McClellan Butte Trail

HARD 87 reviews

McClellan Butte Trail is a 9.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near North Bend, Washington that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. 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.

DISTANCE
9.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3717 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

skiing

walking

forest

views

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

From Seattle, east on I-90 to exit 42 (Tinkham Road). Turn right off the freeway for and travel 0.3 miles to FSR 5500-101. Turn right and go 0.2 miles to the trailhead at the end of road.

4 days ago

boring hike but great summit scramble over exposed granite steeps.... also a great trail to run down, virtually no rocks or roots.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, still lots of snow after 3500 ft, few gullies crossing, long and steep traverse at the end, awesome scrambling to the top. Bring ice axe and spikes, at least now

hiking
7 months ago

No snow. Great hike and end view. It’s pretty steep so if you’re unconditioned it might take you a while to get to the scramble.

hiking
8 months ago

very good hike. according to my tracker it is 10.1 mile rt. lots of snow at the top. last 2 miles was covered in snow. so used micros pikes to hike that part.

hiking
8 months ago

Nice trail plenty of snow today and fantastic view ...

hiking
9 months ago

Arrived at the trailhead around 7:40 AM with about three other vehicles in the lot. First couple of miles were good, crossed a couple roads that I saw cars at on the way down, so it's possible to park closer and cut off mileage. A few logs crossing the trail, but otherwise it was in very good condition. The smoke was heavy and ash was raining down so views on the way up, as well as on top, weren't great.
The scramble definitely looks more intimidating than it actually is. Take it slowly, fortunately there are many footholds and a lot of rock to grip. Once at the top, we had the view to ourselves for about 20 minutes, and after that we headed down. Saw about 10 more people on the way back. Awesome trail, will be back when it's cleared up.

hiking
9 months ago

Definitely a challenging hike! Did it yesterday and sadly because of the fires all the views were blocked by smoke. I didn't chance the scramble however it seems doable. Would recommend poles especially for the way down since it's so steep. It took us about 3 hours to get up with a few breaks along the way.

9 months ago

Quite steep. Higher difficulty than Si for sure. Went up the Butte!

9 months ago

I put this hike off for many years because the final rock climb to the summit sounded intimidating, but it was quite easy. The rock is very jagged with many hand and foot holds. It's flat on the top with room for several people to take a break. I was alone on the summit for about 40 minutes before heading back down. It was a cloudless day but very hazy. It took me three hours to hike from the trailhead to the summit and two hours down. I went slow on the rock section, but made up time by jogging the last few miles to the parking lot.

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful wooded trail. Well maintained except for the fallen trees near the top, but they're easy enough to get around. It took me around 2 hours to get to the top, but I was pushing my pace hard.

There was no pay station at the trailhead that I could see, so make sure you bring a northwest pass.

The view was very cool, but I'm disappointed I didn't make it up the scramble for the unobstructed views. Although there were plenty of handholds, there was no room for mistakes. I'd heard that the scramble was exposed ... but seriously, if you start falling you're not gonna stop. Rolling down a rocky cliff is not how I want to die!

hiking
9 months ago

Great views even without doing the scramble!

hiking
9 months ago

Great views even without doing the scramble!

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike. I did it solo on 29 July. I debated about bringing poles or not. There were some steep parts on the trail up that I wouldn't mind having them. On the way down, I was quite wishing I brought them. I was able to do some trail running on the path down that saved my knees but they were aching.

Do the scrabble - if dry weather and your teetering on if you will or not. It's worth it. It is a clear path up (look for the worn parts) and nice deep hand holds. If you are sure of your grip, you can do it. Just take your time and the top is lovely solid area - with plenty of the bugs. The way down was more tricky (as it generally is). I had over tightened my shoe for the scramble up and got a foot cramp on top so I decided to scoot down on my bum. It worked quite well.

On the trail, I passed another solo woman - we were both playing podcasts on our phone loudly as a bear deterrent. Can't claim causation but did not see any bears.

11 months ago

Beautiful and worth the time and effort!!!
The views from the top are spectacular!
A few fallen trees on the trail and a "touch" of snow...add to the adventure!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Monday, May 01, 2017

Very nice! A well kept and low-traffic moderate hike. Expect snow until early May. Surrounding mountain roads offer excellent jeeping for all levels. We'll definitely come back!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Very pretty trail. The top is pretty small though and the time of year (October) it was a little icy. Still worth it, a great work out!

hiking
Wednesday, October 12, 2016

This is an amazing trail! You are certainly going to do at least 13 miles... I think the 9 miles in the description is calculated from the John Wayne Trail. Most of your elevation gain will happen in the last 3 miles… This is a great way to use the first 3 miles up as a warm-up. As of this day October 11, there was a lot of ice and snow on the north west flank… This was not an issue(yet) for the approach on the scary scramble.. this is a hard hike… Be ready. As far as the blow downs, this should not be an issue for most people that hike on a regular basis… At least five trees and they were not really hard to cross or figure out… There should be no problem following this trail all the way to the top.. 6 1/2 miles up and 6 1/2 miles down… I recorded this with two different GPS devices and they both agree

hiking
Tuesday, September 06, 2016

I don't get out enough, so for me the trail was hard. The first few miles were okay, but the last few were challenging. And for my blistered, aching feet, down was much worse. We saw spray painted numbers on the trees which we assumed corresponded with miles, but it went past 6, which is different than stated here. My phone wasn't working so I couldn't track our hike, but my brother's iPhone counted 14 miles, round trip. I looked it up online and some sites say 10. The view at the top was very pretty, though we didn't catch a view of Mt Rainier due to cloud coverage. A very beautiful hike.

