A hike to the summit of Olallie Butte


On a gorgeous late summer day I hiked to the top of 7,215-foot Olallie Butte. The third highest peak in Northwest Oregon is ten miles north of Mt. Jefferson.

The Butte is the remnants of an old shield volcano with large basalt rock pinnacles exposed on its east side.

After about three miles the trail left the sub-alpine forest and swung around to the southwest side of the Butte, providing great views of Mt. Jefferson and the myriad of lakes on the Olallie Plateau. Black and red volcanic rocks of all sizes covered the alpine landscape on the upper Butte with whitebark pine becoming the dominant tree.

From there it was a short, but steep climb to the top which covered an area the size of a football field. On the north end was the remains of an abandoned fire lookout cabin built of volcanic rock with Mt. Hood visible in the background.

I took off the pack and spent a couple of hours enjoying the views. It is truly one of the beautiful spots in the Pacific Northwest.

Mt. behind the old lookout cabin on Olallie Butte

Mt. Hood behind the old lookout cabin on Olallie Butte

Mt. Jefferson behind the lakes in the Olallie Basin

Mt. Jefferson behind the lakes in the Olallie Basin

The trail sign

The handmade trail sign

Mt. Jefferson behind the summit of Olallie Butte

Mt. Jefferson behind the summit of Olallie Butte

The upper trail ascending through the volcanic rock and Whitebark Pines

The upper trail ascending through volcanic rock and Whitebark Pines

A natural arch in large plug of lava

A natural arch in a large plug of lava

The only wildflower blooming on the trail (an alpine aster?)

The only wildflower blooming on the trail, a member of the daisy/aster family

Deep-blue Olallie Lake

Deep-blue Olallie Lake

The remains of the old cupola-style lookout cabin

The remains of the old cupola-style lookout cabin

Mt. Adams sneaking out behind Mt. Hood

Mt. Adams sneaking out behind Mt. Hood

A small herd of Roosevelt Elk near Jewell

A small herd of Roosevelt Elk near Jewell

 

 

Categories: Oregon CascadesTags: , ,

6 comments

  1. Those are some of your best landscape pictures yet.

    Like

  2. Enjoyed the post – its been a long time since I have done that hike. But what are those elk down in Jewel doing in this post ?

    Tom Sidley

    >

    Like

  3. I think this might be my favorite post so far. Spectacular scenery and your photography is stellar. Sandy

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

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