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Abbott Butte Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

View to the south from the summit of Abbott Butte (B. Hope)
Abbott Butte lookout (B. Hope)
Close-up of Abbott Butte lookout (B. Hope)
Map of the Abbott Butte hike (B. Hope)
  • Start point: Abbott Butte TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Abbott Butte Trailhead
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Out-and-Back
  • Distance: 7 miles
  • Elevation gain: 1,500 feet
  • High Point: 6,100 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Summer, Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: Yes (but water could be scarce)
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

The 35,701 acre Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness is located in southwest Oregon, ten miles west of Crater Lake National Park. Elevations range from 3000 to 6800 feet along the divide between the Rogue and Umpqua Rivers. Dense conifer forest gives way to a mosaic of big trees and sub-alpine meadows in the higher elevations. Nearly all trails in the Rogue-Umpqua Divide pass through sub-alpine meadows. Meadow wildflowers are abundant in summer and diverse plant communities provide habitat for everything from hummingbirds to black bears. Water is abundant in streams and a handful of lakes.

Located amongst old-growth forests and meadows, Abbott Butte is literally the dividing line between the iconic Rogue River and the Umpqua Watershed. Snow that falls on the south and east sides of the peak feeds the North Fork of Abbott Creek before reaching the Wild and Scenic Upper Rogue River a little downstream of Union Creek. But precipitation that falls just a few feet north or west forms the headwaters of Squaw Creek and joins Jackson Creek on its long journey through the Umpqua Watershed to the Pacific Ocean. A hike to the butte is on good trails and old roads and is easy. There are options to go beyond the butte to Elephanthead or Saddle Camp but these require good routefinding skills and are more demanding.

From the trailhead, proceed north on the Rogue-Umpqua Divide trail (#1470) for 1.4 miles to Windy Gap and then about 0.6 miles further to Sandy Gap. At this point, you leave the trail (there used to be a trail from here to the butte but it's no longer maintained) and proceed another 0.6 miles on an old road to a junction with the Abbott Butte trail (#1470A, actually an old road). Hike up this trail/old road for 0.7 miles to the abandoned lookout. The lookout, while still standing, is nonetheless deteriorating and entering or climbing it IS NOT recommended.

Maps

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • Hiking Southern Oregon by Art Bernstein and Zach Urness (2014 Edition, Hike #31)
  • 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon by William L. Sullivan (Third Edition, Hike #36)

More Links

Page Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.