Rocky Butte is perhaps Portlandís most accessible crag. Rocky Butte is located in Northeast Portland near I-205. Although noisy, somewhat overgrown, and often dirty it is a worthy crag for the happy-hour crowd or a quick weekend afternoon. It tends to be pretty damp during the rainy season but is quite climbable during the rest of the year.
To reach the climbing area take I-84 East from downtown to the 82nd St. exit. Drive North on 82nd to Freemont Street, and take a right. Freemont will turn into 91st Street and will lead to Rocky Butte Rd, which loops around the top of the butte. Park at the gravel pullout across the street from the large church domes. The cliffs lie just beyond the trees to the East. Pick your favorite tree and rappel down.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Rocky Butte:
Mind Games is one of the most unique routes at Rocky Butte. More people would climb it were more widely known how to access the area. Start by gaining the belay ledge, either by rappelling in or climbing up 20' from the forest floor. Ascend an easy, blocky start up to the chimney. Stem and grunt up the large flaring chimney before making a tricky exit move to the anchor....[more]Browse More Classics in OR
The Butte is dirty and the rock isn't perfect, but, if you live in Portland and want to catch a climb after work, or ride your bike to the crag, this is your only choice. If you give it a chance, you can fall in love with the dirty appeal of the 'Butte.
Rocky Butte, was a quarry before it was used as target practice by the Military Academy that used to occupy the Domes. It's possible that some of the scars are from dry tooling, but more likely, you're seeing the bullet scars.