Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Driveway Butte Trail is a 8.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Winthrop, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.6 miles Elevation Gain: 3,018 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash


nature trips

bird watching



wild flowers

Directions from Early Winters: Drive Highway 20 west 5 miles to Klipchuck Campground. Near the self-service fee station there is a gated service road. (Do not park in front of the gate.) The trail begins about 100 yards down this road and is marked by green trees.

Sun Jun 23 2019

Worth doing once. The trailhead is at the Klipchuck campground. We camped there, so we tried the hike. The first 1-1/2 miles are very steep switchbacks (brutal on the knees descending) through Balsam leaf (past peak, would have been good in May). The second 1-1/2 miles are through a burn area, typically full of inconsiderate vegetation and large tree blow down, which at times makes the trail hard to stay on but never too difficult to find again. Finally, the next 1/2 mile is through lovely meadows filled with wildflowers in full bloom. The final 1/4 mile is another ballistic, straight to the summit track, again brutal on the joints descending. Expansive views from the summit redeemed the challenges of the trails. No bugs. Snow free. Fortunately we had a mid-60s day with a breeze. Would have been brutal in mid-summer. Am I glad we did it? Fairly. Would I do it again? No. I would try something else in the area.

Wed Jun 13 2018

snow free mid-june 2018, except for a small patch at the top of the butte (and a few scant flakes that came down as we were up there)! all in all, great hike - the wildflowers are beautiful and the view at the end is lovely. that being said, trail definitely needs a little tlc - there were some narrow switchbacks near the start that made me a little nervous (very high up, very thin, and slightly deteriorating), and we nearly lost the trail ~halfway up due to a large fallen tree in the burned out section that completely blocked view and access to the rest of the trail. thankfully, we turned around a few times and persevered until we realized we had to scramble around it. there were a lot of precarious sections of log-hopping along muddy areas, as well. the burnout is eerily beautiful in a way - the wind was whistling through the trees like the souls of the damned or something for a while there. the last slog uphill before the top nearly killed me, as did trying to book it downhill without falling on my face, but the view was worth it. a lot quicker going down than coming up. layer up, because it was quite warm at the trailhead, but once you get up there the chill is intense. i knew this generally going in, and brought and fleece and a beanie, but it still wasn’t quite enough. all in all, would recommend - just make sure you’re up for some scrambling.

Mon May 30 2016

Snow free as of Memorial Day weekend. The balsamroot is a week or two past it's prime but still providing a blast of color. It's a bit of an obstacle course through the burn zone because of all the downed trees but the trail is easy to follow. Cloudy at the top so I couldn't see much but I imagine the view is pretty nice on a clear day.

26 days ago

9 months ago

10 months ago