How to Visit Hoyt Arboretum Without a Car

How to Visit Hoyt Arboretum Without a Car

Getting to Hoyt Arboretum without a car has never been easier. We are conveniently located within Washington Park, a destination that has long been accessible with a MAX station on site.

Taking the MAX:

A map of the MAX rail system and stations is available on TriMet’s site as well as schedules, and ticketing information. The MAX Red or Blue Line both stop at the Washington Park station.

If you’re coming from somewhere east of Downtown Portland, hop on the MAX Red or Blue Line toward Beaverton/Hillsboro and get off at the Washington Park MAX station.

If you’re coming from the west side, you’ll take the Red or Blue Line toward the Airport/Gresham and get off at the same Washington Park MAX station.

The Washington Park MAX Station is subterranean. As you exit the train, follow the signs directing to the correct elevators.

Once you have arrived at Washington Park, there are 2 ways to enter the Arboretum:

  1. Take the FREE Explore Washington Park Shuttle up the hill to the Visitor Center!
  2. Walk! Access the Arboretum trails on foot from the MAX station.

Taking the Shuttle:

Did you know that there is a free shuttle service that loops through Washington Park? Run by Explore Washington Park, this free shuttle runs every day, year-round

When you exit the MAX station, head toward the zoo and wait at the shuttle stop near the Explore Washington Park kiosk and visitor information center. 

The shuttle drops off right in front of the Hoyt Arboretum Visitor Center, and is a 5 minute ride.



October through March, the shuttle runs  10am to 4pm. 

April through September, the shuttle runs  9:30am to 7pm.


Typically, a shuttle comes by every 15 to 30 minutes during operating hours, but you can track where the shuttles are in the park on the Explore Washington Park website. You’ll also find information about stops, and rules of use on their page.

All shuttles are wheelchair accessible.

Only service animals are permitted.


You may access the Arboretum trails on foot from the MAX station. Once you exit the station, follow the sidewalk along SW Zoo Rd and follow the signs pointing toward the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Hoyt Arboretum.

You’ll also see sidewalk markings directing toward Wildwood Trail. This is where you’re headed.

This path will curve onto Knights Blvd, which you will continue to follow until you reach the Vietnam Veterans Memorial parking lot.

Once you reach the Memorial parking lot, you can choose between 2 routes to reach the Visitor Center.

The path highlighted in pink is longer, but with a more gradual incline and is wheelchair accessible. From the Memorial parking lot, this route is 0.5 miles. 

The shortest path is highlighted in yellow on the map below. This route includes stairs and a more vigorous incline, but is only 0.25 miles. 


To take the longer, gradual, and wheelchair accessible route from the Memorial parking lot:

  1. Veer right past the parking lot and follow the sign toward the Overlook Trail.
  2. Stay on the paved Overlook Trail all the way to the Visitor Center parking lot. 



Every trail intersection will have a post with trail markers. Follow the arrows with the corresponding trail names and colors, and you should have no trouble finding your way.

This marker is at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial parking lot and points the direction of the Overlook Trail and the Visitor Center. To the other direction, you’ll be guided toward the Wildwood Trail and the Memorial across the street.

Download a full trail map.



To take the shorter, more vigorous route from the Memorial parking lot:

  1. Cross the street and enter the Arboretum at the very start of the Wildwood Trail. 
  2. Follow it to Maple Trail.
  3. Take the stairs up past the Maple Collection.
  4. Cross Knights Blvd to get back on Wildwood.
  5. Turn left onto the connector trail that leads toward the Holly Loop
  6. Veer left onto Holly loop and go down the stairs to the Visitor Center parking lot.


Follow the sidewalk around the parking lot to the stairs leading into our Visitor Center Courtyard.

Here, you will find restrooms, maps, and our gift shop/information center. Come in and say hi between 10am and 4pm 7 days a week!

Why visit without a car?

Hoyt Arboretum is a free, public park right outside Portland’s City Center, a unique natural space that you don’t need a car to reach. Taking public transit and walking or taking the free shuttle up to explore the trails is an amazing way to reduce your carbon footprint, save on gas, and avoid the costs and stress of parking once you’re here.

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