Horsethief Butte

Lyle, Washington 98635

Horsethief Butte

Horsethief Butte Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Horsethief Butte is a large outcropping of basalt on the dry hills above the Dalles Dam area. It rises right in your face from the start of the trailhead and is a popular place for history buffs and rock climbers alike. There are social trails all over the butte, but a somewhat major trail circles its southwestern flank, with a spur trail climbing up into the craggy knolls in the middle. Lots of signs warn visitors not to deface the Native drawings on some of the more hidden rock faces."

More Horsethief Butte Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Day Hiking Columbia River Gorge (The Mountaineers Books)
Craig Romano
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"A prominent landmark along the Columbia, Horsethief Butte has played host to native americans, Lewis and Clark, countless budding climbers, and scads of inquisitive hikers, but probably no horse thieves. Created by ancient lava flows and carved by floods of biblical proportions, the butte is an excellent place to contemplate the region’s fascinating natural history." Read more
Hiking Washington's Mount Adams Country (Falcon Guides)
Fred Barstad
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"A great early season hike across flower-covered bench lands to great views of the Columbia River and Mount Hood. The trail begins on the south side of SR 14. Take the time to read the informational signs next to the trailhead and then hike south, bearing left at the fork in the trail just past the signs.The unmaintained path to the right goes a short distance across the bench and then becomes overgrown with brush as it descends a draw. Wild irises bloom in early May in the shallow depression next to the fork. There is no water along the route. Poison oak is abundant in the gullies around the butte, and there is the possibility of a rattlesnake anywhere. Ticks are also present in the spring and summer." Read more
Best Desert Hikes Washington (The Mountaineers Books)
Alan L. Bauer & Dan A. Nelson
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"Despite the name of the butte, this is a peaceful preserve for recreationists to explore. Huge lupine and balsamroot flower displays are profuse throughout the spring, with white biscuit root, yellow bells, salt-and-pepper lomatium, and some type of wallflower species filling the carpet of color that spreads over the area. Still, all is not peaceful. There is death camas aplenty here, and tons of poison oak in the rocks of the butte. Be careful! While this hike is short, you can combine it with other nearby hiking routes to round out a day. Or just take your time here. The well-signed trail climbs away from the shoulder of SR 14 near the outhouse. Immediately you are greeted with stunning views west to the Columbia River and the area around Horsethief Lake. Above you, the butte is spectacular." Read more

Horsethief Butte Reviews

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This is a short trail just giving access to the butte. The butte is great for climbing, but if you want as easier way up follow the trail to the south side of the butte. Tons of wildflowers up in the butte during spring. Great for a 30-60 minute pitstop if you are on Route 14.

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Trail Information

Nearby City
140 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Easy to Moderate
Skill Level
1 to 2 hours
300 feet
Trailhead Elevation
375 feet
Top Elevation
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, 1111 Israel Road SW, P.O. Box 42650, Olympia, WA 98504; (360) 902-8844;
Local Contacts
USGS Stacker Butte
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018