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?
After hiking up the steep road and then hiking up the steep trail, we were glad to finally arrive:
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:
Mt. Washington, the Three Sisters, and Bachelor Mountain:
After a relaxing evening and yummy dinner, we enjoyed the sunset:
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:
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!
The inversion was still there in the morning:
Battle Ax Mountain, which we hiked up later that day:
There are some vine maples up there and they looked brilliant in the sunshine:
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:
We had our hatchet with us so we split some kindling:
There was nothing with which to haul the firewood so we improvised:
It was a beautiful evening on Saturday:
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:
But it didn’t last, and soon enough we were socked-in with rain and clouds:
We packed up and had a wet hike back to the car:
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.