Duffy Lake Trail to Red Butte Peak is a 23 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cascadia, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Hike in to Duffy one of Oregon's great swimming lakes at the base of Three Fingered Jack with a side trip to Red Butte Peak. Duffy Lake & Red Butte peak are located near Marion Forks, Oregon. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes a full day. The trail up to Duffy Lake is fairly easy, with one stream crossing. The view at Duffy Lake is amazing and the water is a bit cold but great to swim in. Just before the trails scramble up to Red Butte you will come across little Alice Lake. A good place to water up before heading up.
We hiked the Duffy Lake trail and then did the scramble up Red Butte on 8/13/16. Just so everyone knows, the top of Red Butte is just a giant gravel pile. The trail is very steep and slippery, because gravel. I notice many people complained about the mosquitoes in reviews recently. I didn't notice mosquitoes at any of the lakes, but I did have repellent on and we didn't camp overnight. There are black flies (ouch, they bite), and there were quite a few bees up at the top of Red Butte, but most of them seemed to be around a tree that's sort of in the middle. Wonderful view of Three-Fingered Jack (this must have been the side the person was on when they named it) and a glimpse of the Three Sisters, view of Mt. Jefferson from the trail up to Red Butte, and a nice view of the lakes. It was a lovely 13.5-mile or so round trip hike! Oh, and also, the creek was completely dry, pretty much just a rock crossing.
All the reviews with the mosquito warnings are true. The views on Red Butte are worth the high pitch buzzing and bites. There wasn't a sign for Red Butte off of the main trail so finding it was a little interesting. Luckily the landmarks in the area are predominant so finding it wasn't too bad.
Overall this was a great outing. Despite the mosquitos I would make this an annual hike/camping trip, just remember the repellant that works for you.
Easy trail, about 3.5mi to Duffy Lake, about abother mile to Mowich. In the forest the entire hike; shaded, not too many views, but pleasant. Hiking to the top of Red Butte is about another 2miles, worth the hike-views of Jefferson, 3FJ, Sisters, Washington, and Diamond Peak. Great hike, shared with horses so watch out for horse droppings throughout the trail.
My husband, the dog and I hiked into Duffy and Mowich lakes in June. We got to the trailhead late, probably about 5:00PM and still managed to make it to Duffy Lake by dark. We didn't noticed any skeeters the first day, and it froze that night. Waking up at Duffy Lake that morning was beautiful, you get an amazing view of Three Fingered Jack. The trail to Mowich include some forest, and some burn area, it wasn't very difficult but HOLY SKEETERS! It was the first warmer day of the season, I think, and the mosquitos came out in full force. We abandoned the plan to hike to Red Butte and turned around a little ways past Mowich. We'll definitely go back it's a beautiful area, but we'll wait until after skeeter season. :)
MOSQUITOS. That's all I have to say about this freaking place. Never again. Why can't we enter a 0 star?
Easy stroll to the lake, easier goin back. Tons of skeeters, definitely bring the spray. Did not reach any peaks but the loop around the lake is worth your time. We came across a few spots, decently spread apart from each other, providing quiet locations and personal space. No luck with rooster tails, but fly fishing seemed promising from observation.
A nice trail that crosses the North Santiam River not far below it's source. It's only around 7 miles round trip from the Big Meadows trailhead per the All trails Topo Map! That seems accurate to me. Also per the All Trails Topo it's only around 1,100' of elevation gain. Mowich Lake is another 3/4 of a mile beyond Duffy, with Jorn Lake perhaps another mile or two beyond that. Duffy Butte is a fairly easy climb and affords great views of both Duffy and Mowich plus 3FJ and Jefferson.
Great hike, beautiful views! Can't wait to go again.
This a wonderful hike. I hiked it several times and it's always rewarding especially when you come to rest by the shores of Duffy lake on a sunny day. A Truly spectacular place.
Forgot to mention this hike is not near Cascadia, it is 25 miles east of Detriot and 32 miles west of Sisters... :)
Beautiful hike! It's only 3.5 miles to Duffy Lake (7 miles round trip). There were no mosquitoes and the North Santiam River was dry so no water crossings. We went as far as Little Alice Lake and hoped to go up Red Butte for the view but the cross-country trail my guide mentioned was not "obvious". So turned around just past LAL (12 miles round trip).