Hogan Butte Nature Park

Hogan Butte Nature Park just opened to the public last weekend. It’s always good to have a new park in town – and this one has a great view. There are views of all of the nearby mountains. I believe the day we went we saw Mount St Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Hood, but on a clear day you could see Mount Rainier and Mount Jefferson as well.

 

Mt Hood in the distance
Mt Hood in the distance

 

There is quite a steep hill from the smaller lower parking lot to the top of the hill, but there is also a drop off area at the top and a few handicap parking spaces at the top.

 

A place to rest
A place to rest

 

At this point, there weren’t a lot of wildflowers, but I did see some sweet peas. And it sounds like there are more wildflowers in the spring and early summer. Some of the maple trees along the path were newly planted and haven’t gotten fully root bound yet, so the leaves are already dying. And there was grass seed, but still no grass on the ground yet. But I’m sure by spring the trees will be just fine and the grass will be growing and the flowers all blooming and it will be just beautiful. Just keep in mind if you go visit that it is a ‘new’ park. The view from the park is awesome is amazing, though!

 

Sweet Peas
Sweet Peas

 

What I didn’t realize until they opened the park was that Gresham is one of the few cities to have extinct volcanoes right within city limits. And Hogan Butte sits right on top of an inactive volcano’s vent. Whoa! Mind blown. I always knew we were situated in ‘the ring of fire’ living in the Portland metro area, but to have an inactive volcano right in my home town is a bit disturbing, to say the least. I always figured if any of the big volcanoes surrounding us blew their tops, we were far enough away from them all that all we’d get would be ash and smoke in the air. I’m just going to have to hope that since the buttes in Gresham are much smaller than all of the bigger inactive volcanoes, perhaps they are less likely to get set off than the bigger ones.

 

View of Mt Hood from the lookout area on Hogan Butte
View of Mt Hood from the lookout area on Hogan Butte

 

Pattern on the picnic table
Pattern on the picnic table

 

The city began acquiring the land for this park back in 1990. A few years back they also purchased the historic house at the base of the hill near the parking lot as well. The house was built in 1928 and was once a Prohibition-era speakeasy.

 

Green shed
Green moss covered shed

 

I spoke with a lady whose sister was the last person to own the house. She said the city had been trying to purchase it from her sister for years and then she finally gave in and sold it to them a few years ago. It has been renovated since being built, but there is still an old fashioned double wide cast iron stove in the kitchen. At this point the house isn’t open to the public. My son and I may have walked all the way around the house peeking in the windows. Not saying we did that, just saying we may have done that. Ha. No one lives in the house at this time.

 

Apples!
Apples!

 

The old house at the bottom of the hill
The old house at the bottom of the hill

 

If you’re in the Gresham area, definitely check this park out. The view is worth it!

 

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The Pittock Mansion in the fall

The Pittock Mansion was built in 1909 for the London born Oregonian publisher Henry Pittock and his wife Georgiana in the west hills of Portland, Oregon. This 46 room house on 46 acres of land is now owned by the city. The mansion is modeled after French Renaissance and Victorian architecture. The city of Portland purchased the estate for $225,000 in 1964 and it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

Though I’ve been there a few times now, I still have yet to go inside. I need to find one of those buy one get one free deals!

I have, however, now managed to see it in all seasons except winter. This year was my first time going in the fall. And what beautiful colors there were on the Japanese maples! My all time favorite thing to try to photograph this time around. I waited for all the other visitors walking by to clear out of the area around the Japanese maples and then started sneaking around underneath the trees to get some photos with all the wonderful twisty branches and beautiful red leaves. Of course, there were other wonderful things to see and take photos of. And the view from the West Hills looking down into Portland is amazing.

I hope you enjoy!

 

Japanese maple in all it's fall glory
Japanese maple in all it’s fall glory

 

I’m just glad I didn’t get my car towed or ticketed because I parked right in front of a sign leading off to the water tower in the parking lot that said ‘Do Not Block’ and didn’t even think about it until after I looked at the photo I took of the sign when I downloaded my photos onto the computer after I got home. Whoops!

 

Do not block
Do not block

 

The Pittock Mansion through fall leaves.
The Pittock Mansion through fall leaves.

 

Small and white
Small and white

 

Ornate details
Ornate details

 

Decked out in leaves
Decked out in leaves

 

 

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