Park hours: 5:00am-10:00pm. Vehicle access is restricted to the visitor center and parking lot. The entry gate is closed promptly without exception and all visitors should plan on returning to the parking lot in time to vacate the park before closing time. For safety and security reasons, the parking lot access is restricted to the seasonal hours listed below.
Fall: 7:00 AM-8:00 PM (Labor Day until switch to Pacific Standard Time)
Winter: 7:00 AM-6:00 PM (until switch to Daylight Savings Time)
Spring: 7:00 AM-8:00 PM (until Memorial Day)
Summer: 7:00 AM-10:00 PM (Memorial Day to Labor Day)
The Friends of Powell Butte is an organization consisting of neighbors and friends dedicated to and concerned about the qualities and resources of Powell Butte Nature Park. The association works closely with PP&R in planning and implementing park improvements, and providing volunteer services and citizen input. Monthly meetings are held the third Thursday of each month at the caretaker's residence near the parking lot. For more info, go to Friends of Powell Butte.
Powell Butte, an extinct cinder cone volcano, rises near the headwaters of Johnson Creek - an urban creek with remnant populations of native salmon and steelhead. The park is comprised of 608 acres of meadowland and forest.
Before the turn of the century, the large meadow area was cleared and an orchard planted. In 1925 the City of Portland purchased the land from George Wilson for future water reservoirs, but continued to lease the northeast portion of the property to Henry Anderegg, a farmer and owner of Meadowland Crest Dairy, until 1948 when the farming was discontinued. However, dairy cattle were permitted to graze on the acreage to preserve the pastures. In the mid-1970s the Water Bureau prepared a development plan for Powell Butte that called for the construction of four 50-million gallon underground reservoirs to be located at the north end of the butte. In 1981 the first, and only, reservoir was built and still serves as the hub of the Water Bureau's distribution system. Also, the Powell Valley Water District has three reservoirs on the butte. In 1987 the City officially established Powell Butte as a nature park and the park was opened to the public in 1990.
Today, miles of trails accommodate hikers, mountain bikers, and horseback riders. Abundant wildlife populates the park, including rabbits, ring-necked pheasants, ground squirrels, raccoons, gray foxes, skunks, bats, chipmunks, coyotes, and black-tailed mule deer. The park is home to many birds of prey with its open meadows, groves of wild hawthorn trees, forested slopes of Western red cedar, and wetlands near Johnson Creek.