Black Butte Trail

From the trailhead, the trail climbs steeply for two miles along a symmetrical volcano. The trail passes through a rich diversity of forest settings. Large "yellow-belly" ponderosa pines give way to mixed conifer and then subalpine vegetation. In the second mile of the hike, trees thin and unsurpassed mountain views emerge.

At a Glance

Fees: Recreation Fee Area: $5/vehicle/day 
Restrictions: Mountain bikes & motorized use prohibited.
Passes: Recreation Fee Site: Parking at this site requires a recreation pass. Please check here for more information about recreation passes and where they can be purchased. Acceptable passes include:  
Information Center: Sisters Ranger District
201 N. Pine Street
PO Box 249
Sisters, OR 97759
(541) 549-7700

General Information


From Sisters,OR: 6.3 miles northwest on Hwy. 20, then 3.9 miles north on F.S. Rd. 11, then 5.5 miles west on F.S. Rd. 1110 to Black Butte Trailhead.


Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:

The openness of the upper portion of the trail can make for a very hot climb in the summer. Black Butte is the site of several generations of Forest Service fire lookouts and has, therefore, played an important role in protecting Central Oregon forests for over 80 years. In 1910, lookouts worked from a platform perched in a pair of trees. The Cupola was built in 1922 and served as the primary lookout facility until 1934, when the 83 foot tower was completed. Builders estimated it would require 300 pack loads of material to construct the tower - it actually took over 1000 loads. In 1995, a new lookout and tower were constructed off site and then lifted by helicopter to the summit.

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
2.0 miles

  Elevation : 
4800 - 6440