Pets allowed
Guided tours
Backcountry camping
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.

Joseph Wood Hill Park, built in 1935, sits atop an extinct volcanic cinder cone butte within the Portland Metro Area. The cinder cone itself is part of the Boring Lava Field—a group of more than 30 cinder cones throughout Oregon and Washington. The placement of the park in this location, with its 600-foot elevation, provides an incredible 360-degree view of the area, including Downtown Portland to the west, Mount St. Helens to the north and the Columbia River Gorge to the east. Beyond the vista point, the historical site includes public art installations and can be reserved for special events.

The area surrounding Joseph Wood Hill Park is known as the Rocky Butte Natural Area. Joseph Wood Hill, the park’s namesake, is known for establishing the Hill Military Academy in Northwest Portland in 1901 and later moving it to the Rocky Butte area.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Great 360-degree view. Easy to access.


Small park. Exposed to weather conditions.


Historically significant
Rock climbing
Picnic tables


Nearby Lodging + Camping


I recently hiked up the winding road (NE Rocky Butte Road) that leads to the top of this park, but on my way back down I discovered a hidden trail that leads down through the forest. Although very steep and winding, it's a great way to go down or up, to avoid walking along the road. It's located at the top of the butte, on the west side, and is accessed via a narrow footpath that leads behind and below a stone wall, directly on Rocky Butte Road. You will quickly zig-zag your way down through a beautiful forest and emerge right next the the road tunnel on Rocky Butte Road.
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