Autumn at Madrone Wall Park

On a delightfully dreary November morning in 2018, I pulled my car into the empty lot off Oregon Highway 224 and paid my $6 for a parking pass to experience Madrone Wall Park and Climbing Area, one of Oregon’s newest parks (opened October 2017). It’s a small park with really just a single trail running a loop along the heavily forested base of a massive basalt rock wall. The height of the wall was hard for me to gauge in the terrain, but it loomed over some pretty happy “second-growth” Douglas fir and big leaf maple trees. Anyway, this place should be any local rock climber’s dream. It’s not my area of expertise, but I bet you’d be hard pressed to find a better climbing wall this close to Portland. With that, I should add that the trail is not accessible for wheelchairs or frankly anyone with a walking impairment. It is a pretty wild location with sections of the trail being nothing more than rock slabs, which this time of year were covered with slippery leaves. But climbers — and lovers of Madrone trees — will find this small park pretty spectacular.

And here’s a nice overview map from Portland Rock Climbs.