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Washington Park

Park
Washington Park Amphitheater
Washington Park is the crown jewel of Portland. This 410-acre park is home to the Oregon Zoo, World Forestry Center, Hoyt Arboretum, International Rose Test Garden, and the Portland Japanese Garden,. Washington Park brings in 3.5 million visitors annually.
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Tips For a Safe Park Visit

Car prowls occur throughout the City of Portland including within Washington Park. Please see Tips For a Safe Park visit to learn more how you can help reduce the chance of your vehicle becoming a target.

Remove valuables from your vehicle: 

  • Remove all valuables, bags, or items that could be perceived as valuable when leaving your vehicle. Store them in the trunk if you cannot take them with you.
  • Close vehicle windows and lock vehicle doors every time.
  • Keep unused chargers and accessories in your glove box.
  • Be observant when you exit or enter your parked vehicle, stop and take a look around the area. Report any suspicious activity to park rangers or the police.

Parking Lot Maintenance South Side

Parking Lots A, B, and C will have sections closed for maintenance August 3,4, 7 – 10, 14, and 15. This means visitors should expect restricted access, detours, potential delays, and extremely limited parking near the Oregon Zoo and World Forestry Center from August 3 – August 15. Avoid parking headaches and explore the many transportation options to and around the Park on explorewashingtonpark.org 

If lots are congested on dates August 4, 7, 10, 14, or 15th, then onsite signs will direct new arrivals to park for Free at the offsite lot (6100 SW Raab Rd. Portland Or. 97221) and for visitors to ride the Free Washington Park shuttle back to the Park. Please look for signs upon your arrival to the Park, particularly during peak hours (10AM-2PM).  

For more information reach out to Explore Washington Park Explore Washington Park 

EMAIL: info@explorewashingtonpark.org
PHONE: 503-319-0999
 

Additional transportation resources:
    TriMet Trip Planner
    TriMet Park and Ride
    Biketown

Closures: 
Parking Lot A: August 3, 4
Parking Lot C: August 7, 8
North Lot B: August 8, 9 
North Mid Lot B: August 9, 10
South Mid Lot B: August 14, 15
South Lot B: August 15, 16

Color Coded map of the Washington Park South lots and closure dates

Getting to and around Washington Park

Parking is very limited in Washington Park, especially during warm, sunny weekends. Once you’re in the park, use the free seasonal shuttle to get around!

For maps, directions, attraction information, parking information, and other details and helpful tips, please visit Explore Washington Park.

FREE park-wide shuttle

The Washington Park Free Shuttle provides a safe, convenient way to explore all the venues and attractions in the park. Shuttles arrive approximately every 15 minutes and are all ADA accessible. The full loop takes about 30 minutes and connects with TriMet MAX Red and Blue lines, as well as the TriMet bus line 63. See the current shuttle schedule. 

Transit

MAX: The MAX Red and Blue lines from Downtown, East Portland, or Hillsoboro arrive approximately every nine minutes and is always an excellent choice getting to and from Washington Park. Check out the Transit Tracker or Planner on TriMet's Website.

TriMet Line 63: Provides service every hour from approximately 9:45 am -  6:00 pm. Please review the Line 63 schedule page for more information. 

Fare: The cost to utilize the TriMet system varies from $1.25 to $5 depending on how long you ride and other circumstances. 

Walking, biking, or rolling.

There is nothing better than a walk or  in the park, but did you know, you can walk to the park too? 

Washington Park has miles of trails to hike, low traffic roadways, and approximately 650 feet of elevation to gain. Please note that many trails and roadways do have significant grades that could be challenging for some users. 

From Portland

  • NW 23rd: Enter the park at the Historic Washington Park entrance known as Stearn's Canyon. There are multiple trails and pathways through the canyon. The main pathway is paved and has a moderate grade. This would be an excellent starting point for many guests. 
  • Downtown through Goose Hollow: The Madison Trail is another alternative to enter into the park. There is a temporary trail that is gravel and has stairs in place while the Water Reservoirs are being constructed. 
  • Downtown through Park Place: The Park Place entrance is the most difficult entrance from the east side of the park. A significant grade on a sunny street can makes this climb more challenging and less recommended than the others. 

From Beaverton or Sylvan Highlands

  • The Hwy 26 multi use path runs adjacent to the highway from Barnes to Sylvan and connecting on the south end of Washington Park and the Marquam trail. This is a longer trip and can get quite sunny on a summer day. 

Parking

Parking fills up quickly, so it’s best to use TriMet, walk, bike, or rideshare to get to the park. If you’re coming by car, you must pay to park. For more information on paying to park, visit the parks parking guide.

Check out the Washington Park Parking Map.

Free Parking: There is no charge to park along the gravel pullouts on Kingston Dr, Fairview Blvd, or Fischer Lane. Please pay attention to parking signage. 

