Monday, November 23, 2015

Powell Butte

When you've complained to everyone you know about how cold your Powell Butte hike was, there's nothing left to do but to complain to the blogosphere. This hike, as evidenced by the photo above where I am wearing not one but TWO down jackets, was the coldest hike I have possibly ever been on. But more about the positives of this (frigid, windy, Portland hike/walk/trail-run/dog walk/bike location)...

First off, Powell Butte is a butte, obviously, and a nature park that covers 612 acres out on 162nd street. As the name suggests, you follow SE Powell all the way out past the juntion to 205, until you're in a rather unrecognizable area of Portland, unrecognizable because it's actually Gresham. The butte is an extinct cinder cone volcano that offers some wonderful views of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Adams. The top of the butte is all meadowland and was once used as a dairy (up until 1948). It was then slated to house Portland's water reservoirs, though only one was built at the end of the nature area. In 1990, the butte became a hiking, biking, trail running, dog-walking, and family-friendly outdoor recreation area. It was also just renovated this past year and has an expanded parking lot, nice roads, a visitor center, and well maintained trails. It's a great place to watch wildlife, catch stunning mountain views, watch the moon/stars, and do all manner of outdoor activity. Warning though: it's cold up there. A fierce east wind blows in and the unprotected top of the butte is buffeted by chilly wind in the winter.

Ben and I walked the Mountain View trail, the Summit Lane (through pastureland), then down the South Trail down through the Redwood forest, and back up the Hawthorn Trail back to the visitor center. Though cold, the hike was beautiful and pretty well used. We saw a ton of families "enjoying" the frigid weather. I would absolutely recommend checking out the hike for the pretty vistas on any day that isn't 40 degrees with a 20 mph wind.

1 comment

  1. I feel like the frigid temperatures are partially my fault as I was telling F that it's never cold enough unlike hometown Chicago to make me pull out my puffy down coat. I think this week I may actually pull it out! The plus though is that there's beautiful snow atop the peaks again so Mt Hood looks like it's normal breathtaking self


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