Sunrise Butte Trail #255

Area Status: Open

This trail into the Vinegar Hill-Indian Rock Scenic Area offers a spectacular vista of the Middle Fork Valley and the peaks of the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness far to the south, while ascending the south face of Sunrise Butte.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 12/08/2021:  The trail is open. Visitors should be prepared for rapidly changing weather conditions. Some roads become impassible due to snow, ice or mud during the winter months. Pack it in/Pack it out- anything you bring with you into the forest, please take home with you. This includes packing out all trash – yours and others. Examples: cigarette butts, cans, bottles, and food.  Please follow local and state health guidelines.  
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Motorized and mountain bike use prohibited.
Closest Towns: Austin Junction, OR

General Information


From the town of Prairie City, OR., travel east on US Highway 26 approximately 13 miles to the junction with US Highway 7.  Follow US Highway 7 approximately 2 miles to the junction with County Road 20 (Middle Fork of the John Day River Road).  Follow County Road 20 approximately 8 miles to the junction of Forest Road 4550. Follow Forest Road 4550 approximately 4 miles to the junction with Forest Road 4555. Follow the Forest Road 4555 approximately 2 miles to the trailhead.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking

Although the bottom portion of this slope is timbered most of the trail is open sagebrush with limited access to water until reaching the crest. Parts of the trail were recently burned, so be aware of falling snags in high winds.

Horse Riding

Horse back riders can enjoy a diverse riding experience traveling from timber to sage brush.  Water is scarce on the trail. 

Please use certified weed free hay, and take any unused hay when you leave.

Viewing Wildlife

Wildlife viewing is very good on this trail.  Visitors may see, Rocky Mountain Elk, Antelope, coyote, a wide variety of birds and smaller creatures such as squirrels and chipmunks.

Viewing Scenery

Beautiful views of Middle Fork Valley and the peaks of the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness. The different settings of the trail from timber to sagebrush create a diverse hiking experience for a single trail.  Hikers will see areas of the trail that have burned due to wildfire in past years.  These areas give visitors the opportunity to see natures process of recovery after naturally occuring events like wildfires. 

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities



  Area/Length : 
3.7 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
6550 - 7200