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.
I saw the buttress posted here and though I should add this. There are currently 5 distinct and separate moderate trad routes here, and 3 more slight variations of the 5. They all go between 5.8 and 5.10. Only 2 of them have names. On the far left, as you start up the 4th class which goes to the top, is the obvious crack "Corona Glass Houses", 5.10- named by Bryan Schmidt after he and I did the FA. The other routes it's nice to have a 70M rope. I noticed that my blue Mammut 60m JUST reached the ...[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.