Municipal Elevator

The Willamette Valley & Wine Country

Oregon City was initially built at river level, but as it grew, it moved higher. In 1912 residents started talking about an elevator that would join the 'lower' and 'upper' cities. A rickety version went into service in 1915, although it didn't always work; passengers had to climb out a trap door and up a ladder if it stopped. The current version dates more or less from the ’50s and is one of only four municipal elevators in the world.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby The Willamette Valley & Wine Country attractions

1. McLoughlin House


This 1845 house was built by John McLoughlin, who was called the 'father of Oregon' for his hand in helping found Oregon City – the West's first city. At…

2. Stevens-Crawford House Museum

0.15 MILES

For a taste of the past, step into this historic museum. Owned by a pioneering family, the 1908 house still boasts most of its original furniture and…

3. Museum of the Oregon Territory

0.44 MILES

Exhibits at this engaging museum include a chunk of the Willamette Meteorite, the largest meteorite found in the US (the rest is at the American Museum of…

4. Willamette Falls

0.67 MILES

At the heart of town, 1500ft-wide Willamette Falls is the second-most-powerful waterfall in the US.

5. Tryon Creek State Natural Area

6.54 MILES

This verdant 670-acre forest offers a nature center, stream-side wildlife and 8 miles of trails, including a 3-mile paved bike path. Late March brings…

6. Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

8.24 MILES

Located in Sellwood, this large wetland of around 140 acres has a hiking trail through it, which connects with the nearby Springwater Corridor paved bike…

7. Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

8.59 MILES

The large, beautiful grounds at this 5-acre garden near Reed College are covered with more than 2000 full-grown rhododendrons, azaleas and other plants,…

8. Aerial Tram

10.32 MILES

Portland's aerial tram runs from the South Waterfront (where there's a streetcar stop) to Marquam Hill about every six minutes. The tram runs along a…