Historic Black Butte Trail # 4026

MODERATE 7 reviews
#37 of 112 trails in

Historic Black Butte Trail # 4026 is a 9.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Camp Sherman, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

9.9 miles
3320 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash




nature trips




wild flowers


1 month ago

I hiked this trail on an early February day. The very low snowfalls up to that point made is such that all but the last quarter mile was clear and dry, allowing a climb without any special gear.
The parking lot, just off SW Sherman Camp road, appears to be enough to accommodate the low traffic this trail gets (compared to the upper trailhead). There are no facilities at the trailhead (there are restrooms, however, at the UPPER trailhead).
The first .8 miles are essentially flat, roughly paralleling the road and heading in a southwesterly direction. There are a few intersecting trails/roads but the signs poster on wooded posts made it easy to continue on trail #4026. At a couple spots, the destination of the hike can be seen through openings in the trees.
The second portion of the hike starts at the .8 miles mark where the trail veers into a southeasterly direction and starts to ascend around the slope of Black Butte. This section is an uninterrupted 2.5 miles climb at a sustained but manageable grade. The trail intersects 3 forest roads on its way to the Upper Trailhead: Lower Butte Loops Trail 4093, Upper Butte Loops Trail, NFDR 1110-500. At each intersection, wooden sign posts in sight of each other easily identifies the spot where trail #4026 continues. The upper trailhead is a good spot (at about 3.25 miles in the hike) to take a short break, snack at the picnic table or use the restrooms. From there, it is another sustained climb to the summit.
The last two miles start the way the first 3+ have gone: healthy climb on a well maintained trail that get a bit more rocky in some spots. After the first (and only) switchback, the trails heads in a more easterly direction a few hundred feet below the summit. On this cold February day, frost covered all vegetation .5 miles before the top and the trail itself turned to pack snow and ice .25 miles before, as it rounded the southeast side of the butte. It took me probably a good 30/40 minutes to negotiate that stretch of the trail.
Once at the top, and an a fairly clear day, the views open 360 degrees with Broken Top, the 3 Sisters, Belknap Crater, Three Fingers Jack and Mt Jefferson dramatically displayed. Further north, Mt Hood was easily spotted and, with a minimum of effort, Mt Adams at the horizon across the Columbia river. A VERY nice spot to discover many of the Cascades peaks. The summit, fairly roomy and elongated, with so many views to take in, is clearly a good place to spend time and have a quick meal. The cupola and the fire lookout tower also make for fairly interesting photo opportunities.
If hiking this trail during the warmer month, it is likely a good idea to bring plenty of water and use sunscreen for the last mile of the climb.
I gave 5 stars to this trail first because of the views from the top but then also because of the well cut and well maintained trail itself. The first three mile, before reaching the upper trailhead, are very quiet (I did not see anyone either going up or coming down). The last 2 miles, past the upper trailhead were rather crowded; this also appears to be a favorite for dog owners. The workout the trail offers (3400 ft elevation gain is about 4 miles) also makes it a good destination for weekend (or daily) warriors.
Highly recommended.

3 months ago

absolutely gorgeous. saw no one on the lower 3 miles of the trail. was insanely peaceful. loved near the top when the clouds cleared and everything came into focus. what a great trail. also the parking is super easy to find. the map brings you right to it. well marked!

Friday, November 04, 2016

Can't wait to go back! Still no fee in parking area as of 10/30/16. All structures at peak are currently under construction, so no entering. Amazing views.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

This is the HISTORIC Black Butte Trail. It begins near County Rd 14 not far from Camp Sherman. It starts fairly level and then climbs steadily to join the new Back Butte Trail at the end of Forest Service Road NF-1110.
There is an additional 6 miles of hiking and 1,780 feet of elevation gain as compared to the new trail. As of 9/16/16 there wasn't a sign indicating that a permit was required. Trail doesn't see too much use, but is easy to follow - if you pay careful attention to the signage. My hiking partner and I missed one sign and ended up going cross country nearly straight up the butte until we found the trail.

7 months ago