ADA Accessible Parking: ADA parking is available throughout the park.

Where does parking revenue go?

100% of parking revenue supports Washington Park. Recent improvements include:

  • Better maintenance and security
  • Free parkwide shuttle service
  • A new park master plan
  • Roadway maintenance
  • Better signage and wayfinding for all users

Explore Washington Park (Transportation Management Association)

The secret is out: Washington Park is a great place to be. As a result, we must find ways to address congestion in and around the park. In 2014, the cultural institutions in Washington Park and Portland Parks & Recreation formed a transportation management associate, known as Explore Washington Park. This nonprofit organization oversees the transportation and parking management program within the park. This program has resulted in a significant decrease in driving trips to Washington Park, while also increasing overall attendance and improving the overall visitor experience. Learn more


Parking Inquiries

For citations and refund requests visitparks parking guide or call 503-283-2538

Visit Explore Washington Park for information on:

  • Oversized vehicle parking (buses, rvs, etc.)
  • Real time Parking Availability
  • Park Maps
  • And so much more!

Questions or comments

We’d love to hear from you! Please provide your comments through our Washington Park Experience Survey.


Explore 150 years of Washington Park

Washington Park is one of the oldest parks in Portland. Today, Washington Park has over 15 miles of trails, some of which are part of the 40-Mile Loop connecting Washington Park with Pittock Mansion, Forest Park to the north, and Council Crest to the south. 

Washington Park is celebrating its 150th anniversary with Discovery Points, locations throughout the Park that highlight stories and culture from the past 150 years and present. 

Explore 150 years of Washington Park


Notable park features

Chiming Fountain
In the main circle of the park is the Chiming Fountain. Water drips from one bronze pan to another, and gargoyles around the base spout water. Commissioned by the city for $400 in 1891, the cast iron fountain was created by John (Hans) Staehli, a Swiss woodcarver, who designed it after a Renaissance fountain. Originally the fountain was painted white and was topped by a cast iron figure of a boy holding a staff from which water spouted.

At some point over the years, the staff disappeared. The last known record of it was in 1912 when Willis McElroy's band was photographed in the nearby bandstand. In the 1920s, during a spell of freezing weather, water left in the fountain expanded and destroyed the figure of the boy. It was never replaced.

In 1960, the fountain was in such disrepair that the city was ready to scrap it. Local longshoreman Francis J. Murnane, whose avocation was the preservation of historic buildings and objects, appealed to Mayor Terry Schrunk and the park bureau was authorized to begin restoration. Much of the original decoration had disappeared so replicas were created from existing pieces for $450. With the additional costs of reassembly and installation, the total came to a little over $1,772 - a good investment!

Lewis and Clark Memorial
Placed at the entrance to the park, the Lewis and Clark Memorial is a 34-foot, rectangular granite shaft with each side bearing a large bronze replica of the great seals of the States of Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Idaho which comprised the Northwest Territory. This was the only portion of the United States that was acquired by discovery and therefore was never under a foreign flag.

President Theodore Roosevelt laid the foundation stone on May 21, 1903. He was assisted by the monument's designer, Portland stonecutter Otto Schumann. The memorial was completed in 1908.

Coming of the White Man
Coming of the White Man was given to the city by the heirs of David P. Thompson, an early Portland mayor and donor of The Elk Statue on Main between the Plaza Blocks.

Completed in 1904, this bronze statue, sculpted by Hermon Atkins MacNeil and cast by Bureau Brothers Foundry in Los Angeles, features two Native Americans standing on a block of rough-hewn native stone. Facing eastward, they look down upon the route that ox teams trudged bringing settlers to this part of the country. The older of the two is said to represent Chief Multnomah of the Multnomah people. At some point, the oak branch held by the younger figure was broken off.

Sacajawea Statue
A bronze statue of Sacajawea holding her son Jean-Baptiste is located near the Chiming Fountain. In commemoration of the heroic Shoshone Indian woman who helped lead the Lewis and Clark explorers through the mountains of the west, the statue was unveiled on July 7, 1905, at the Lewis and Clark Centennial. Among those present at the event were Susan B. Anthony, Abigail Scott Duniway, and Eva Emery Dye.

The project was promoted and paid for by subscriptions solicited nationwide by a group of Portland women headed by Mrs. Sarah Evans. The committee commissioned Alice Cooper of Denver, at that time an understudy of Lorado Taft, to sculpt the statue. It was cast in New York and required 14 tons of copper which came from the Sweden mine, just below Mt. St. Helens. The copper was donated by Dr. Henry Waldo Coe of Portland.

In April 1906, the statue was placed in its current location in Washington Park. Its inscription reads, "Erected by the women of the United States in memory of the only woman in the Lewis & Clark expedition, and in honor of the pioneer mother of Oregon."

