Powell Butte excursion with the pup
On a recent sunny day, I needed to get out of the house while there was time. I quickly thought of Powell Butte, an oasis of outdoor recreation on an extinct volcanic cinder cone plopped on the periphery of Southeast Portland. It I been a decade or so since I’d been there. I hopped in my trusty Subaru with the pup and headed over to the spot I recalled as the main trailhead. If I’d done more than two minutes of research, I would have known that a construction project had been underway for months, and the park gate was closed. A massive underground reservoir was being built. But I didn’t do that research. So when I had to continue past the closed gate, I turned into Walter Matthau from Grumpy Old Men like a fool.
I did find a different access point in ten or fifteen minutes, walking up an old road.
I could have continued toward the meadow above, but I found another trail leading off into the woods, and I opted for that in hopes of making a decent loop through the forest. So it was as it traversed, then descended for a bit, and finally turned uphill out of a creek valley.
It felt unseasonably warm, and I definitely worked up a little sweat. There were no other people for a while, but once I looped back on top of the broad butte and into the open meadow, there were many hikers, runners and bikers. There were even two sets of people on horses. What a day to be outside!
The sun was glorious, and the views of Mounts St. Helens and Hood were terrific. It was even interesting to see the cordoned-off construction area, where there was a giant moraine of dirt.
After looping around the Orchard Trail, getting a few photos, I headed back to the car, pleased with my stroll, and I reminded myself that there are many trails here, with miles of walking possible. Powell Butte may fall in the shadow of the more famed and larger Forest Park, but this is an underrated gem for urban hiking. I forecast a return trip!
P.S. Do your homework on trailheads.
Posted on April 13, 2013, in Flora and Fauna, Hiking with dogs, Outdoors, Solo Hiking, Urban Hiking and tagged Hikes near Portland, Hiking, Mount Hood, nature, Northwest Oregon hikes, outdoors. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.