Gray Butte via Cattle Gate

HARD 3 reviews

Gray Butte via Cattle Gate is a 4.6 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Culver, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.6 miles
1,456 feet

dogs on leash


nature trips


wild flowers



no shade

From Terrebonne, drive 4.8 miles on Smith Rock Way. Don't turn left toward Smith Rock, keep going out. Turn left on Lone Pine Road and go 4 miles to Skull Hollow campground. Turn left here and go straight 1.1 miles. Turn left over a cattle guard on unsigned road 5720. The road beyond the cattle guard is closed from October to March, so it's best to do the hike sometime in April to September. Continue 1.6 miles through a wire gate, and stay to the right at the fork. Close the wire gate behind you, as it keeps cattle from passing. After turning right beyond the wire gate you will see a small sign for Cole Trail. Park near here to the side of the road. There is an awesome view just beyond the trees as well. To start the hike go left (northwest) on Cole Trail and follow along with your GPS from there.

3 months ago

This is a shorter alternate loop to the summit of Gray Butte suggested in Scott Cook's local guide, "Bend Overall." The only difference from his route is that I recommend the reverse loop direction. It is a rough and somewhat confusing drive to the trailhead. If I got there in my low clearance Mustang, just about any car should be able to do it. I was completely amazed at the views along this trail. You can see forever in every direction. In addition to all the expected Cascade peaks you can see Smith Rock far below. Gray Butte is the highest feature in the area. The loose and rocky ATV trail to get up the peak is the reason I suggest the clockwise loop. I wouldn't enjoy coming down such a steep and rough incline, but going up it is doable. I think I took more panorama photos here than anywhere I've been before! There are awesome views with every step you take. Be aware that the final road to approach this particular trailhead is closed from October to March. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen or a shady hat.

12 days ago

6 months ago