Kelly Butte Civil Defense Bunker

On Sunday I decided to go for a hike. I have long wanted to go up Kelly Butte which is the resting place of an enormous cold war nuclear shelter, maybe poke around and see if it really is all sealed up. I thought about walking all the way out there from my apartment, but got bored after about thirty blocks and just hopped on a bus.

Kelly Butte is a big hill on the outskirts of Portland that is an eroded cinder cone and part of the (snicker snicker) Boring Lava Field. In the 1950's an enormous nuclear shelter was built in the side of the Butte, designed to hold government command and control in the event of a nuclear attack. Later it was converted into a 911 center and then abandoned and the entrance bulldozed over after some problems with poor air quality. more information about the bunker can be found over here.

Now the whole area is overgrown, with some decent trails zigzagging all over it. I took an SLR with me, but as it was raining quite a bit I ended up just taking phone pictures, but I think those came out pretty well. I didn't see any way to get inside the bunker, but I did see a weird concrete 'plug' that had maybe but put in to seal up a side entrance. What must it be like inside there now? I am terribly curious. All you can see now are a couple of parking lots, some random bits of concrete, a set of stairs and lots of plants and trees. I found some cool mushrooms and some kind of fungal threads growing on top of the old entrance.

Also, check out the movie "A Day Called X" for some video taken in the bunker:

A map I made of my hike with GPS, plus more photos can be found below the cut.


View Kelly Butte Hike in a larger map





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