Hike Distance: 7.7 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 1680.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 1077 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 220933 feet
So this hike is my attempt to break away from solely Vancouver, WA hikes. Powell Butte is a beautiful nature park located in Portland, OR. It is an extinct volcanic cinder cone. The interesting fact about this park is that it contains two underground reservoirs and holds a total of 100 million gallons of fresh water for use in the greater Portland area. The trail system in this park is very extensive and affords a multitude of hiking options. I’ve read that there are about 9 miles of trails traversing this park. That said, there must be 15-20 trail segments that can be used to form many hiking options. In addition, the southern end of the park connects to the paved Springwater Trail. The Springwater Corridor is 21 miles long and is part of a 40-mile loop trail.
I don’t think anyone is very interested in hearing the exact path I took around Powell Butte, and it would be lengthy. I’ve included a map of Powell Butte so you can see all the hiking options. I basically went around the park in a counter-clockwise direction. On the north side of the park I took a trail down to a nice loop called the Dogwood Trail. It was an interesting area as it smelled like weed, from the smokers I passed by. haha
I returned to the main trail and headed south through the forested west side of the park. This area has no views but is lush forest and very beautiful. When I reached the southwest corner of Powell Butte I followed a short trail to the Springwater Trail. I didn’t go very far here as I needed to get back to my car at a reasonable time to beat rush hour traffic.
I then headed east on the South Trail, which ascends through the forest and finally reaches the butte highlands. This is where the views are outstanding since primarily grasses grow in this area. The area on the southeast side of the butte is reserved for wildlife and isn’t accessible.
Veering around on Summit Lane you will come to an area that affords an amazing view, and it has stonework and information on which peaks you are seeing. I believe at least five volcanic peaks can be seen from this viewpoint: Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt Adams, Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson. Because of the cloud cover only the tip of Mt. Jefferson could be seen late in the day. Earlier in the day I got a fantastic picture of snow covered Mt. Hood!
From this viewpoint I headed back to my car. Such a fantastic place to visit! The summit almost always has plenty of visitors. The remainder of the trail system is only lightly/ medium use when off season.