On Monday we drove north of Sisters, Oregon to the upper Black Butte trailhead. Chris, our camp host friend at Camp Sherman, met us there for a relatively short hike of 1.9 miles to the top of the stratovolcano, aka butte. What the hike lacked in distance it certainly made up for in elevation. We climbed 1,500 feet to the top, with no let up the entire way.
Jim was trying to talk to Chris, but it’s not easy when you’re climbing, so he used that as an excuse to stop frequently.
About halfway up the trees began to thin out and we finally got a glimpse of the area.
Looking down over Black Butte Ranch, a vacation resort with lodges, cabins, condos, restaurants and golf courses, with the Three Sisters snow covered peaks.
At one point we could see the fire tower at the top of the butte and it sure looked a lot farther up and a long way off. Jim was not enjoying the climb but I cheerfully told him to just keep walking and not look ahead. He doesn’t always appreciate my optimism! By this time we were out in the open and the views were great. I will admit it was a steep trail and a tiring climb, though.
We had hoped for a little clearer day, but it is always exhilarating getting to the top. And there was a bench to sit and eat a bite.
Chris and I taking in the views. Mt. Jefferson on the left and a faint view of Mt. Hood to the right.
There are also several structures on the top, an active manned fire tower.
The old lookout tower, built in 1923 and now on the National Register of Historic Places.
And a cabin which is the private residence of the fire lookout staff. Not a bad place to live.
Sadly the lookout didn’t prevent a fire here in 2009.
Our big wildlife sightings included plenty of begging chipmunks and noisy Clark’s nutcrackers.
And this white-spotted Sawyer beetle.
We had a nice easy walk going back down, but we could sure feel it in our legs yesterday. Clearly we haven’t been doing enough steep trails! No beer was consumed after this hike, we were even too tired for that. If you happen to be a serious hiker and this sounds like just a walk in the park, there is also a lower trailhead which makes it a 5 mile hike up with 3,200 feet of elevation gain.
Yesterday was a day of rest and chores, and Jim took the Subaru in to get new tires installed. May as well take advantage of the no sales tax in Oregon while we’re here.