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Portland Water Bureau

From forest to faucet, we deliver the best drinking water in the world.

GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97204

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Bull Run Tour FAQ

Bull Run photos

When can I go on a tour?
We offer tours from June through October, with a mix of weekdays and weekends.

How long is the tour?
The tour is an all-day affair. We usually leave Portland at 8:30 and return around 4:30.

How do we sign up?
We use an online ticketing service for signups. If this presents challenges for you, please call 503-823-5351.

When do you post the season's tour dates?
We post tour dates in June.

How can I sign up to be notified when you post tour dates for the next season?
If you'd like to receive an email when we post the season's tour dates, sign up for our notification list (link coming soon!).

How much does it cost?
$21.69. We charge a $20 fee for transportation, and the ticketing service adds a fee of $1.69.

How much walking is involved?
You'll have the chance to walk around a little, but because of the distances involved in the tour, we spend much of the day on the bus. We usually offer an optional one-mile hike through old-growth forest.

Why do the tours fill up so quickly? How can I make sure to get a seat?
We're lucky to live in a city where people want to see their drinking water source firsthand. For your best chance at a seat, sign up for our notification list so that you know when we post the tour dates. If it's later in the season and the tours are full, check back often. People's plans change, and seats often open up.

Can I bring my kids?
You can, with the understanding that we spend most of the day on a bus, and the explanations are intended for adults. We ask you to consider three parties: 1) Your kid. You know your child better than anyone else does--would they have a good time on an eight-hour bus tour? 2) Yourself. Will you enjoy an eight-hour bus tour with your child? 3) The other people on the bus. Please consider other participants as you make your decision.

I went on a tour last year. Can I go again? 
Yes, but please hear us out: We have a very limited number of tours and a limited number of seats on the bus. Every year we hear from people who would like to go but can't because the tours fill so quickly. Please consider your fellow Portlanders who haven't been to the watershed before you sign up.

I reserved a seat but now I can't go. What can I do?
We offer a refund if you give us at least three days' notice. If you'd like a refund, contact Brown Paper Tickets (1-800-838-3006). If you don't have three days' notice, we can't offer a refund, but you're welcome to give your ticket to a friend (just have the friend tell us, when he or she shows up, that he or she is subbing in for you). If you can't get anyone to take your ticket, we'd still love to know that you can't make it in case we have someone who is interested. Email us (waterbureaueducation@portlandoregon.gov) or call Kate Leatherbarrow (503-823-5351) to let us know.

I'm a teacher interested in taking my class to Bull Run. Do you offer field trips?
We offer Bull Run field trips in May, June, September, and October. Check here for more information.

I have a group of people who would like to go on a tour together. Can we sign up as a group?
We offer tours for groups of about 25 people. If you have 25 people who want to commit to an all-day field trip, please contact Briggy Thomas (briggy.thomas@portlandoregon.gov) by April 1 to be considered for the upcoming summer. Groups are also welcome to sign up for any of our public tours.

I have a question that's not answered here. Can I call or email you?
Yes! You can call Kate Leatherbarrow (503-823-5351) or email us (waterbureaueducation@portlandoregon.gov).