This unique urban crag located in NE Portland provides roadside rock climbing opportunities for people of all age groups. This easily accessible east side city crag is just a short drive from your daily occupation.
Rocky Butte Quarry is a north facing bluff that overlooks a distant Columbia River. The main cliff is extensive and tall and is ideal for rappelling, top-roping, or lead climbing. Just a short one-minute walk from your car to access the upper edge of this crag and to explore some of your favorite climbs.
There are numerous trees at the top to use for top-rope anchor belay points. Many of the popular climbs also have excellent fixed bolt anchors near the upper edge of the climbs. Be cautious when accessing these fixed anchors as they tend to be on the very edge of the precipice.
The Joseph Wood Hill Park on the very top of Rocky Butte is a great place to view the city of Portland as well as a perfect site for instructing and learning safe methods of climbing. Park your vehicle along the west side of the loop road at the top of Rocky Butte. Along the inner side of the loop road offers a low angle slab of cemented blocks of basalt, great for learning basic climbing technique.
The upper west side of the main viewing area (above the slab) a 15-foot high face offers difficult horizontal bouldering for the more expereienced climber.
Immediately below the west edge of the road is a 20-foot high & 200-foot long vertical retaining wall. This little vertical abruptment offers a sawdust platform along the entire base of the wall. This stone masonry retaining wall provides an excellent place to practice your skills of bouldering.
An overview street map of the City of Portland will show that Rocky Butte Quarry is located quite near the freeway intersection of the I-84 and I-205 freeways. To visit this inner city climbing crag, take exit #5 eastbound off I-84 [or exit # 23 from I-205 at Sandy Blvd]. Once you are on NE 82nd Avenue drive to the point where it intersects with NE Fremont Street.
Turn east and drive approximately 3/4 mile until the road curves north to become 91st Avenue. Shortly the road curves east again and becomes NE Rocky Butte Way. Here is a Road/Trail Map.
The Quarry cliff is accessed on your immediate left or northeast side of the road across from the City Bible Church domes. Parking is available for .3 mile along the road shoulder from the last house [Breakfast Cracks area] to the stone retaining wall [Video Bluff area] at the eastern end of this short stretch of road. Do NOT park in the Bible College parking area.
There are numerous short access trails from the roadside over to the top of the cliff edge. Be careful when setting up top-rope anchors along the cliff edge, because the dirt slope can be quite slippery and steep near the cliff edge.