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Fivemile Butte

Fivemile Butte Trail

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon

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Fivemile Butte

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  • A warming shelter at Billy Bob Sno-Park.- Fivemile Butte
  • The area is maintained by a local snowmobile club.- Fivemile Butte
  • Forest Road 44 maintenance ends at the junction with Forest Road 4430.- Fivemile Butte
  • - Fivemile Butte
  • - Fivemile Butte
  • - Fivemile Butte
  • - Fivemile Butte
  • Looking west to Mount Hood.- Fivemile Butte
  • - Fivemile Butte
  • - Fivemile Butte
  • Fivemile Butte Lookout.- Fivemile Butte
  • Keep the wood cut for the next guest.- Fivemile Butte
  • The western view toward Mount Hood at sunset.- Fivemile Butte
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Historic accomodation.
Cons: 
Accomodation often booked in advance.
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Region:
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, OR
Congestion: 
Low
Groomed trail: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
725.00 ft (220.98 m)
Parking Pass: 
NW Forest Pass
Total Distance: 
5.50 mi (8.85 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,905.00 ft (1,190.24 m)
Typically multi-day: 
No
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

The lookout at Fivemile Butte is a rewarding trip even if you haven’t been fortunate enough to obtain an overnight stay in the vintage structure.  The ponderosa pine, western hemlock, and Douglas fir all work in this transition zone between eastern and western Oregon.  Because it's on the east side of Mount Hood, this area may have less snow later in the season.  This is something to keep in mind if you are attempting to reserve the lookout after March; you may be hiking instead of gliding your way in.

The trek in and out is easily done as a day trip on skis, though intermediate skills are called for on the descent down.  The distance is also very doable on snowshoes, which may also allow you to find your own direct route to the top.  If you do remain on Forest Road 120 for your climb, you will enjoy some terrific views to the east and north as the road winds around the butte.  After approximately 1.5 miles, take the sharp left onto FR 122 and continue to the top of the butte.  The Fivemile Butte Lookout Tower was first constructed in 1934, though heavy snows took their toll on the original building.  The current structure dates back to 1957.  On a clear day the views of Mt. Hood are dramatic, even from the base of the tower.

Return by the same route, or for a longer seven-mile loop, return to Forest Road 120 and continue southwest until it meets Forest Road 44 near the intersection with Eightmile Creek. Head east on 44 to return the Billy Bob Sno-Park.

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 

$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 • $181.61 • 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

 

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.

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

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(50 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(133 within a 30 mile radius)

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