Orange County Highpoint Trip Report

Butterfield Mtn (3,167 ft)

Date: May 8, 2005
Author: Brennan Connelly

For some reason, I felt compelled to do this one on a rainy, blustery, and cold Sunday afternoon. I was planning on also doing signal, but a 2 pm Calpine start nixed that idea.

I followed previous reports, mainly from Ken and Karen Jones, and found the turnabout at 2.2 miles. The only correction to be made is that the junction at 0.7 mile is for VAST trail 302C, not 302A. Trail 302C is shown to end just past the turnabout at 2.2 miles but, in fact, loops back around to the east and ends not far from the first junction.

I took a southwest bearing up the poorly-defined ridge and managed to bash and swear my way 0.9 mile to the summit. There is a register at the summit from the AMC, and it is filled with the names of a good portion of the COHP illuminati. I believe that I was the first climber of the year as the last entry was from 11/04 from a deer hunter. I have a feeling that this hike would go from mildly masochistic to downright hellish after the trees start budding and the undergrowth grows in.

If you don't have a strong compulsion to finish VT, don't bother with this one. You get very little in the way of views for the amount of effort expended. On the other hand, if you're an antisocial, surly, and masochist hiker such as myself, this is a great hike as no one aside from stray hunters and rabid COHPers would probably bother to hike this. If you do go, do it in late spring or late fall to avoid the worst of the bushwhacking. This hike reminded me quite a bit of Buffalo Peak (Jeffco, CO) insofar as the undergrowth and blowdowns are comparable.

The gate at US302 was closed, ostensibly for mud season, so I had to park there at about 1800 feet. This made the round-trip hike for Butterfield about 6 miles and 1,800 feet or so of elevation gain with all of the ups and downs.