Stein Butte Trail

MODERATE 38 reviews

Stein Butte Trail is a 8.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Jacksonville, 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.

8.9 miles
2,480 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



mountain biking

nature trips



wild flowers

This is a tough hike but very rewarding. It's mostly uphill for about 5 miles (note that it's 5 miles to the summit, so if you include the hike back, it's about 10 miles total). There are plenty of great spots to take a break. Lots of great old growth trees and interesting spots along the way. There's a great clearing about 2/3 of the way up the trail that has some rewarding views if you don't want to make it all the way to the butte summit. Luckily when you reach the bottom again you're right at the Applegate lake so you can cool off!

1 month ago

Beautiful views of the lake and surrounding mountains. My InReach Explorer said the total hike was 10.4 miles, and the first 3.1 miles up were pretty steady incline through not so interesting forest. Then there is a clearing along the ridge line for a bit, and back to forest a bit more. The final push up to the lookout is the hardest part. Because of the views only being a small portion of the total hike I only give it four stars, and would've given three if not for the lake view and proximity.

I would not recommend this trail for backpacking. I had planned on backpacking but ended up hiking back to the trailhead and camping at one of the nearby dispersed spots on the California side. It was a great workout carrying an extra heavy pack with the water in 95 degree heat (start early bc it didn't start heating up until around 11 and was chilly before that)! But not a hard enough trail where you couldn't hike to the top and back in one go and still have time in your day to enjoy the lake. It allows horses, so the trail isn't very difficult other than the moderate elevation gain. Also like someone else said, there are no good spots to camp out on the trail. Not worth it. Just hike it, and bring lots of water.

2 months ago

Really enjoyed this one! Hiked it early in the AM. Temps started in the low 50's near the TH. By noon it was almost 80! Only saw 2 others on the trail... most parked at the trailhead to access Applegate Lake.

2 months ago

Great winter hike, moderate and gentle uphills.

3 months ago

first 2.5-3 miles are super boring. just trees. then you hit the ridgelone with amazing views and its good after that. some rocky sections of trail, lots of bugs
absolutely stunning views at top

had trail to myself today

3 months ago

this was a great hike once you get to the top. I would do a day hike again, but not an over night hike. camping is very limited and taking 48 pounds up that incline is brutal for the average hiker like myself. if your an advanced hiker then absolutely do it. The views are amazing.

4 months ago

Beautiful. Trail was well maintained and easy to follow. AMAZING views of the lake and surrounding mountains.

4 months ago

Total distance was almost 10 miles on the dot. Great views of snowy mountains and Applegate Lake. Uphill all the way up, so I would suggest doing this in cooler weather. Rewarding view at the top.

4 months ago

Great hike. Trail was very easy to follow and was challenging but not too tough. It's a fairly gradual climb and not just a whole bunch of switchbacks. There are a few good views on the way up and the panoramic view from the top is definitely worth it. Took about 4.5 hours total from start to finish including some time at the top for lunch. Minimal snow on the trail (3/26/18), no problem with regular hiking shoes. The gps pin on the app is spot on with parking right by the trailhead. This was probably my favorite hike in Oregon so far. We didn't see any wildlife during our hike but did hear some deep growling fairly close to us that I assume was a bear near the top. Just something to keep in mind.

4 months ago

Strenuous! Great views...we went in August...too hot! I recommend going in Spring or Fall!

5 months ago

This trail is my absolute favorite so far!
give your self plenty of day light tho I made the mistake of going up to late in the day and got stuck up there in the dark it was pretty scary so make sure to bring a flashlight or 2 in case you cut it close. I got turned around pretty bad once it got dark. The trail is pretty steep going up and a narrow path. No cell service, beautiful views, got to see some deer running down the side of the mountain and some pretty wild flowers in the summer, mushrooms, and several good look outs. I would mark this trail down as a must do. the trail head is sneaky I walk it the first couple times. the map on here will lead you to a little parking area you will walk down the road a bit and see the start of the trail with a sighn on your right it is a sharp right tho so be looking behind you if you feel you walked to far down the gravel road you probabky did. turn around you'll see it is almost immediatly on your right after the little parking area where you leave your car. also when you get to the summit there will be a small wooden sighn wiyh a foot trail going up the hill that the trail you are on is walking beside that is also easy to miss and I walked past and ended up at the start of another trail.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

nice shade cover for 95% of the trail. breezy view at the top. wildflowers blooming along the trail. The manzanitas had lots of bumblebees

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Excellent trail - one of my favorites! It's definitely a good workout (pretty much straight uphill the entire way to the butte), but so worth it for the views at the top of Stein Butte. It is black bear country, so you will want to talk out loud to let anything know you are coming. Also, beware of ticks in the spring months of March - May. We went the first weekend of April, and had some issues with ticks. In my experience, they normally don't recede until June.
It's roughly 5 miles from the start of the trailhead to the top of Stein Butte, and you also have the option of making a more intense (albeit slightly shorter) return trip by continuing on the trail that winds past the butte and descends STEEPLY for a few miles past a couple of old mine adits, before spitting you out onto a Forest Service road (which you can then walk along back to your car).

