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Baskett Butte Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

(Redirected from Baskett Slough Hike)
A kestrel at dusk surveys Baskett Slough (cfm)
Moffitti Marsh from Baskett Butte (bobcat)
Fender's blue butterfly on Baskett Butte (cfm)
Tolmie's mariposa lily (Calochortus tolmiei) (cfm)'
The all-year trail system at Baskett Butte (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Baskett Butte TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Baskett Butte
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 2.1 miles
  • Elevation gain: 260 feet
  • High point: 440 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

Baskett Slough National Wildlife Refuge is located along the Pacific flyway and is the winter home of many thousands of dusky Canada geese. It also boasts resident bald eagles, ospreys, and great horned owls. In the wetlands, you may see many other water birds, beavers, and nutrias. The small peak on the refuge is Baskett Butte, which contains upland Willamette prairie grassland, oak woodland, and oak savanna. A recent project has thinned the woodland to rid it of invasive Douglas-fir, which crowds out the oaks. The grasslands are home to a threatened plant: Kincaid's lupine, which is the host of an endangered butterfly, the Fender's blue butterfly. Western meadowlarks, Oregon's state bird but now rare In the Willamette Valley, are often observed here.

The loop described here is open all year. A spur connects with the Morgan Lake Loop, which descends to lower marshlands and is only open April 1st to September 30th. The loop trail around Baskett Butte is named for Rich Guadagno, a former manager of the refuge and a passenger on United Flight 93 on September 11th, 2001, when the hijacked plane crashed into a Pennsylvania farm field. The memorial trail is now a designated national recreation trail.

Begin at the trailhead and take the gravel trail uphill, passing the first of several signs honoring Rich Guadagno. The trail rises through an oak savanna with views west across farm fields to the Eola Hills. At a fork, bear right and skirt an oak wood on Baskett Butte to reach another junction. Take the spur trail leading right across an open grassland on the crest of Baskett Butte. The trail drops to another junction marked for the Moffitti Morgan Loop Trail (open only between April 1st and September 30th). If you're here after September 30th, head right to a bench with a view of Parvipes Marsh and Morgan Lake. The trail beyond here is seasonally closed, so return to the Rich Guadagno Memorial Loop Trail that circles the oak wood on Baskett Butte.

Bear right on the loop trail to enter a dense oak woodland and wind up through a brushy understory that includes snowberry and cascara with some invasive blackberry. You have a good chance of encountering the local black-tailed deer here. Close to the summit of Baskett Butte, you'll drop along a more open slope where maples and Douglas-firs have been thinned out to give the oaks more space. Views open up to the southwest, where Marys Peak is the highest summit in the Coast Range. The trail descends to a junction in an open prairie, the ideal habitat for Fender's blue butterfly.

Turn right at the junction to hike up through the prairie to Rich Guadagno Observation Platform on Mt. Baldy, at 414 feet the lowest of Baskett Butte's three summits. Views extend south over the seasonal marches of the wildlife refuge and west to the Coast Range. Listen for the warbling territorial calls of meadowlarks, especially in the spring, and cacophony of vast flocks of dusky Canada geese after they arrive in the fall. Return to the junction, and keep right to close the loop and descend to the parking area.


Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

  • Pets are not permitted on the trails
  • Outhouse, picnic table, information kiosk
  • Respect seasonal trail closures

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Best Easy Day Hikes: Salem and Eugene by Adam Sawyer
  • Urban Hikes Oregon by Adam Sawyer
  • Best Hikes With Kids: Oregon by Bonnie Henderson & Zach Urness
  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • Wild in the Willamette edited by Lorraine Anderson with Abby Phillips Metzger
  • Afoot & Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain
  • Corvallis Trails by Margie C. Powell
  • Take a Hike: Portland by Barbara I. Bond
  • 75 Hikes in Oregon's Coast Range & Siskiyous by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill

More Links


  • cfm (creator)
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.