Directions: This hike starts at the Visitor Center, just off of 162nd and Powell in Southeast Portland.
From the parking area at the Visitor Center (just past the piano that’s free for the public to play!) get on the paved Mountain View Trail. You’ll follow this a short distance until you come to a gravel section in the trail, go right here and get onto Pipeline Lane. You’ll backtrack a bit and get a nice view of Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens as you follow the thick gravel trail towards the north.
The trail gradually heads uphill and skirts along the tree line. Off to your left you can see the gated entrance to the underground reservoir. Soon you’ll come to an intersection in the trail, go right and get onto Holgate Lane where you enter the woods. Follow this dirt and rock trail through the woods at a fairly level grade. There is a giant metal pipe that lines most of this trail and does have leaky spots so year round there are muddy sections of the trail. Soon you’ll reach the Elderberry Stairs on your left, head up these somewhat steep steps that wind up the side of the hill.
Continue following the trail until you come to another junction. Go left here and get back on Pipeline Lane, you’ll follow this trail back out the way you came in with a view of Mt. Hood almost the whole way back.
Powell Butte is great for an after work hike or quick weekend outing. It does stay pretty busy year round no matter if it’s a weekday or weekend.
Make sure to pack your binoculars if you’re into wildlife viewing. There are lots of different birds, butterflies,and even deer.
Distance: 2 miles (easy)
Elevation: 180 (easy)
Pet Friendly: Yes
Good For: All ages
Parking Fee: None
Warnings: There are nettles along the trail in the woodsy areas.