Ascent of Black Butte on 2019-07-06

Climber: John E Sarna

Others in Party:Kela Leamy
Geoffrey Sarna -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Date:Saturday, July 6, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Black Butte
    Elevation:6436 ft / 1961 m

Ascent Trip Report

The difficult part of this hike is driving several miles over the washboard dirt road after leaving the paved road, with the final mile or so a narrow rocky road which could be difficult for low clearance vehicles. I was told there was a much easier drive in by starting up the Black Butte Lower Trail at 44.429043, -121.655685, perhaps from Camp Sherman, though it's a much farther hike.

We did the drive and parked at what's marked on the map as Black Butte Trailhead, at the end of road (4863'), which starts as an easy uphill walk through the forest but gets increasingly steep once the forest is replaced by brush. We passed quite a crowd going up and down, and we all had quite a few good views of Broken Top, North and South Sister, Three Fingered Jack, and Mount Washington. There are a few old fire-watch buildings on top, and it's difficult to say if the highest point is the boulder near the sign where the trail seems to end, or a few rocks just south of the tall fire-lookout. A reconstruction phase announced by signage discussed limiting access, but I hope they'll keep both possible high points open to the public.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1573 ft / 479 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.4 mi / 5.5 km
    Route:Black Butte Trail
    Trailhead:Black Butte trailhead at 44.399754, -121.635449  4863 ft / 1482 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail

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