Catch the Sunrise from Rocky Butte

Joseph Wood Hill Park, Portland, Oregon, United States

  • Activities:

    Photography

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

Easy Parking
Romantic
Scenic

Dramatic views of Mt. Hood. 360 degree views of surrounding areas. Easy to access and plenty of space to relax.

Joseph Wood Hill Park is another under the radar gem right in the heart of the city. It’s located on Rocky Butte, an extinct volcanic cylinder cone, and provides sweeping panoramic view of Portland and beyond. Accessing the park is easy – you can drive directly there and parking is plentiful.

Plan to arrive about an hour before sunrise, and give yourself plenty of time to set up your camera and get your bearings - the true star of the show is the silhouette of Mt. Hood so you’ll want to set yourself up accordingly. We like to bring a few blankets, some coffee or hot chocolate, and quietly wait for things to unfold. It’s a really peaceful, and potentially romantic, outing.

Sunsets are also pretty epic from here, but can be a little more crowded. We prefer the solitude and sense of adventure that waking up before sunrise brings.

Photos: 2whljnky

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Flashlight or headlamp
  • Jacket
  • Beanie
  • Thermos
  • Blanket
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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This was a fabulous place to take pictures of the sunrise. You do get a 360 degree view, and if the weather is nice you can get some wonderful photos. The place is easy enough to find and parking is plentiful (in the morning, at least). Highly recommend it!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

I moved to the Pacific Northwest almost 11 years ago (July will be 11 years), I was always to busy to really explore the area. Then 3 years ago I was in a bad accident and as a result became disabled. Well they say everything happens for a reason, I have always wanted to learn photography but never had the time. Even though I wouldn't be able to keep up in a class setting now, I have been teaching myself since last June when A friend bought me my first "real" camera. A Nikon D3300, I have been lucky enough to come across some good lenses and when I'm out taking pictures it's the only time I don't think about my pain, my multiple illnesses, medications or dr's app's. This morning I almost missed the sunrise because the view is ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING!! I have learned to appreciate beauty and not take life for granted and my goodness, coming up here this morning was like being in touch with God. It was peaceful, there is no end to the beauty that you can see from up top this gem right in the middle of the city. This is why I love living here. You don't need to travel 4-5 hours to find beauty, it's right there, you just need to know where to look. Thank you for the recommendation I will be visiting here often. I feel completely at peace, and I have all day. And yes I got some amazing shots 😇😇

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Gorgeous views and I'm planning to go back to see what it's like at different times of the year. There was a little bit of trash left around though so plan on doing your part to clean up a little while you're there.

almost 3 years ago
almost 3 years ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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