Oregon Holocaust Memorial
Located near the corner of Washington Way & Wright, the Oregon Holocaust Memorial was dedicated on August 29, 2004. The memorial features a stone bench adorned with wrought-iron gating, screened from the street by rhododendron bushes. The bench sits behind a circular, cobblestoned area - simulating a town square.

During the Holocaust, many Jewish families were gathered in town squares before being loaded onto trains and taken to concentration camps. The square contains scattered bronzes of shoes, glasses, a suitcase, and other items to represent everyday objects that were left behind. A European-style, cobblestone walkway with inlaid granite bars, simulating railroad tracks, leads to a wall of history panels - giant, stone placards that offer a brief history of the Holocaust and quotes from Holocaust survivors.

At the end of the wall is the soil vault panel. Buried below the panel are interred soil and ash from six killing-center camps of the Holocaust - Chelmno, Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, Majdanek, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. The back of the wall is engraved with the names of people who died in the camps, followed by the names of their surviving relatives in Oregon and SW Washington.

Year acquired
1871
Size in acres
241.45
History

Originally acquired in 1871, Washington Park is one of the oldest parks in Portland. The city originally purchased the 40.78 acres in 1871 from Amos N. King for $32,624. Many people questioned the purchase given that the site was thick with brush and timber, and cougar roamed the hills.

City Park, as Washington Park was originally known until 1912, developed slowly. In 1885, the city hired Charles M. Myers as its first park keeper. A native of Germany and a seaman, Myers had no formal training but enthusiastically began to develop the park by using his memories of European parks as a guide.

By 1900, the park had developed from a wilderness to a place of drives, walkways, formal plantings, lawns, clipped hedges, and ornamental flower displays.

In 1903, John C. Olmsted toured Portland and recommended changes of lasting usefulness to the park: he advised changing the name from City Park to one of more distinction, moving the main entrance to Park Place, separating vehicular traffic from foot traffic, and restoring some of the formally planted areas to their natural beauty with native shrubs and ground cover.

The last major land addition to Washington Park was made in 1922 when the entire 160-acre County Poor Farm was transferred to the Park Bureau. The southern half of the property was developed into the 9-hole West Hills Golf Course. The remainder was designated as a municipal arboretum in 1928.

Washington Park was also the site of Portland's first zoo, which Dr. Richard B. Knight began as an animal attraction in the mid-1880s. Dr. Knight was an English-born seaman who became a pharmacist upon moving to Portland. He purchased two bears (a grizzly named Grace and a brown bear named Brownie) along with other animals from his seafaring friends and exhibited them on a vacant lot next to his downtown pharmacy.

By 1887, the popular collection had outgrown its quarters, so Dr. Knight donated the animals to the city for a zoo. The animals were moved to the area near the current reservoirs. The collection grew rapidly. By 1894 there were about 300 specimens, mostly North American species plus some monkeys, a kangaroo, and some foreign birds. The city park keeper, Charles Myers, became the zookeeper as well.

He constructed the bear pit, which is believed to have been the first sunken, barless cage anywhere in the world. In 1925, the zoo moved to a higher location, the present site of the Japanese Garden. The zoo opened at its present location in 1959 and in the 1960s its management was transferred to Metro.

The Rotary Club of Portland spearheaded a $2 million fund-raising effort that culminated in the 1995 construction of the Rose Garden Children's Park, a popular, accessible play area for children of all ages.

Accessibility Notes

Parking with ADA placards

Parking with regular disabled placard/plates:

  • If you have a disabled placard or disabled plates from any state, you MUST pay to park during enforcement hours (9:30 am to 8:00 pm).

Parking with an Oregon Wheelchair User or Wounded Warrior placard:

  • If you have an Oregon Wheelchair User disabled placard that clearly has the words "Wheelchair User" or "Wounded Warrior" written, you may park without payment for an unlimited amount of time.

All disabled parking placard/plate holder MUST follow all other posted signs.

Reservations available

  • Picnic site
  • Wedding site

Make a reservation through the customer service center

Park Location or Entrance

Head of SW Park Place
Portland, OR 97210
400 SW Kingston Avenue
Portland, OR 97210

Open hours

Park hours: 5:00 am - 10:00 pm
Closed to vehicles at 10:00 pm

To reserve a sports field, picnic area, or amphitheater, please call 503-823-2525.

Upcoming construction

Expected Grand Opening May 2024

Past construction

Master Plan accepted by City Council in March 2018

Park amenities/activities

Accessible Play Area
Accessible Restroom
Historical Site
Pay to Park
Picnic Shelter
Picnic Table
Playground
Plaza
Statue or Public Art
Visitor Attraction
Vista Point
Stage (Outdoor)
Paths (Paved)
Paths (Unpaved)
Trails (Hiking)
Soccer Field
Fountain
Tennis Court (Lighted)

Park policy

  • All dogs must be leashed in this park.

Neighborhood

City section

Downtown