Every Lookout in Oregon

Fall at Gold Butte

Friday, September 13 – Sunday, September 15, 2019

Note: for tips on staying at Gold Butte see my 2016 post.

Greg and I returned to the Gold Butte for the fourth time this fall. After a wet hike to Phantom Natural Bridge, we drove to the trailhead for Gold Butte. The signboard has a four-year-old sign about fire restrictions dating back to 2015. Been up here lately, Forest Service?

Old sign

Old sign

After hiking up the steep road and then hiking up the steep trail, we were glad to finally arrive:

Gold Butte Lookout

We had been socked-in during the hike earlier, but the clouds had finally burned off and we had views from the lookout. Mt. Jefferson:

View from Gold Butte Lookout

Mt. Washington, the Three Sisters, and Bachelor Mountain:

View from Gold Butte Lookout

After a relaxing evening and yummy dinner, we enjoyed the sunset:

Sunset at Gold Butte

Sunset at Gold Butte

We didn’t know this when we made our reservations, but we had a full moon on Friday the 13th. This meant that the stars weren’t very bright, but it was still pretty cool:

Full moon at Gold Butte

When I woke up that later in the night I discovered that an inversion had formed and that we were above the cloud layer. Neato!
Gold Butte inversion

Gold Butte inversion

Gold Butte inversion

The inversion was still there in the morning:

Gold Butte inversion

Gold Butte inversion

Gold Butte Lookout

Above the inversion

Battle Ax Mountain, which we hiked up later that day:

Battle Ax Mountain

There are some vine maples up there and they looked brilliant in the sunshine:

Fall color

Fall color

After breakfast we hiked back down to the car, drove over to Elk Lake, then hiked up Battle Ax Mountain. Then we drove back and hiked back up to the lookout. The woodpile is still at the end of the road, and not up in the woodshed:

Woodpile

We had our hatchet with us so we split some kindling:

Splinting kindling

There was nothing with which to haul the firewood so we improvised:

Firewood bag

Firewood bag

It was a beautiful evening on Saturday:

Mt. Jefferson

Moonrise:

Moonrise
We knew a weather system was coming in Sunday morning. The clouds were over us when we woke up, but the leading edge was just east of us and the rising sun poked through for a little while. It was gorgeous:

Gold Butte sunrise

But it didn’t last, and soon enough we were socked-in with rain and clouds:

Cloudy morning

We packed up and had a wet hike back to the car:

Hiking down

It poured down rain for the entire drive back to Portland. Many areas got an inch of rain this day! I’m glad the rain didn’t arrive any sooner and that we had nice weather and views for most of our stay.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *