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The 5 Best Places to Fly a Drone in Portland

A list of the best places to fly a drone in Portland, Oregon.

In this article, we’ve scouted out the best places to fly a drone in Portland, Oregon.

If you live in (or are traveling to) Portland, please use this page as a resource to better understand not just where to fly, but also where it’s legal and illegal to fly a drone. We provide guidance on regulations to help you stay compliant with both federal and local rules.

fly drone Portland

A Sectional Chart of the airspace surrounding Portland, OR. Source: VFR Map

Portland Drone Laws — Recreational vs. Commercial

The first thing to understand about flying a drone in Portland (or any city for that matter) is that under federal FAA regulations, you are either operating recreationally or commercially.

Drone operators are no longer required to independently contact air traffic control when flying within five miles of an airport. Instead, both recreational and commercial flyers can use the automated LAANC system to request airspace authorization to fly in controlled airspace around and above many airports. If you’re operating in Class B, C, D, or E controlled airspace, you’ll need to request airspace authorization. You may do this through LAANC or through FAADroneZone in areas where LAANC is not available.

When we list locations below, we’ll share whether they sit in controlled or uncontrolled airspace.

Get up-to-date airspace information, including temporary flight restrictions, using tools like B4UFLY, Kittyhawk, or Airmap.

Interested in becoming an FAA-certified drone pilot so you can operate under the Part 107 regulations and make money flying your drone? Check out our industry-leading, online training course over at Drone Pilot Ground School.

So those are the federal rules.

But what about local Portland drone laws?

Here’s a guide we put together for drone laws in Oregon. Make sure to consult that to see if there are any local drone ordinances you should follow in Portland. When in doubt, use good judgment and follow the FAA’s guidelines.

Note: The content on this page is meant for informational purposes only and is not meant to take the place of legal counsel. If we missed something, or if you have further questions, please send an email to support[at]uavcoach[dot]com, and we’ll do our best to help you out.

Where to Fly a Drone in Portland

Alrighty—without further ado, here are our top picks for the best places to fly a drone in the Portland area. We selected these locations based on airspace restrictions, accessibility, and attractions. You’ll find that most of the locations we’ve chosen are located in uncontrolled, Class G airspace where you don’t need to request permission to fly. Additionally, we made sure to highlight any locations with designated sUAS/remote aircraft fields.

1 — Pittock Mansion

3229 NW Pittock Dr, Portland, OR 97210

The Pittock Mansion is an impressive 16,000 square feet and sits 1,000 feet atop a hill overlooking downtown Portland, Oregon. The grand French Renaissance styled home is built from sandstone with contrasting red clay roof tiles and features a stunning view of the city and Cascade Mountains off in the distance. Drone pilots will enjoy the beautiful structure and scenery that envelop the property. It is important to note that the museum has photography policies which can be found here.

fly drone Pittock Mansion

Source: Mike Krzeszak

2 — Fly-A-Way RC Field (AMA)

10770 NW Dersham Rd, Cornelius, OR 97113

The Fly-A-Way RC Field is an AMA field located just outside of Portland, Oregon, in Cornelius. It is run and operated by the Fly-A-Ways RC Club. The airfield features a large runway that is surrounded by a large field. There is also a sheltered area next to the runway when a break is needed. Drone pilots will like this wide-open rural area that offers a nice escape from the city for some flying.

Fly-A-Ways RC Field air shots

3 — Molalla River State Park

Canby, OR 97013

Molalla River State Park is located along the Willamette, Molalla, and Pudding Rivers in Canby, Oregon. The diverse property includes grassy open areas, mature trees, and an abundance of wildlife. The rural setting offers a nice escape from the busy city and is great for drone pilots who are looking for that picturesque shot.

fly drone Molalla River State Park

Source: Luteguy

4 — Little Crater Lake

Little Crater Lake, Oregon, OR

Little Crater Lake is located within the Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon. The small lake is known for its crystal clear chilly water and vivid blue coloring. It is spring-fed but its formation is often debated and is often considered a result of volcanic activity. The surrounding open meadow makes this one of the most scenic locations within the forest. Drone pilots will be stunned by the depth and clarity of the water.

fly drone Little Crater Lake

Source: Lessa Clayton

5 — Lost Lake

Lakeshore Trail #656, Cascade Locks, OR 97014

Lost Lake is located adjacent to Bull Run Lake within the Mt. Hood National Forest in Oregon. With a max depth of 167 feet, the lake is one of the deepest in the forest. It is known for its breathtaking view of Mt. Hood, on a clear day its reflection spans across the surface of the water. The numerous creeks and mature pine trees add to the diversity of this incredible mountainscape.

fly drone Lost Lake

Source: m01229

Have Another Place You like to Fly Your Drone in Portland?

We hope this list was helpful.

Do you have any other locations in Portland where you like to fly your drone?

Let us know in our community forum over here:

https://community.uavcoach.com/topic/5895-where-to-fly-a-drone-in-portland/

Take a Drone Flight Training Class in Portland

If you’re new to drones or looking to take your flight skills to the next level, we offer hands-on drone flight training in the Portland area. Our classes start at 2-hours long, and our expert instructors walk you through what to do before, during and after your flight—you’ll practice intelligent flight modes and learn how to stay safe but also how to get the shots or data you need. During the class, you’ll also get a chance to ask questions about regulations, software, flight operations management, checklists and more.

Sign up for a hands-on drone flight training class in Portland.