If you're looking for a beautiful and scenic hike near Portland, Oregon, the Pittock Mansion hike is the perfect option. This hike offers gorgeous views of the Cascade Mountains (including some of the best mountains to climb in Oregon), the Willamette Valley, and the city of Portland.
The Pittock Mansion itself is a French Renaissance-style chateau that was built in 1914 and has since been transformed into a museum. It's a wonderful way to explore the area and get some exercise at the same time.
In this post, we'll provide all the information you need to know about the Pittock Mansion hike, including the route, elevation, what to bring, and more!
Pittock Mansion is located in the West Hills of Portland, Oregon, only 12 minutes from downtown. To get to the trailhead at Upper Macleay Park, go north on SW 4th Ave and then get onto Q Burnside and NW 22rd Place, then take NW Westover Rd to NW Lovejoy Street. Take NW Cornell Road two minutes, or 0.7 miles to the trailhead. The parking area is on the right, and the trail is on the left.
The History of Pittock Mansion
Portland’s Pittock Mansion is a historic house museum that was built in 1909 by prominent Oregonian Henry Pittock and his wife, Georgiana. Henry was a newspaper publisher, philanthropist, and businessman who was active in the development of Portland. The mansion is situated on 46 acres of land and overlooks downtown Portland and the Willamette River.
The Pittock Mansion was constructed in the French Renaissance Revival style, making it an iconic landmark in the city of Portland. Its design is considered to be one of the best examples of this style in the Pacific Northwest, which was popularized by the English architect Richard Norman Shaw. The estate includes three buildings—the main residence, a conservatory, and a gatehouse—as well as an extensive garden and grounds.
Today, the Pittock Mansion is a popular destination for both tourists and locals who are looking to take in some of Portland’s history. Visitors can take guided tours of the mansion or explore the grounds and hike around the estate on their own. For those interested in hiking Pittock Mansion, there are several trails to choose from, ranging from easy to moderate difficulty. The trails provide beautiful views of the city and offer a peaceful escape into nature.
What to Expect
Pittock Mansion is a very popular destination that's particularly busy on weekends and holidays. There are several different ways to access the mansion, the most popular being the upper parking lot adjacent to the mansion. But, there are only a few parking spots there, around 50, so it fills up fairly quickly.
If you want to complete the hike from the Upper Macleay parking area, you'll need to park along NW Cornell Road. There are several parking spots on the north side of the road. There are around 10 spots near a large, graffitied sign and then a larger parking area further west up the road with more like 25 parking spots. You do not need a parking pass to park in either spot. But, you'll need to pay if you park up at Pittock Mansion itself.
The Hike Itself
The trail is about 5 miles in length, gaining around 1,000 feet, or a little less, of elevation along the way.
If you're starting from the Upper Macleay Trailhead, you'll need to cross Cornell Road to the south side; there, you'll see a trail headed uphill. You'll take this until the first intersection, only about 0.1 miles in. Take a left or right fork; most people take a left for the next 04. miles (this is the Wildwood Trail). At the next fork, go right and follow the trail up through some switchbacks. Once you reach these, you'll know you're near the mansion.
The trail gains elevation steadily, never too steep, and never flat for too long. But it's fairly easy overall.
Near the Pittock Mansion hike, there are a few other options that you might want to check out. Including the hike (from the same trailhead) downhill to the famous Witch's House. We won't exactly recommend that excursion, though, as the house is more of a derelict building covered in graffiti than it is anything worth walking to.
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