Clear Lake Butte

Skyline Sno-Park to Clear Lake Butte Lookout

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon

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Clear Lake Butte


  • Skyline Sno-Park is home to the Mount Hood Snowmobile Club, which grooms the roads and maintains the area.- Clear Lake Butte
  • - Clear Lake Butte
  • The climbing begins with Clear Lake Butte Road.- Clear Lake Butte
  • Snow crystals from an overnight freeze.- Clear Lake Butte
  • The climb up translates to an intermediate or advanced descent on skis. - Clear Lake Butte
  • Clear Lake Butte Lookout.- Clear Lake Butte
Overview + Weather
Great views. Historic accommodation.
Accommodation is frequently booked. Snowmobile traffic can be heavy.
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, OR
Groomed trail: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,093.00 ft (333.15 m)
Parking Pass: 
Sno-Park Parking Permit (required in OR + WA 11.01 thru 04.30)
Total Distance: 
7.20 mi (11.59 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,630.00 ft (1,106.42 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description


Clear Lake Butte is a challenging and satisfying out-and-back option within the Skyline-Timothy Lake trail network. This system is groomed for snowmobile use, which can be heavy on weekends. The trails are all on roadways, so they are wide enough to accommodate traffic. Clear Lake Lookout Tower is available for rent through the forest service, and it is accessible to day-trippers as well. From the lookout tower you will have fabulous views of Mount Hood to the north and Mount Jefferson to the south. It is worth trying to make this trip on a clear day in order to enjoy these views.

The trail starts at the northwest corner of Skyline Sno-Park. The route follows Forest Road 42 or Skyline Road toward the Clear Creek drainage. Soon after crossing Clear Creek, ignore the trail to the right and continue on Forest Road 42. Next find Forest Road 240 or Clear Lake Butte Road; it's on the right and well signed. Begin climbing steadily, and be aware that there are a few steep sections that can be challenging on skis. At the summit, a side trail leads up the final, short climb to the lookout tower. If the tower is occupied, please be respectful of the occupants. The route back down has some steep sections that beginners should consider walking, but otherwise it provides a fun, quick descent on skis.

Recommended Gear

Before you head out on your next Mount Hood adventure, make sure you have the right gear! 

Here's a list of our go-to snowshoeing essentials to get you started:

Snowshoes: MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe

Men's and Women's • $229.95 • Cushioned, Made in USA, Ultralight, 98.8 oz

Jacket/Shell: Arc'teryx Zeta AR Jacket

Men's and Women's • $475.00 • Waterproof, Adjustable Drawcord Hem, Pit Zips, GORE-TEX

Pack: Mammut Nirvana Pro Pack 

Standard Fit and Small Fit • $189.95 • 35L, Carry-On Size, Hip Belt, Ice Axe / Pole Loops, Hydration Compatible

Insulating Layer: Moosejaw Dequindre Down Jacket

Men's and Women's • $134.25 • Water-resistant, Insulated, Adjustable Drawcord Hem

Poles: Black Diamond Traverse Pole 

$79.95 • Aluminum, Adjustable with Lever Lock System, 21 oz.

Gloves: The North Face GORE-TEX Gloves

Men's Powdercloud and Women's Powderflo • $99.95 • Waterproof, Adjustable, Insulated, GORE-TEX

Boots: Vasque Snowblime UltraDry Boot

Men's and Women's • $149.95 • Waterproof, Cushioned, Insulated

Gaiters: Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiter 

Men's and Women's • $64.95 • Waterproof, Breathable, Lightweight, Abrasion-resistant

Backcountry Safety Gear

If you are snowshoeing into avalanche terrain, you should be prepared, equipped and educated on how to use avalanche rescue and snow safety gear - including but not limited to an avalanche beacon/transceiver, probe, and shovel. Learn more and shop here.

Backcountry Safety

Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Map

Field Guide + Map

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(62 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(115 within a 30 mile radius)

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