Where is the Highest Point in Portland?

Where is the Highest Point in Portland?

View from Council Crest

The view from Council Crest is amazing, but it isn’t the highest point in Portland.

A question often asked by visitors and newcomers to the city is “where is the highest point in Portland?”. It isn’t obvious where the highest point is, even if you’ve lived here for years. While Mt. Tabor and Rocky Butte are among the most prominent, they both fall well under the height of the West Hills. In many cities, a good guess is “whichever hill has all the radio towers on it”, and in Portland’s case, that is Healy Heights, at 1043 feet. While it appears to be the tallest of the West Hills due to its location on the eastern edge of the range (and the radio towers don’t hurt), it is not the highest point.

In my research on the subject, the most common answer was that Council Crest, at 1083 feet, is the highest point in Portland, but that turns out not to be true. It is the highest of the SW Hills (i.e. the hills south of Burnside), and it has some great views, without a doubt. But after careful searching, it turns out there are several areas within the Portland city limits that are significantly higher in elevation than Council Crest.

As it happens, a large portion of the length of NW Skyline Blvd. is higher than Council Crest. In fact, one section of the road just touches 1200 feet, although this point is just outside the city limits, so it doesn’t count. Inside of Portland proper, the road reaches about 1180 feet above sea level just north of the Willamette Stone Heritage Site, and then reaches about 1143 feet again further north at the Skyline Memorial Gardens. Both of these points are significantly higher than any other place in Portland by at least 60 feet, with the Willamette Stone Heritage Site location almost 100 feet above the summit of Council Crest, definitely qualifying it for the title of highest point in Portland.

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