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Hike the Hoyt Arboretum

Hoyt Arboretum

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Distance: 2.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 450 feet.

The Hoyt Arboretum is a museum of living trees found within Portland’s Washington Park. The Arboretum covers 190 acres and contains 12 miles of trails within it’s borders. There are endless loops and options you can take over those 12 miles, but the loops presented here allows for you to see someone of the highlights both in the Arboretum and in Washington Park itself.

Because there are so many trails in Washington Park and Hoyt Arboretum, there are many different places you can start your hike from. This write-up is going to start from the Visitor Center because it is easy to find and free to park. There is also free parking near numerous trailheads on both Fairview Blvd and Fischer Lane, or you can pay to park as some of the parking areas in Washington Park near the Vietnam Memorial.

But, assuming you have parked at the visitor center, head south out of the parking lot and towards the Holly or Overlook Trail. However you do it, eventually find yourself on the Overlook Trail switchbacking an open, grassy meadow. Eventually you will find yourself at antoher parking area. Follow the connector trail along the side of it and cross over Knights Blvd toward the Vietnam Veterans of Oregon Memorial.

As you head toward the memorial, pass under a foot bridge and to the center of a large circular area. Here, you will find the trail as it circles out of the center and up over the foot bridge. Once past the bridge, you will pass plaques along the trail documenting Oregonians who were lost during the Vietnam War.

After the memorial, continue heading uphill on the Maple Trail until you reach Knights Blvd once again. This time, instead of crossing, find the Wildwood trail to your left and follow that as it winds to Fairview Blvd. Cross over this road and head up the White Pine Trail has it meanders through densely wooded draws.

Soon, you will reach a four way intersection. Leave the White Pine trail and head straight on the Fir Trail, but just for a minute. You will hit another 4-way intersection soon and then make a left and head out on the Redwood Trail. This trail will cross over Fischer Lane and then enter one of the cooler areas of Hoyt Arboretum.

Once over the road, the Redwood trail will enter a grove of redwoods as it heads up Johnson Creek. While not as large as the varieties that grow in California, they are still some impressive trees. At the upper end of the trail, you will encounter a viewing platform perched out over the draw offering some cool views of the forest.

After the platform, head up the Wildwood trail as it loops around towards Fairview Blvd. Cross the road for the last time and join up with the Oak Trail as it wonders back down to the visitor center. Now if you can follow that confusing pile of directions, congratulations. If not, there are trails and signs everywhere so you should be able to find your way around just fine. Just explore and enjoy the scenery!


To reach the Hoyt Arboretum, take Highway 26 west from Portland and then take exit 72 towards the Oregon Zoo. Wind up Knights Blvd past he Zoo and World Forestry Center for 0.8 miles until you reach Fairview Blvd. Make a right and the Arboretum will be on your right.

Things to Know

Passes: Parking at Hoyt Arboretum Visitor Center or at one of the many roadside trailheads within it are free. If you choose to Park in Wahsington Park, it is $2 an hour or $8 for the day.

Dogs: Allowed and must be on leash

Usage: Moderate to Heavy

Open Season: Area is open year round. It can get wet and muddy in the winter and spring.

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