Stunning views of Mount Shasta prevail on the Mt Shasta Wilderness trail leading to the summit of Black Butte, and the 360-degree views from the top are spectacular. Black Butte also has some hidden, fascinating features. They are only revealed to those who take the journey up.
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Length: 5.2 Miles Round Trip
Trailhead(s): Black Butte Trailhead
Elevation Gain: 1,845’
Trail Type: Out and Back
Dogs: Allowed on Leash but Not Recommended
Permit Required? No
Considerations: Unstable Rocks, Sun Exposure
Season: Summer & Fall
Stunning views of Mount Shasta prevail on the Mt Shasta Wilderness trail leading to the summit of Black Butte, and the 360-degree views from the top are spectacular. Black Butte also has some hidden, fascinating features.
Black Butte Trail – Mt Shasta Wilderness and Distant Peaks in View
The easy to follow Black Butte Trail starts in the forest, but quickly opens up to reveal dominating views of Mount Shasta and the surrounding Mt Shasta Wilderness. The trail winds its way around Black Butte and eventually up to the summit, where expansive distant peaks astound the viewer. Sheeprock, the Goosenest, Willow Creek Mountain, Mount Eddy, Lassen Peak, Crater Peak, and Mt. McLoughlin, as well as Castle Crags and the Harry Watkins/Gray Rock Dome area are all visible from the summit. Need we say more?
Black Butte Trail – Lots of Rocks
This trail is definitively rocky. The many talus fields we hiked through were mostly level due to strategically placed rocks, dirt and gravel. Upon reaching the hidden canyon (a unique feature of this butte), a bit of rock hopping was necessary to get through the jumble. The rocks are more unstable along sections of the trail as it ascends through and around the multiple summits created by separate eruptions. Wire retaining nets hold loose rocks in place. There was enough loose rock underfoot on these exposed slopes that it required paying close attention to footing as we traversed these areas.
Black Butte Summit
Arriving just below the summit, the trail splits into numerous foot paths for the scramble to the top. Up here the rocks were once again firm under our feet. The last bit of the rocky top terminates at the foundation of an old lookout tower which requires navigating a stretch of exposed rock to reach. Immediately below this rocky top we found there was plenty of room to hang out, have a snack, and enjoy the views before turning around to head back down.
Scroll down to learn about the GEAR WE USE and OTHER OUTVENTURES in this area.
- U.S. Forest Service: Black Butte Trail Information Link
- Black Butte Trail Hike Overlay:
Black Butte Slideshow
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Gear We Use for Day Hiking
To see descriptions of the gear Chris & Mac use for day hiking, as well as links to manufacturers and retailers offering the gear for sale, please CLICK HERE.
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