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Great trail. Well maintained. Exhausted after but it was totally worth it. We went this month (March) which was accidentally a really good time since it was the perfect temperature. Unfortunately I wasn't expecting the ticks to be out in full force and I pulled over 20 off of my dog, fortunately only two stuck. So be prepared with a tick collar or something for your canine pals. Other than that loved the hike!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

great hike!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

The scenery was beautiful and the hike was just enough of a workout for me

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lovely absolutely

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

This is a tough hike but very rewarding. It's mostly uphill for about 5 miles (note that it's 5 miles to the summit, so if you include the hike back, it's about 10 miles total). There are plenty of great spots to take a break. Lots of great old growth trees and interesting spots along the way. We encountered a couple of rattlesnakes and saw some fresh bear scat, so use caution. There's a great clearing about 2/3 of the way up the trail that has some rewarding views if you don't want to make it all the way to the butte summit. Going up at a leisurely pace took us about 4 hours (stopping for breaks frequently). We made the descent in about 2 hours. Luckily when you reach the bottom again you're right at the Applegate lake so you can cool off!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

It was a challenge! So many silk worm webs everywhere twords the top... Bring a ton of water... And someone to carry you back

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Loved the views on this one! Beautiful during the springtime!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Long trail, with steady incline. At times felt it would never end, but once you got 2 miles in there was a clearing with amazing views of both coastal mountains and the valley. At the summit it was absolutely breathtaking! Pack lots of water and snack to reward yourself at the top! Took about 3 hours round trip. But totally worth every second. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Stein Butte is a really awesome trail if you have the time to go! I would recommend going on a clear day, so that you can see the lovely view at the top. The instructions for getting there say that it is on Seattle Bar Trail, but it is actually across the street, don't be fooled. ;)
Bring lots of water! And take your time!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Great nearly 10miler. Beautiful terrain all the way with plenty of variation. Moderately intense up; then up and down along the ridge-line to the butte. Viewpoints with stunning vistas of the Applegate lake and the Red Buttes wilderness. Definitely one of the hikes you want to do in southern OR. Option to jump in the lake after the long hike as the trailhead is down at the lake and next to a park. Only buggy area is at the trailhead and the first mile. After that, you are in the clear.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Beautiful sunny day for a hike on November 9, 2013. This roundtrip hike is closer to 9.8 miles then the stated 4.9. The start of this hike is steady uphill. It levels out for a short time then you continue upward. The very last part to get to the top is fairly steep with lots of loose rocks and you should carefully navigate your steps both up and down. Once on top, the views are beautiful.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

A friend and I hiked this today.. Let me tell you, it took longer than we thought (planned on 5 hours and even though I'm a seasoned day hiker, got back to the car 6 hours later!), and did not reach the summit. We started our hike at 9:20, and after almost 4.5 hours of hiking, we decided to start our way back. We stopped often to rest, and to take pictures. This surly added to the time..However, we saw the summit from about 1/4-1/2 mile away, before turning around. The climb is steady, but not too difficult. The last 1/10th is supposed to be the hardest.. Bring plenty of water! Bring plenty of bug spray! Bring bear deterrent or other protection. I've ran into black bears in this area before, and there was plenty of fresh scat and other sign on the trail.
We will be back to get it done!! :) beautiful views!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Excellent trail with excellent views. The first leg of the trip is pretty steep but once you reach the ridge line you'll remember why you chose this hike. I arrived at the trailhead at 6:30am and arrived back at the car 4 hours and 15 minutes later (including 45 mins at the top). I noticed some really fresh scat on the way down (looked like fox or bobcat) so I kept a stick to make some noise with.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Probably was not the best time to hike, it was hot and we were exposed to the elements (Sun) there were lots of nats of some sort that contributed to our arms hurting from waving them away.

I was excited to reach the " Lookout" that was constructed by The Civilian Conservation Corps. 4400 Ft Elev. 1936-1968

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Stein Butte Trail is a moderate hike up the mountain at Applegate Lake. We took the hike in late spring and there wasn't much greenery along the trail itself, but parts of the tail that view the lake and surrounding area is spectacular. At 4.5 miles in distance, its a shuttle hike or you can go back the way you came (all downhill going back) for a 9 mile hike. Dogs are allowed.

1 month ago

6 months ago

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