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Dixie Butte

John Day + Blue Mountains Area, Oregon

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Dixie Butte

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  • Dixie Butte (7,592') from along the Middle Fork of the John Day River.- Dixie Butte
  • Ponderosa Pine through the fog at the lower part of the trail.- Dixie Butte
  • Looking up at the summit of Dixie Butte from the lower part of the trail.- Dixie Butte
  • - Dixie Butte
  • - Dixie Butte
  • Strawberry Mountain (9,038') to the south from the trail.- Dixie Butte
  • - Dixie Butte
  • Approaching the summit saddle.- Dixie Butte
  • View from the saddle of Dixie Butte's summit, with the Elkhorn Mountains in the distance.- Dixie Butte
  • A radio tower and antenna at the summit of Dixie Butte.- Dixie Butte
  • The fire lookout tower at the top of Dixie Butte.- Dixie Butte
  • Looking toward the Greenhorn Mountains from the deck of the fire lookout.- Dixie Butte
  • - Dixie Butte
  • Looking southeast toward the Strawberry Range from Dixie Butte's summit.- Dixie Butte
  • Strawberry Mountain (9,038') in the clouds from Dixie Butte's summit.- Dixie Butte
  • Panorama from Dixie Butte's summit looking out toward the Strawberry Range.- Dixie Butte
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Incredible Blue Mountain views. Solitude.
Cons: 
Trail is a forest service road. Variable weather likely.
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Region:
John Day + Blue Mountains Area, OR
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,315.00 ft (705.61 m)
Parking Pass: 
Sno-Park Parking Permit (required in OR + WA 11.01 thru 04.30)
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring
Total Distance: 
10.10 mi (16.25 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,277.00 ft (1,608.43 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

Dixie Butte is a standalone summit in the heart of the Blue Mountains. From the summit and all along the trail, the views of Strawberry Mountain and the Strawberry Range looming over the John Day River and Prairie City are spectacular, and the Greenhorn and Elkhorn Mountains that make up the remaining parts of the Blue Mountains offer even more mountain views. In the winter and spring, the road to the top is impassable to all but the rare adventurer on snowshoes or cross country skis, making it an excellent time to visit.

The landscape drops off significantly from the summit in all directions, which is ideal for the fire lookout. The lookout tower at the top is occupied during the summer months; in the winter, the fire lookout is boarded up, so it is likely your tracks to the summit will be the only human tracks you'll see along the way. Since Dixie Butte stands alone (unlike the rest of the Blue Mountains that offer long mountain ridges), the top is prone to changing weather patterns, so check the weather closely before making the trip.

The path to the summit follows Forest Service Road 2610 and is mostly forested until you get close to the top. For a chance to explore the Blue Mountains in the snow, Dixie Butte is a great option, and the road offers enough trail to not get lost. There are many offshoot logging roads, so be sure to bring a map or GPS, since going down the wrong road could mean taking a detour long enough to keep you from reaching the summit on a day trip.

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.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(6 within a 30 mile radius)

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