Portland’s Hoyt Arboretum is home to one of the most varied collections of tree species in the United States. This sprawling nature preserve serves as a research center, but with miles of trails easily accessible to downtown Portland, the arboretum is open to anyone who wants to spend time in nature.
Spread out over 190 acres in Washington Park, Hoyt Arboretum was opened in 1928 in an effort to teach Portlanders about the importance of preserving nature and protecting threatened plant species. It’s a hub of biodiversity, with over 6,000 trees and plants representing more than 2,300 species, many of which are endangered.
With a visitor center and miles of hiking trails, the arboretum is also a popular stop on tours of Washington Park. Other park attractions include the Portland Japanese Garden, the International Rose Test Garden, and the Oregon Zoo.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Hoyt Arboretum is a must-see for nature lovers.
- Drones, smoking, and climbing trees are prohibited within the park.
- The park is wheelchair accessible, with ADA bathrooms and other facilities.
How to Get There
The Hoyt Arboretum is located inside Washington Park, two miles from downtown Portland. There are plenty of paid parking lots throughout the park, though many travelers opt to ride the red or blue MAX light rail line from downtown to the Washington Park station instead. A free shuttle runs throughout the park from May through October, with a stop near the arboretum’s visitor center on Fairview Boulevard.
When to Get There
The Hoyt Arboretum is open throughout the year, but it’s best visited during the summer and early autumn months, when rainfall is less likely and temperatures are pleasantly warm. The arboretum is lovely in spring, when the plants and trees are in bloom, but it can be rainy. If you visit in the winter months, check out the winter gardens, with many varieties of conifers.
The Douglas Fir
Also known as Oregon Pine, the Douglas fir is a hearty evergreen conifer found across the Pacific Northwest. It's the state tree of Oregon, and most kids who grow up here can easily identify Doug fir cones by their little protruding bracts, which look like the feet and tails of mice.