Rocky Butte
Rocky Butte is an extinct volcanic cinder cone
Volcanic cone
Volcanic cones are among the simplest volcanic formations. They are built by ejecta from a volcanic vent, piling up around the vent in the shape of a cone with a central crater. Volcanic cones are of different types, depending upon the nature and size of the fragments ejected during the eruption...

A butte is a conspicuous isolated hill with steep, often vertical sides and a small, relatively flat top; it is smaller than mesas, plateaus, and table landform tables. In some regions, such as the north central and northwestern United States, the word is used for any hill...

 in Portland
Portland, Oregon
Portland is a city located in the Pacific Northwest, near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers in the U.S. state of Oregon. As of the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, making it the 29th most populous city in the United States...

, Oregon
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

, United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. It is one of four, along with Kelly Butte, Powell Butte
Powell Butte
Powell Butte is an extinct volcanic cinder cone butte in Portland, Oregon, United States. It is one of four such cones inside the city that are home to a city park and is part of the Boring Lava Field, an area of extinct volcanoes. Powell Butte hosts the Powell Butte Nature Park.- External links...

, and Mount Tabor
Mount Tabor, Portland, Oregon
Mount Tabor is the name of a volcanic cinder cone, the city park on the volcano, and the neighborhood of Southeast Portland that surrounds it, all in the U.S. state of Oregon. The name refers to Mount Tabor, Israel. It was named by Plympton Kelly, son of Oregon City pioneer resident Clinton...

, inside the city that are each home to a city park, Rocky Butte playing host to Joseph Wood Hill Park. It is also part of the Boring Lava Field
Boring Lava Field
The Boring Lava Field is an extinct Plio-Pleistocene volcanic field zone with at least 32 cinder cones and small shield volcanoes lying within a radius of 13 miles of Kelly Butte, which is approximately 4 miles east of downtown Portland, Oregon, in the United States...

, a group of over 30 cinder cones in Oregon and Washington. The slopes of Rocky Butte are also home of the Rocky Butte Natural Area. In addition, it was formerly home to a jail and Judson Baptist College. Currently it is the location of a City Bible Church campus, Portland Bible College
Portland Bible College
Portland Bible College is a private four-year college in Portland, Oregon, USA that offers theological and church ministry degrees. It was founded in 1967 by Dick Iverson and is associated with the City Bible Church. The campus is adjacent to City Bible Church atop Rocky Butte in northeast...

 and City Christian Schools. It lies next to Interstate 205
Interstate 205 (Oregon-Washington)
Interstate 205 is a loop route that serves the Portland—Vancouver metropolitan area in the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington. I-205 is officially named the War Veterans Memorial Freeway, and is also known as the East Portland Freeway...


Formerly known as Wiberg Butte, a large quantity of rock was removed from the quarry on the east face of Rocky Butte in the 1940s for use in a new Multnomah County jail. After the jail was demolished in the 1980s, much of the stone was reused along the Historic Columbia River Highway. In the early 1900s, the Union Pacific Railroad
Union Pacific Railroad
The Union Pacific Railroad , headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska, is the largest railroad network in the United States. James R. Young is president, CEO and Chairman....

 had a spur into the east side of the Butte at a station named Quarry.


Rocky Butte is a popular location for rock climbers in the Portland area. It hosts approximately 150 routes which vary in difficulty and type. The majority of routes will be top-roped
Top roping
Top-rope climbing is a style in climbing in which a rope, used for the climber's safety, runs from a belayer at the foot of a route through one or more carabiners connected to an anchor system at the top of the route and back down to the climber, usually attaching to the climber by means of a...

, though there are some options for Traditional climbing
Traditional climbing
Traditional climbing, or trad climbing, is a style of rock climbing in which a climber or group of climbers places all gear required to protect against falls , and removes it when a passage is complete...

 and Lead Climbing. The most popular climbs are on the section known as Video Bluff.

External links

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