hiking
Sunday, July 31, 2016

Did this hike yesterday and it was great, even on a cloudy day. Definitely going back on a sunnier day. Do no get used to the first two miles, those are easy. The last three not so much. There are multiple points on the last half mile where trees are blocking the trail, it takes some figuring out but should be able to make it through. Its definitely worth it making to the top!

hiking
Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sunny day, great view on the top. The scramble is a little bit scaring but doable. Well-maintained trail and not many people there.

hiking
Monday, June 27, 2016

Great and fun hike! Recorded at 5.5 miles one way, so 11 miles total. The scramble up to the summit was a bit intimidating when you look down because it was so exposed (see my photo above), but it was fairly easy going up and down as there are easy footholds and handholds! The view of Mount Rainier from the summit was amazing, plus you can see Mount Baker to the north, the Cascades of course, and the Olympics in the far west. Amazing 360 view!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Great trail just a few snow spots but no problem! I tracked a total of just over 10 miles !

hiking
Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Great trail. Had to leave my dog at the bottom of the scramble.

hiking
Friday, September 18, 2015

Very little traffic on the trail today. Wished I had just a little more time before I had to head back down to make it home in time for the school bus. Didn't quite make it to the top but will be back. Great work out & the trail is in good shape. In a week or so the views with fall foliage will be impressive.

hiking
Sunday, August 23, 2015

Fun hike! A really good workout! The purple numbers seem to be in kilometers, not miles. Great views from atop the scramble! MUCH easier scrambling down than up!

hiking
Monday, July 20, 2015

Fun hike similar in difficulty to Mt Si for me, but way less crowded! My experience was extremely similar to Elizabeth's below. Started at 8am on a weekday and saw no one going up and several once I was half way way down. My GPS watch is pretty accurate and it said the entire hike was 10.3 miles round trip from the parking lot to the very top and back. It took me 4.5 hours and I am usually about 15-20% shorter than what the estimated time is. This trail requires a little more attention that most to make sure you are not leaving it when crossing forest roads etc.

hiking
Sunday, June 28, 2015

Hit this one yesterday in 89 degree weather was a little more heat then I would have liked, but its An amazing hike with a great payoff, definatly do the scrample at the top its not difficult.

hiking
Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Very tough trail. Beautiful scenery along the way. A lot of photo moments but the Mosquitos swarm every time I stop along the trail. I thought before hand to bring change of clothes (long pants and scarf and light jacket) thank God! It would be nice if there were mile markers along the trail as my tracker wouldn't work dead spots. I think this trail is longer than stated on Alltrail.com, took me 5.5 hours to finish. I had many short 3-10 minute stops on way up. Very steep climb and dangerous in some areas, especially being tired. With that said, I had a pretty steep climb the day before this hike.
It only took me about 75 minutes to get to bottom trail entrance from top. I was jogging every almost flat stretch and some smaller hill portions on the way down due to getting late and afraid I would lose sunlight. Took a good face plant on the way down. Hips, thighs, knees, ankles so weak from the climb up easy to lose footing on the way back down, especially in dim areas with shade. Tree roots will get ya when you least expect it. Over all a great hike for endurance hikers. My only regret was not getting there earlier. I arrived at trailhead at about 1330 and was back at my car at 1830. As it worked out I did have plenty of time before sun went over mountain, I should have took my time going back down. Wildlife: no goats today, plenty of gray jays and squirrels and chipmunks and a pretty snake crossed right in front of me. It was black with green stripes pretty good size. supplies: I brought just enough although I am not used to packing a heavy backpack for day hike. After reading other posts and the weather being 86 and sunny I decided to pack 2 3L platypus bags with water. Enough food for 24 hours and change of clothes, and small first aid kit and the obvious 10 hiking essentials. Guess what? I used everything except for the food. I only ate 1 PB&J sandwich and some cherries and a peach. I drank just over 3 L of water, used some to clean my wounds on my fall.
Good luck and enjoy the hike, it is worth the view at the end. I hiked this one alone. There were about 5 cars in the parking lot on a Monday. I met 2 couples on their way down the mountain and 3 single hikers on their way down, did not see or pass anyone else going up. I was alone 99% of the time.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

This was a very difficult hike. It is pretty and lots of flowers and Mosquitos. It was never ending though! Every time I turned a corner it got more intense and more difficult, view at too is amazing. I was worried about getting back down in daylight so I ran a few stretches that weren't too steep but took a face plant anyway! OUCH! Be careful this trail is not for the weak. It's a tough one.

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