Know Before You Go
Car parking near the International Rose Test Garden is extremely limited. Light rail, bus and walking are the best ways to reach the park.
Portland’s 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 not surprising 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 across the street to the majestic Portland Japanese Garden for more fabulous flora.)
Rose Garden Tours
Want more help navigating and understanding the 4.5 acres (1.8 hectares) of parkland and 650+ rose varieties? Portland Parks offers daily free tours led by trained volunteers at 1 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The tours meet at the sign outside the Rose Garden Store. Guided tours for groups of 10 or more are available during the year for $5 per person. Tours must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance. Call 503.823.3664 to make arrangements.
The free Explore Washington Park shuttle stops at all the park’s major attractions and the Washington Park MAX station. From March 20 through September, the shuttle runs every 15 minutes from 9:30 a.m.–7 p.m. daily.
Tips for Visiting Portland International Rose Test Garden
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What is the best way to get to the Rose Test Garden?
By bus/light rail: TriMet bus #63 runs from Providence Park to Washington Park. The bus has stops near the International Rose Test Garden and the Japanese Garden.
Washington Park is served by the MAX light rail blue and red lines. From the Washington Park MAX stop, transfer to the Washington Park Free Shuttle, which will bring you directly to the International Rose Test Garden.
By car: From downtown, take US 26W to exit 72 (Zoo/Forestry Center) and follow signs to Washington Park. Pay to park in designated lots and streets ($1.60 per hour). For real-time parking information and construction alerts and closures, visit explorewashingtonpark.com.
Round out your floral explorations of the Rose City with a visit to Southeast Portland’s lush Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden.
Discover outdoor fun for the whole family — plus thousands of blooms — at Oregon’s oldest public rose garden.
An authentic example of Japanese landscaping, the Portland Japanese Garden is a haven of tranquil beauty with an unsurpassed view of Mount Hood.
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