Powell Butte Cheat Sheet
Hiking Distance: 1 – 9 Miles. Short loops make it easy to choose your own adventure.
Elevation Gain: 300′
Trail Type: Loop
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: Yes
Horses Allowed: Yes
Parking Fee: None
Features: Meadows, Wildflowers, Forest, Mountain Views
Distance from Burnside Bridge: 12 Miles
Located deep in SE Portland, Powell Butte is my favorite place to go when I’m itching to get out of the city but don’t have a lot of time. There are 9 miles of trails to explore, featuring meadows, wildflowers, scenic views, and then a surprise turn into a thick forest where the only sounds are those of the birds and your own footsteps.
There’s usually a good amount of hiker traffic on a sunny day, but I’ve been here on rainy days where I didn’t run into a single other soul on the trail. The top of the butte features a “mountain finder” which, when the sky is clear, can help you identify which distant mountain is which. Five mountains are viewable from the top, weather permitting.
There are a few paved trails for bikes and wheelchair access and those trails will get you to the mountain finder. If you’re looking to get a lot of miles in on your bike, look elsewhere, since many of the trails are off-limits, but you should be able to fit in a mile or two of easy loops with the kids.
Here’s a link to the Powell Butte Visitor Center.