Wasco County High Point Trip Report

unnamed point on side of Olallie Butte (6,280- ft)

Date: August 1998
Author: Ken Jones

This is the hardest county highpoint in Oregon to try to locate. It is at the point of an artificial line in a boulder field. The area is attractive, however. The site is on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. The route described did not pass any access-limiting signs when I did it, but it would be wise to check with the tribe first.

From Detroit, Oregon, head north and east on forest route 46, signed toward Breitenbush Hot Springs. Continue on the paved road, well past the springs. After entering Clackamas county, about 1-1/3 miles into the Mt. Hood National Forest, continue 9 to 10 miles to forest route 4680 on your right. Take this, and follow signs toward Olallie Lake via routes 4690 and 4220. You'll pass some campgrounds along the way. Just over 1 mile past the entrance to Olallie Meadow campground, the road passes under some transmission lines. Park here, off the road.

On the east side of the road you can pick up the trail to Olallie Butte. It wasn't signed when I was there, but it wasn't hard to find. It is not the powerline road, but instead is just south of it. It's obviously a trail when you find it. In a few hundred yards it crosses the Pacific Crest Trail, which is the first place I saw a sign.

Stay on the Olallie Butte trail to the switchback at ~6470'. Here, strike out cross-country directly for the ridge. Upon reaching the ridge, look for a good place to drop down to the east. It's steep, and loose, but some chutes go okay. Then use your map, compass, GPS, and whatever to find the highpoint. I quartered the area for an hour or so to satisfy myself.

When you return to the trail, consider heading the last half mile up Olallie Butte. There are spectacular views of Mount Jefferson {Linn and Jefferson county highpoint}, and its north ridge {Marion county highpoint}. And Olallie Butte is in the Top 50 prominence peaks in Oregon, and easy to pick out on the skyline from many points in the state.