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Rocky Butte

Oregon > Portland & The Gorge

Description

Rocky Butte is perhaps Portland’s 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.

There are reports of lots of broken glass here, including on some of the climbing holds. Pack some out if possible, and use care for your hands and feet!

Getting There

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.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Trail and cliff map for Rocky Butte
[Hide Photo] Trail and cliff map for Rocky Butte
Leading up an unknown route at Rocky butte. If you know the name of this route please comment!
[Hide Photo] Leading up an unknown route at Rocky butte. If you know the name of this route please comment!
There's no good way down from Rocky Butte to the trail that leads back up to the top of the wall. If you can, top out one of the routes. If not, plan on rappelling off a tree down this cliff and hill to get to the trail at the bottom of the wall.
[Hide Photo] There's no good way down from Rocky Butte to the trail that leads back up to the top of the wall. If you can, top out one of the routes. If not, plan on rappelling off a tree down this cliff and hi…
Thanks a lot to the Mazamas and the AF!
[Hide Photo] Thanks a lot to the Mazamas and the AF!

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Caleb Phillips
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] 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. Oct 20, 2007
cerickson
Portland, OR
[Hide Comment] My buddies and I committed to cleaning up the Butte everytime we climbed there. Bring a plastic bag and don't leave til it's full. If everyone does it ... it makes a difference. Sep 30, 2009
Peter Franzen
Phoenix, AZ
[Hide Comment] There seems to be a lot of dry tooling going on out at the 'Butte. Some of the faces are scarred pretty badly. Feb 2, 2010
Bryan Hall
Portland, Oregon
[Hide Comment] I've got to admit, yes it's easy to find and access, but no, it's just not worth it. So much noise from the highway forces you to yell to your climber when they are only 40 feet away! May 30, 2012
Nate Ball
Portland, OR
[Hide Comment] I really have to agree with Bryan on this. My gripe isn't about the trash, it's not about the noise, but about the dirtiness and lack of accessibility.

Most routes must be rapped down to. Not a big deal, as long as there are accessible trees or anchors to rap from, which there often aren't.

Most popular cliffs don't have easy walks to the top. You rap in, you climb out, or you do that gnarly 4th-class scramble.

Most routes have a layer of dirt/cobwebs/glass on them. Many routes are polished as well.

There may be fantastic climbs interspersed among the debris - the Breakfast Cracks climbs are especially rad - but it's just not worth it. Now if someone were to set new top anchors... Aug 8, 2014
Phil Newman
Portland, OR
[Hide Comment] Wow! It used to be the dirtiness of this crag was acceptable and somewhat part of the charm. Today I arrived to find not just litter, but large piles of debris, remains from former homeless encampments, needles and piles of human excrement. This rock has so much potential to be amazing, fun and right in town - it just made me sad to see it in it's current state. Sep 3, 2018
Nathan Kelly
Fresno, CA
[Hide Comment] Dirty yet incredibly fun climbing. Just enjoy the climbing nestled in Portland. Area is definitely a one hit wonder and is not something I would go back to again. 1 day ago