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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, and a natural arch on its southeast side.
After about three miles the trail left the sub-alpine forest and swung around to the southwest side of the Butte, providing views of a very hazy Mt. Jefferson (wildfire smoke) 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 and alpine spruce becoming the dominant trees.
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 time enjoying the views. It is truly one of the beautiful spots in the Pacific Northwest, although the wildfire smoke hindered the views of Mt. Jefferson and the Sisters on this day.
Alpine Juniper and Alpine Daisy
Mt. Jefferson behind the lakes in the Olallie Basin (from a previous hike when there was no wildfire smoke)
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