Monday, 3 October 2016

Portland Topography


Mt. Rainier (left) and Mt. St. Helens (right) photographed from Mount Calvary Cemetery in Portland.
Portland is located 60 miles east of the Pacific Ocean at the northern end of Oregon's most populated region, the Willamette Valley. Downtown Portland straddles the banks of the Willamette River, which flows north through the city center and consequently separates the east and west neighborhoods of the city. Less than 10 miles from downtown, the Willamette River flows into the Columbia River, the fourth-largest river in the United States, which divides Oregon from Washington state. Portland is about 100 miles upriver from the Pacific Ocean on the Columbia.

Though much of downtown Portland is relatively flat, the foothills of the Tualatin Mountains, more commonly referred to locally as the "West Hills", pierce through the northwest and southwest reaches of the city. Council Crest Park, the tallest point within city limits, is located in the West Hills and rises to an elevation of 1,073 feet. T

he highest point east of the river is Mt. Tabor, an extinct volcanic cinder cone, which rises to 636 feet. Nearby Powell Butte and Rocky Butte rise to 614 feet and 612 feet, respectively. To the west of the Tualatin Mountains lies the Oregon Coast Range, and to the east lies the actively volcanic Cascade Range.

On clear days, Mt. Hood and Mt St. Helens dominate the horizon, while Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier can also be visible in the distance.

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