Mount Doom in the Land of Tolkien?

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Olallie Butte

On a warm and hazy late summer’s day, I hiked to the top of 7,215-foot Olallie Butte about 10 miles north of Mt. Jefferson.

The Butte, the third highest peak in Northwest Oregon, is the remnants of an old shield volcano with large basalt rock pinnacles exposed on its east side.

The vistas to the south reminded me of Mount Doom from the Lord of the Rings. Sad to say, it was much too hazy for good photography.

The glacier-scrubbed lakes in the Olallie Basin stood in contrast to the glacial majesty of 10,500-foot Mt. Jefferson. On the north end of the summit block there was the remains of an abandoned fire lookout cabin built of volcanic rock.

As I left the summit, the clouds were piling up to the north and begin to darken. Soon, the boomers began. I picked up the pace and had just returned to the trailhead as the heavy rain began. After quickly throwing the daypack into the Jeep, I began the long drive home.

Nearing the summit with the rocky trail passing through Whitebarked Pines

A hazy Mt. Jefferson  above the Olallie Plateau from Olallie Butte

Beginning of Trail

Old stone lookout site on Olallie Butte

Natural arch near summit of Olallie Butte

Trailhead parking area (I was the only hiker on a Saturday)

Mt. Jefferson

One of many small lakes on the Olallie Plateau

Olallie Lake

A hazy Mt. Jefferson and the lakes of the Ollalie Basin from Olallie Butte (those with a sharp eye can spot the Three Sisters, Broken Top and Black Butte). Photo taken on a previous year’s hike on a much prettier day.




Categories: Oregon CascadesTags: , ,


  1. So many lakes in the valley, and such glorious views, regardless of the haze. A pleasure to see the firs, rocks, lakes, and mountain peaks on this enjoyable hike, John.

  2. Lovely pics despite the hazy weather! Would have loved to see the clouds start to darken (but perhaps not while I was still hiking). 🙂

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