bureau, goes through Powell Butte Nature Park!

In hindsight, we picked the perfect day to visit this park: A clear sky, a view for miles, and blossoming trees; it all made an excellent enjoyable two hours walk.

Revisiting The Park!

Four years later, I returned to this mesmerizing park with my friend for a short walk following the Mountain View Trail. However, with light rain and a clouded sky, we did not see any of the Cascade Mountains. Nevertheless, our walk on top of the Powell Butte felt and looked magical.


April 30, 2019
June 9, 2023


5.25 miles
2.84 miles

Moving Time

1:38:24 h
0:57:39 h


58 °F, sunny
59 °F, light rain