Black Butte Trail 4026 Professional Reviews and Guides
"A day hike to the summit of a large cinder cone, featuring stunning views of the east side of the Cascades from Mount Jefferson to the Three Sisters. Black Butte is an immense cinder cone set well to the east of the main Cascade crest and rising 3,000 feet above its immediate base. The 6,430-foot summit has been used as a fire lookout since the early days of the Forest Service. It’s still in use today, and hikers can view three generations of lookout structures. The hike is dry and can be warm; be sure to bring plenty of water. The popular trail starts climbing at a moderate rate and never relents until reaching the top."
--Bruce Grubbs, Hiking Oregon's Central Cascades (Falcon Guides).
"Black Butte rises 6,436 feet above the central Oregon landscape.This well-known geological landmark, a 1.5-million-year-old stratovolcano, was created by numerous basaltic lava flows over hundreds of years. Because Black Butte stands in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains, it has not been exposed to the eroding forces of wind and water like its neighboring peaks and has therefore managed to maintain its conical shape.This trail leads to the top of one of central Oregon’s best-known landmarks, 6,436-foot Black Butte. The summit includes three historic fire lookouts and fantastic views of several Cascade peaks to the west. Interpretive signs en route to the summit point out native plant and tree species."
--Lizann Dunegan, Hiking Oregon (State Hiking Guides Series) (Falcon Guides).
"A nice dirt path leading to the spectacular summit of Black Butte in the Deschutes National Forest. Mountain views. This tough route takes you to the top of one of the tallest cinder cones in the state. The strenuous climb to the 6,436-foot summit can be hot and dusty, but the close-up views of the Cascade Mountains well make up for it. Once you reach the top, be sure to check out the historic fire lookouts. Consider bringing an extra layer for the sometimes-chilly summit."
--Lizann Dunegan, Trail Running Oregon (Falcon Guides).
"Black Butte is known for being almost perfectly conical in form. Of course, the closer you get to the summit, the less this will seem like the case, but from a distance the central Oregon landmark cuts a striking figure in the skyline. In the winter it receives few visitors, but don’t let this stop you. There’s a lot to see from its summit, and getting to the top is a good test of your stamina. The summit of this imposing landmark is a great spot for central Oregon views in all directions. There’s the added benefit of seeing Black Butte as you drive back and forth between the Willamette Valley and the Bend and Sisters area, which means that, if you successfully attain the summit, you can sigh with satisfaction as this hill’s massive bulk comes into view. It’s not an easy climb, even though it looks like it should be, but it’s worth the effort."
--Shea Andersen, Snowshoe Routes: Oregon (The Mountaineers Books).
"Black Butte is another roadside cinder cone, in proximity to Black Butte Ranch, and near Sisters."
--Chris Van Tilburg, Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Routes: Oregon (The Mountaineers Books).
"Snow-covered peaks get all the love, but this dark Central Oregon summit should be on your list. While 6436-foot Black Butte is dwarfed by big Bachelor and the Three Sisters just across the way, the summit has 360-degree views, making it a premier vantage point for appreciating the entire Central Oregon landscape. And here's a fun fact: Black Butte is actually older than the higher-up jagged Cascades, although you'd never guess it. The brooding butte maintains its youthful symmetrical shape because it wasn't carved by glaciers like the other peaks were."
--Brittany Manwill , Day Hiking Bend and Central Oregon (The Mountaineers Books).
"This trail leads to the top of one of Central Oregon’s best-known landmarks, 6,436 foot Black Butte. The summit includes three historic fire lookouts and fantastic views of several Cascade peaks to the west. Interpretive signs en route to the summit point out native plant and tree species.Black Butte rises 6,436 feet above the Central Oregon landscape. This well-known geological landmark, a 1.5-million-year-old stratovolcano, was created by numerous basaltic lava flows over hundreds of years. Because Black Butte stands in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains, it has not been exposed to the eroding forces of wind and water like its neighboring peaks and has therefore managed to maintain its conical shape."
--Adam Sawyer, Best Dog Hikes Oregon (Falcon Guides).
"The popular Black Butte Trail was originally used to pack supplies up to the butte’s first fire lookout in 1910. Local Camp Sherman residents began hiking the trail soon after in what historians say were post–dance hall night hikes timed to catch the morning sunrise from the summit. Black Butte’s 6,436-foot summit and nearly perfectly symmetrical shape make it one of Central Oregon’s most recognized landmarks. Though much smaller in stature than the neighboring Cascades, the region’s tallest butte is held in deep regard by locals, who have been hiking its ?anks for over a century."
--Lucas Alberg, Trail Running: Bend and Central Oregon (Wilderness Press).
A beautiful but grueling hike and well worth it. We did it in one long day and were thankful for preparing months before hand with practice hikes and conditioning. Along with others here I would recommend poles and gaiters, especially near the top where the fine pumice rock will work its way into your boots.
This is basically a tough and beautiful day hike. A friend and I got to the south rim of the crater in about 3 hours, but that's probably on the fast side. There was very little snow along the route, but gaiters were handy for keeping the pumice out of my boots on the way down. Trekking poles were very welcome too. Overall, this is one of the most accessible volcanoes, yet offers views comparable to tougher, technical climbs. Fantastic.
If you are staying at Black Butte Ranch, this hike beacons you. Challenging, particularly if you have children with you. We had to turn back just 10 minutes shy of the summit (darn!) but the views were still incredible, and we felt like we had accomplished something.
The views from atop are unbeatable. Fairly easy hike...even if the grade is relentless all the way to the top!
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