Welcome to the Pilot Butte Scenic Viewpoint Master Plan webpage. Over the next year, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) will be working on updating the Master Plan. The Deschutes County State Parks Master Plan was last updated in 1986 and the Pilot Butte Master Plan in 1995. A lot has changed on and around the Butte since then!

This site is your connection to the process. We will update information regarding public meetings, resources related to the process and the schedule. Stay tuned!

What is a Scenic Viewpoint Master Plan?

The Pilot Butte Scenic Viewpoint Master Plan will guide recreation, park development and resource management for the coming decades on the Butte. As Pilot Butte has become more embedded in Bend’s urban fabric, its use and the impact upon it has evolved. This plan will create strategies and design concepts for implementation over time that is responsive to the needs and desires of Oregon visitors, statewide. It aims to balance recreation, heritage, natural and resource management  – an imperative and complex task on this small Butte.

The planning process has three phases. Public engagement occurs throughout:

  1. Assessment of natural, cultural, scenic, and recreational resources at Pilot Butte.
    Goals and Needs Identification.
  2. Plan development and refinement.
  3. Plan finalization and adoption.

Where are we now?

We are kicking off Phase 2 at the end of November 2018. This phase focuses on gathering public input regarding values and concerns regarding Pilot Butte, identifying strategies for park development and long term management.

How to Get Involved:

  • Sign up to receive email updates.
  • Over the next year, we will hold 2-3 public meetings. Come and participate! We will post the meeting schedule on this website and send out a newsletter with information prior to each meeting. We look forward to your input, feedback and involvement.
  • Additionally, an Advisory Committee of stakeholders has been convened to help counsel the OPRD team throughout the process. Reach out to the Advisory Committee to discuss.

Pilot Butte from Greenwood Avenue 1948Greenwood Ave 1948


13 thoughts on “Welcome!

    1. Hello Nancy, and apologies on the tardy response. We are still working out the kinks with the website. We will be posting assessment information after the first public meeting. Are you looking for any particular information?


    1. Hi Dave. The preliminary recommendations will come out of the first phase of public engagement. There are identified focus areas (the viewpoint, trails, trailheads and access, the neighborhood park and local connection, infrastructure and natural resources) but these parameters are quite open. We are hoping to have preliminary recommendations in April. We will be posting all the materials from the public open house (occurring this coming Thurs, Nov 29) on this website. We will also post the recommendations here.


  1. Pilot butte was deeded as a gift to Deshutes County in honor of the Foley family. The one restriction is it that it must remain a vehicle outlook. Any chance you deviate from the original deed will result in the park and the beaut will revert back to the original owner. There is a reason they did not give it to the city of Bend. The wisdom of the old-timers saw y’all restrictive ideas way before you ever thought of it. Leave pilot Butte alone


    1. Hi Penny, in 1927 the property was given to State Parks by Charles Brown (Chicago), Kempter Miller (Pasadena) and Frances Welles (France) in honor of their friend Terrance Foley. It was classified as a “State Scenic Viewpoint”. This is a vestige of the fact that many parks were old ODOT highway waysides. Part of the planning process is to figure out what the best use and management of the Butte is. Many have expressed the fact that the road allows for those with mobility issues to experience the views and beauty. We’ve also heard many people discuss the vehicle/pedestrian conflicts and the desire to have less cars on the road and at the summit. We are looking for the best solution which will take into account the varied viewpoints and look for compromise.


  2. I wrote earlier, but I reiterate: the needs of visitor statewide have always been foremost for Pilot Butte. With the gigantic growth of Bend, this butte and the nature trail have encourage much more local use as a park and exercise pavilion. Do keep the local needs for hikes and exercises upfront with those of visitors.
    Thank you.


    1. Yes, we realize that too! It is a beloved park in Bend and even more so the city has fully grown around it. We want to make sure that it is relevant and meets the needs of the local community.


  3. Has OPRD considered or asked Bend Parks and Rec to take over this park? Looks like OPRD continuously struggles to maintain this park.
    When is OPRD going to finish cleaning up from the July 4 fire?
    What was in “Phase 1”?


    1. Hello Patrick, BPRD co-manages the Neighborhood Park at the base with OPRD. They are also a participant in the Advisory Committees who are a significant part of the plan process. Thank you for bringing up the question – we are exploring options and opportunities however for now we are focusing on planning for a future for Pilot Butte as a part of the State Park system. Are you referring to Phase 1 of the plan or of post-fire work? I’ve reached out to the Park staff for more detail on your last questions and will post them here.


      1. Hello Patrick, please see below for a response from our Natural Resources team regarding the response to the fire response:

        Generally speaking, the proposed restoration plans will be ongoing for several years to come and the work will be completed as capacity allows. The bulk of the work will be done over the next year, but continued restoration on site will be ongoing.

        It will take at least 5 years for native plants to re-establish on site. Fortunately the plant community is fire-adapted and we expect that this spring the bunch grasses and rabbit-brush will rebound beautifully. The fencing will remain for several years to prevent ground disturbance as natural regeneration and mitigation efforts proceed. We intend to facilitate the regeneration of the native landscape that existed on site previously, and we also intend to improve the overall ecological diversity and functionality. Here is a brief layout of the restoration plan:

        • Broadcast spray pre-emergent to control invasive species
        Targeted invasive species include cheatgrass, cereal rye and toadflax species.
        • Woody debris management
        Create brush piles for wildlife management
        Use fallen limbs and logs to prevent erosion and to block rogue trails.
        Maintain standing dead trees and downed logs for wildlife habitat
        • Reseed the site with native grasses
        Species include: Sandberg’s bluegrass, bluebunch wheatgrass, prairie junegrass, bottlebrush squirrel tail,
        and Idaho fescue
        • Continued integrated pest management to control invasive and noxious weeds.
        • Facilitate the regeneration of existing native shrubs, grasses and forbs.
        • Additional shrub planting to stabilize soil and reduce off-trail disturbance.


      2. Repair water system or post that water is not available at trailhead or more importantly on top. Thanks Dave Holmes


  4. The water supply at the Butte has been a struggle to maintain and is a component we are focusing on for infrastructure improvement (as part of the Master Plan). Thanks for your comments – it helps to know what the community feels is important!


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