June 20, 2024
Portland International Rose Test Garden

Stroll through the country’s longest-running rose test garden.

Know Before You Go

Car parking near the Portland International Rose Test Garden is extremely limited. Light rail, free shuttle (March–November), bus and walking are the best ways to reach the park.

The Portland International Rose Test Garden is the oldest official continuously operated public rose test garden in the United States. Unofficially known as the Portland Rose Garden, the space features more than 10,000 roses. Hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world enjoy its sights and scents annually. The garden also offers spectacular views of downtown and Mount Hood.

The garden was conceived by Oregon Journal editor Jesse A. Currey in 1915 and approved by Portland Parks in 1917. It started as a safe haven for hybrid roses grown in Europe during World War I. Flowers began arriving in Portland in 1918, and the garden and amphitheater were dedicated in 1924. The grounds are split into several smaller areas: the Royal Rosarian Garden, the Shakespeare Garden and the Miniature Rose Garden.

It’s unsurprising that this garden, located in Washington Park, is one of the City of Roses’ signature landmarks. The garden is open daily, and admission is free. While great city views are offered year-round, the best rose-viewing months are May through September. (When you’re finished admiring the flowers, head just uphill to the majestic Portland Japanese Garden for more fabulous flora.)

Free Rose Garden Shuttle

The Explore Washington Park shuttle stops at all the park’s major attractions and the Washington Park MAX station. From March through September, the shuttle runs every 15 minutes from 9:30 a.m.–7 p.m. daily. In October, the daily hours are reduced to 10 a.m.–4 p.m., and in November, the shuttle runs on weekends only, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Tips for Visiting the Portland Rose Garden

How much does it cost?

The garden is free and open to the public, 7:30 a.m. –9 p.m. daily.

When is the best time to see the roses?

Portland’s roses are in bloom from late spring to early fall. Plan your visit any time from May through September to catch the best blooms.

Who takes care of the roses?

All 10,000 roses are maintained by volunteers in coordination with Portland Parks. 

What kinds of roses are there?

Of the 10,000 rose bushes, there are over 610 varieties, ranging from miniature, tree, climbing, shrub and landscape shrub varieties, with Floribundas, Grandiflora, Hybrid Teas and David Austin roses on display. Find the names of each in the garden beds, and here is a map to help you find your way.

Is the Rose Garden wheelchair accessible?

Much of the grounds are grass or gravel, the main promenade was updated in 2017 to be wheelchair and stroller accessible with newly paved pathways.

What is the best way to get to the Rose Garden?

tall bridge with circular bracing above a pond with ducks amid a forested park

Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

Round out your floral explorations of the Rose City with a visit to Southeast Portland’s lush Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. The park boasts more than 2,500 rhododendrons, azaleas, with blooms from late February -June.

women pose in front of a wall of white roses

Peninsula Park & Rose Garden

Discover outdoor fun for the whole family — plus thousands of blooms — at Oregon’s oldest public rose garden.

people look at koi in pond at garden

Portland Japanese Garden

A haven of meticulously maintained, tranquil beauty, proclaimed one of the most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan, the Portland Japanese Garden offers meandering streams, intimate walkways and an unsurpassed view of Mount Hood.

Portland Rose Gardens and Where to Find Them

Dive into the city’s history with the fragrant flower, learn the lowdown on rose gardens around town and discover tips for visiting the Portland Rose Festival in late spring.