Black Butte Wives Tale

Peak Summited2020 Black Butte
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadUpper Lot
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a dog, Hiked with a group
Road ConditionsSnow and ice on road
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnowfields to cross - could be difficult
Trail ConditionsMinor obstacles posing few problems
Additional Information

The old Central Oregon wives tale; if you can still see the snow on Black Butte it’s too early to plant your garden. Today was the first day I saw the snow on that peak in a new light.

I was thrilled to have my CRV on the road to the upper lot as conditions got a little rough with deep ruts in the snow. The friends joining me weren’t in 4WD vehicle so they parked along the dirt road at the bottom and crawled into my SUV turned camper for a lift to the trailhead.

From the lot you have two options, up or down. The trail leading up doesn’t have as much signage as the one that will take you back down, a hidden in plain sight treasure. As our group of 5 (counting my pup) started our assent we were met with warm temperatures and a clear trail.

About a third of the way up we were met with the crux of the hike. Sheets of unforgiving, impossible ice. This is the where I change the wives tale from “if you can still see the snow on Black Butte it’s too early to forget your yak-tracks.”  Despite the numerous falls to be had we pressed forward and after about a quarter of a mile the ice cleared up and we were once again free and clear. We didn’t even have to reach the summit to start seeing extremely rewarding views of the cascade mountain range.

While there was snow on the summit it wasn’t as icy or difficult to manage as the snow earlier along the trail. We had a picnic and some ciders in the yurt at the top before exploring the peak and heading back down the trail.


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