Hike-in Required
ADA accessible
Guided tours
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Washington Park's Hoyt Arboretum was founded in 1928 with a mission to conserve endangered species and educate the community. This ridge-top arboretum includes 187 acres and 12 miles of hiking trails. Along the trails (two of which are suitable for wheelchairs) you will find a plant collection containing 10,000 individual trees and shrubs representing approximately 1,000 species from around the world.  Although Hoyt Arboretum is relatively young, it possesses the largest group of distinct species of any arboretum in the U.S.

In addition to the expansive hiking trails, the arboretum has a visitor center, an indoor classroom with seating for 40 people, a large picnic shelter, and a meadow. Since the 1970s, volunteers have provided tours that begin at the visitor center. Park hours are 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and the visitor center parking lot and access roads close at 10:00 p.m.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

General Day Use Fee


Extensive trail access. Viewpoints. Wildflowers.



Pets allowed



Big vistas
ADA accessible



To say that the Hoyt Arboretum is "rapidly becoming a dog park" is wildly inaccurate, and a gross misrepresentation and injustice to this magical place. Since 1998 I've lived a half-mile from the park and walk there regularly, year-round. I rarely see dogs. I've heard that some local residents meet to take their dogs for a regular morning walk, but even then, with 12 miles of trails, there's ample space. Since late summer of 2018, I have personally guided dozens of groups on professional walking tours throughout the Arboretum. We have seen dogs only occasionally, sometimes accompanying runners on the Wildwood Trail. To imply that nearly 200 acres of beautiful park is overrun by dogs is completely absurd.

Another review bemoaned the paid parking. Yes, there are two paid lots adjacent to the park's visitor center. But there are at least as many free spaces along Fairview Blvd, (depending on how far you want to walk), in addition numerous free spaces at various locations within the park itself. It's entirely possible to park for free on even the busiest days. But you don't need to worry about parking at all during summer months, since there's a free shuttle that runs every 15 minutes (from May to September) during daylight hours. If that seems too good to be true, see this link for the schedule:


It's disappointing to find such a smear against the park from an uninformed grump. The Hoyt Arboretum is one of the crown jewels of a park system that rivals any metropolitan area on earth. There is no other place on the planet that allows you to step from a dense Oregon forest into a delightful, almost century old stand of redwood trees, and soak in the awe of a beautiful suspended deck among these towering giants.

On a clear day, from the highest viewpoint in the park, you can enjoy magnificent views of Mt. St. Helens and even Mt. Rainier, 100 miles to the north. Or stroll along a cool, shaded path through a dense stand of Norway Spruce, planted in the 1930's and looking so much like the Black Forest you'd swear you saw little Red Riding Hood along one of the trails.

(Up until fairly recently, even that would not have been as far-fetched as it seems: The network television show "Grimm" was, for seven seasons, filmed entirely in Portland, including in the Arboretum.)

Visitors can also enjoy the amazing story of the Dawn Redwood, an astonishing tale of a tree that was once common in Oregon, but was extinct here for millions of years. When living examples were discovered in a remote Chinese province, seeds were sent to Portland. One of those seeds is today the fifth largest Dawn Redwood in North America, and the first conifer of its kind to actually bear cones in the Western Hemisphere in six million years.

The Hoyt Arboretum is the only place on earth where you can stand before such an exemplary specimen of living a tree that is also the state fossil for the State of Oregon. There is so much more to tell that I plan to write a book about it.

Hoyt is lovely but it's rapidly becoming a dog park. Hike during off hours or winter to avoid the unleashed hordes.

Skip the Visitor's Center where they push you to buy a membership. Just grab a free map outside and go.

Regarding pay-to-park. Just wanted to share that there are pockets of free parking. The parallel parking right next to the visitor center is one notable example. There is another where the Wildwood meets Kingston Drive between the Sherwood Blvd and Knights Blvd.

That's all.
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