With sweeping views of the Chehalem Mountains, naturalists flock to the park for its top-notch Nature House, natural demonstration garden and play area for children. Apart from the useful structures built here, most come for what lives in the park.
Do your kids fight bedtime? If yes, give them a vacation treat of a Family Bat Outing (July 19; 7:30-9:30 p.m.; $10). Learn about the nocturnal residents of the Tualatin Valley before heading out for a guided night hike. Your guide will use bat-attracting techniques to bring the flying bug-eaters into view. Take full advantage of your newfound knowledge of echolocation by using the bat-detector for an eye-opening experience.
Find Your Own Wile E. Coyote
Cooper Mountain’s nocturnal kingdom is not limited to bats. Enter, Park After Dark: Coyotes (August 22; 7:30-9:30 p.m.; $10). This guided night hike will teach nature-lovers how to identify coyote calls, tracks and even pelts. Follow the clues for some sightings of these beautiful and reclusive creatures.
Get a Tan while Looking for Pale Larkspur
If you’re more into what grows than what prowls in the park, then explore the world’s largest population of the endangered Pale Larkspur in the world. The plant, also known as Anderson’s Larkspur, is in the buttercup family and its genus name, “Delphinium” means “like a dolphin” because of the shape of its blue-purple flower buds.
Dogs are prohibited at the park; however, you can at least stretch like one. Bring your yoga mat so that you can stretch deeply, breathe with intention and reach a heightened sense of awareness with a yoga session overlooking the amazing views.
Cooper Mountain Park
Location: 18892 SW Kemmer Road, Beaverton, OR 97007
Phone: (503) 629-6350
Hours: Daily, dawn to dusk