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Aerial Views of Portland

Aerial Views of Portland


avatar   Stacy
Trip Date 02/08/2016
Posted On 05/02/2018 14:44:57

Destinations | Walking | Hiking | Oregon | Portland | Aerial Tram. Sculpture Garden | View



In 2011, Scott and I spent one evening in Portland, Oregon however, since the aerial tram didn't operate on Sundays, the ride has been on our travel wish list for almost 5 years. Today, our wish became a reality as our final tourist activity for this trip was a round-trip ride on the Portland Aerial Tram.

If you live in or are visiting Portland, a ride on the aerial tram is an inexpensive way to see the city from above. If you have more time and enjoy hiking, read on for an additional way to see even more of Portland.

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Portland Aerial Tram

We purchased round trip tickets ($4.50 per person; credit card only) at the lower terminal ticket machines (SW Moody & Gibbs) and waited just a couple of minutes before boarding the next tram for the scenic (but quick) 4 minute ride to the upper terminal. In addition to two 2-lane roads, the tram makes Marquam Hill, the home of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) accessible from downtown. (OHSU is the largest employer in Portland with up to 20,000 people visiting their main campus each day). Each of the two cabins, Jean (named after the first female engineering graduate from Oregon State University) and Walt (named after the first African American graduate from OHSU formerly Oregon Medical School), had a capacity of 79 people.


Aerial Tram Cabins Jean and Walt

Aerial Tram Cabins Jean and Walt

We had a great view of the Willamette River, bridge and downtown from our cabin during the 500 foot ascent from the Chamanchal Station ("on the river" from the local Tualitin Indian language) to the Chemeffu Station ("on the mountain").


View from the Portland Aerial Tram

View from the Portland Aerial Tram

Oregon Health & Science University Rooftop Terrace and Gardens

A short walk to the upper rooftop terrace and shaded garden recommended by the tram operator provided us with more views of the city and surrounding mountains (and no window glare like we had when photographing from the tram). In addition to plenty of places to sit down, relax and enjoy the view, there were a number of interesting sculptures.


View from the OHSU Upper Rooftop Terrace

View from the OHSU Upper Rooftop Terrace

An outdoor stairway led us down two flights of stairs to the lower sculpture garden, home to even more sculptures including "Standing Lady Hare with Dog" by Sophie Ryder.


"Standing Lady Hare with Dog" by Sophie Ryder

"Standing Lady Hare with Dog" by Sophie Ryder

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Tips for Visiting the Portland Aerial Tram

  • If you plan to take a ride on the Portland Aerial Tram, it is recommended that you visit on a Saturday (or Sunday, when open). If you visit on a weekday, try to avoid the peak hours of 7:00 AM - 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM when employees are using the tram to commute to work.
  • If you are looking for some exercise in addition to a unique way to enjoy the city of Portland, you might want to consider the 4T Trail Loop. We didn't have four hours to devote to this self-guided tour which combines a trail (about 2 1/2 miles of walking), tram, trolley and train, but it is near the top of my list for our next visit.


The Four T Trail

The Four T Trail

A "Must Do" Drive in Portland, Oregon

Check out our post titled "All in a Days Drive on the Historic Columbia River Highway" for a day filled with amazing scenery, and the only cost is fuel for a car!

Self-Guided City Tours

What is your favorite self-guided tour which would give visitors a chance to explore a city at their own pace?




Total FitBit steps today: 5,754
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Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR, United States
Aerial Views of Portland







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