View of Downtown Portland off of 12th Ave. Bo Koering/PSU Vanguard

Best views in the city

The City of Roses is home to some beautiful views, and you don’t need to leave the city to find a great lookout either.


Portland Aerial Tram

For an amazing view of downtown Portland, Mt. Hood, and Mount St. Helen’s on a clear, sunny day, head down to the Portland Aerial Tram’s lower terminal on 3303 SW Bond Ave. The aerial tram is a four-minute ride to the upper terminal where you can see the largest enclosed sky bridge in the United States. Hop off the tram and enjoy coffee and lunch with some friends on the outdoor patio.

The tram is open Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m.–9:30 p.m., and 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Children under the age of six ride for free, but adults pay $4.90 for a round trip ticket. You can get to the lower terminal via streetcar, MAX, bus or bike.


Joseph Wood Hill Park

A lovely high point located right off Highway 205, on top of Rocky Butte, is the Joseph Wood Hill Park. It’s a 2.38 acre park overlooking Mt. Hood, downtown Portland and the Cascade Mountain Range and is one of the city’s highest eastside points.

The park is a great spot for picnics, dog walking or just people watching. It also has two rock walls and is a popular spot for rock climbers to practice top roping.


South Side Stairwell

For some students, driving may not be an option, so take advantage of the views you can get to by foot.

On the southwest side of Portland, behind the Peter W. Stott field on Portland State campus, you can find a set of cracked cement stairs laced with bushes and fencing. The viewpoint is framed by the beautiful southern hills of Portland’s residency. You’ll be able to overlook campus rooftops and south Portland. Runners often head to this secret trail in the early morning for a quick workout, scaling almost four stories.


South Waterfront

If heights aren’t your thing and you want to take the low road, spend the day along the Portland waterfront. If you want to expand your waterfront adventure, traveling along the northwest side of the river allows you to overlook the industrial views of eastern Portland. Mock’s Crest, a remote park that overlooks the east industrial tracks and the north river, is also a beautiful sight.