Distance: 3.7 miles
Elevation Gain: 900 feet
Trail Use: Hiking
Hike Type: In and Out.
Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass
Season: Late Spring, Summer, Early Fall
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Family Friendly: Yes
To get to Black Butte Trailhead, you take US 20 from either Salem or Bend. From US20 you will be turning onto NF-11. After 3.8 miles, turn left onto NF-99/SW Black Butte Rd. After 3.1 miles you will be turning onto NF-1110. The reason I am describing this is because NF-1110 is rough. Large rocks cover the entire 1.1 mile stretch. The entire time I drove it, I stayed around 5 mph and still scraped on several occasions. And then there is always the worry of a punctured tire.
If you do not drive a vehicle with above average ground clearance, I recommend parking on the side of NF-99. If you do have ground clearance, drive slowly up NF-1110 1.1 miles to the trailhead.
The trail starts out relatively mild. But you will be traversing uphill the entire time. After the first switchback, you are treated to some amazing view of the Three Sisters. At this point the surroundings become arid in the higher elevation and there is little to no shade to take refuge. We highly recommend to bring sunscreen or clothing to protect yourself from the sun.
After about 45 minutes of hiking you will hit the second switchback. Right after this switchback you will see old remains of a forest fire that once past through this area.
At this point you reach the summit of Black Butte. Take time to view the fire tower and the old ranger house. You sill have spectacular views of Mt Hood, Mt Washington, and the Three Sisters.