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Powell Butte in Southeast Portland is back open

Powell Butte's main entrance, closed since 2012, has finally re-opened this summer. Managed by the Water Bureau, it was closed so that reservoir work could be done on the site. It's based on a Cinder Cone, so it offers spectacular views of the city and surrounding mountain peaks. It has extensive daylight hours from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. throughout the summer. A visitor's center and many nice picnic areas have been added next to the main parking area, located just up the hill on 162nd off of Powell Blvd.

New drinking fountains also offer a lower height fountain for dogs and a view of Mt. Hood.
Kathleen Sweeney
Mt Hood seen from the newly re-opened Powell Butte
Kathleen Sweeney

It is a good place to go for a day hike, picnic, or to practice carrying a heavy backpack for a summer backpacking trip (note that this park allows no camping). It is close to the city, but still offers trails with an uphill grade and lots of wildlife. On one trip you might see deer, Northern Harrier, Lazuli Bunting and many goldfinches.

Seasonal wildflowers also populate the hillside along with orchard trees including apples and pears. Earlier in the season the Lupine on the Orchard Loop trail are phenomenal; some are at least five feet tall. There are also Foxgloves, Farewell to Spring, daisies and clover. See slideshow.

The mountain finder is a spot on the trail that originally pointed to all mountains and buttes visible from the area. It has been rebuilt and now contains a large compass point. Looking North, you can see Mt. St. Helens, East is Mt. Hood, and between the two is Mt. Adams. To the right of Mt. Hood several degrees is the very top of Mt. Jefferson.

This is a place that always has something going for it and now it has even more because you can learn about the history of the area and read about the native people as well. The visitor's center is open Saturday and Sunday from 10 to 3 pm according to the sign on the door. Much of the information is available 24/7 on the plaza outside. Make sure to go to the back plaza too, so you see all of it.