Walking Tour: Washington Park's Monuments & Gardens

  • Start Lewis & Clark Memorial Column
  • End Japanese Garden
  • Length 1 mile; three hours

Begin exploring Washington Park at the entrance located at the intersection of SW Park Pl and Lewis & Clark Way. Make your way up the brick-flanked staircase surrounded by pretty, manicured shrubs encircling beds full of rose bushes. You'll arrive at the Lewis & Clark Memorial Column, dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903.

Continue along the path to the left until you reach Lewis & Clark Way. On the right is Sacajawea and Jean-Baptiste, a bronze statue that depicts Sacajawea, the Lemhi Shoshone woman who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition, holding her son, Jean-Baptiste. It was commissioned for the 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition by the Committee of Portland Women, and suffragists Susan B Anthony, Abigail Scott Duniway and Anna Howard Shaw attended its dedication.

To the left of the path is the Chiming Fountain, Portland's second piece of public art that was commissioned by the city in 1891. Created by a Swiss immigrant to Portland, it once served as a watering trough for horses pulling carriages into the park and got its name because of the sound of its water that drips from the upper basin.

Cross Lewis & Clark Way via the zebra path and continue on the path and up the stairs to reach SW Washington Way. Straight ahead is public restroom with Tudor-style architecture. Take advantage of the facilities if you need to, then continue on to the path to the Oregon Holocaust Memorial.

From the memorial's cobblestone courtyard, a broad path leads to a circular gravel plaza. Scatted along the way are bronze castings of objects depicting those carried by Holocaust victims, such as a violin, a suitcase and children's toys. At the end is a curved stone wall with polished granite panels, inscribed with the names of Pacific Northwest residents' family members who perished or survived.

Make your way back past the Tudor-style restroom building to SW Sacajawea Blvd and cross the zebra path, then take the trail on the left. Continue just under a quarter of a mile and take a right, where the grassy-stepped Washington Park Amphitheater is just to the right of the path.

From there, the path to the International Rose Test Garden is to the left. Amble by some 10,000 bushes of over 700 varieties of roses, and admire the fantastic view of the city from here. There's also a Shakespeare garden and an alpine garden within the complex.

Head to the top level of the garden and take the path through the parking lot and past the tennis courts. Cross over SW Kingston Ave and find the admission complex for the Japanese Garden to the right. Plan on spending a couple of hours wandering through the impressive grounds of the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan.