1120 SW Fifth Avenue, Portland, OR 97204
Rocky Butte is an extinct volcanic cinder cone butte with steep forested slopes visible from Interstates 205 and 84. Joseph Wood Hill Park is located at the top. The slopes of Rocky Butte are managed as the Rocky Butte Natural Area. The Butte is part of the Boring Lava Field, a group of over 30 cinder cones in Oregon and Washington. The site was formerly home to Rocky Butte Jail.
Formerly known as Wiberg Butte, a large quantity of rock was removed from the quarry on the east face of Rocky Butte in the 1940s for use in a new Multnomah County jail. After the jail was demolished in the 1980s, much of the stone was reused along the Historic Columbia River Highway.
Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is proposing to clear “window” views at Rocky Butte Natural Area to comply with the City of Portland’s Scenic Views, Sites and Drives Inventory (November 8, 1988). According to the description in the inventory (VP 19-06), “The Rocky Butte panorama allows views in nearly all directions with particularly spectacular views of Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens." To re-establish the views, PP&R is removing trees to create window views of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens and downtown. PP&R will take this opportunity to improve the health of the forest on the butte by removing invasive species, planting 400 trees (the majority are low growing) and 5,200 shrubs.
Emily Roth, Project Manager