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The Black Butte Trail is an out-and-back trail with two trailheads, upper and lower. The lower trailhead is 10 miles with 3,400 feet of gain and the upper trailhead is 4 miles with 1,500 feet of gain. Both trailheads start in a beautiful evergreen forest setting and have you work hard for those rewarding views on a steep trail. Trust us the views are worth it!
1.25 miles from the summit, you emerge from the trees and get great views of Brokentop, the 3 Sisters, Black Crater, and Mount Washington. As you keep climbing, you get incredible close-up views of Mount Jefferson and Three Fingered Jack. Once you reach the top, you’ll see why it’s a great location for a fire lookout. Mount Hood and Smith Rock shine off in the distance and you can even see Mount Adams on a clear day. With mountain views in all directions, we highly recommend exploring this trail at sunrise or sunset to enjoy the beautiful lighting and colors glowing on each peak.
The trail is smooth, runnable, and not too rocky, so have fun cruising the downhill back to your car! Your legs will be burning, but you’ll never forget those iconic views. If you’re driving through Sisters on your journey home, stop at Sno-Cap or the Sisters Bakery for a well-deserved snack!