Welcome to SP!  -
Rocky Butte

Rocky Butte

Rocky Butte

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Lat/Lon: 45.54671°N / 122.56601°W

Object Title: Rocky Butte

County: Multnomah

Activities: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 612 ft / 187 m


Page By: EastKing

Created/Edited: Jan 10, 2017 / Jan 11, 2017

Object ID: 991626

Hits: 458 

Page Score: 75.81%  - 6 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote



Welcome to another famous summit located in the heart of the city of Portland, Oregon. This peak is home to great views and good optional rock climbing and scrambling. In many ways this summit is very similar to Skinner's Butte which is located located Eugene, Oregon and Pilot Butte located in Bend Oregon. The summit area is basically a drive up but there are optional activities that can be done on the peak. For Rocky Butte there is a great climbing wall to the northeast from the summit which holds a variety of routes from 5.5 to 5.11 located in the rock quarry.

Downtown Portland
Downtown Portland

As stated above, the summit is a basically a drive up. A 30-40 feet hike from the car up to the castle like summit will give you nearby views of the Columbia River Gorge to the northeast, majestic Mount Hood to the north and downtown Portland to the east. This is a great place to go year round provided the summit is clear enough to have any sort of view. There is also an optional trail that leaves from the Grotto Area and another optional Tunnel Trail as well. There is no reason to not visit this summit even if you on business and did not bring any hiking boots.

Castle Like Platform
Castle Like Platform
Looking at the Columbia River
The Columbia River

Getting There

FROM I-205: Take exit 23 and head east. On the next road (Sandy Blvd) make a right and head southwest for roughly 2 miles. Make a left onto Skidmore Street if you are specifically trying to get to the Grotto Trailhead and the rock climbing area. If you are just driving up to the summit then make a left on 82nd and then another left onto NE Fremont. That road will then turn into Rocky Ridge road which will take you all the way to the summit castle area.  

Optional Rock Climbing Routes

Okay the biggest drawback to this peak is that is a drive-up. There is an optional trail up called the Tunnel Trail. There is also a trail that leave from the Grotto Trailhead to the north as well.

It should be noted that the Rocky Butte Climbing Area is on the northeast side of Rocky Butte. Below is a map of all the routes takes Portland Rock Climbs.

Rocky Butte Climbing Map
Rocky Butte Climbing Map

Red Tape

The park is free and it is open from dawn to dusk every day. 

When to Climb

Only come here if you can get a view. The view is very good and it would be a waste of effort to come here on a foggy day. Any time of year is good to head up to this summit.


There is no camping aloud at the park. It is right in the heart of the city of Portland so accommodations are very easy to come by. 

External Links




Rocky Butte Peakbagger Home Page

Rocky Butte Natural Area Home Page

A link on making Rocky Butte into a hike


Downtown PortlandPowell ButteView North from the Parking AreaThe view eastCastle Like PlatformLooking at the Columbia RiverRocky Butte Climbing Map