Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
3,300.00 ft (1,005.84 m)
Trail type
8.85 mi (14.24 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The hike up to the summit of Deception Butte is strenuous, beautiful, and rewarding. The first mile of trail is relatively flat as it parallels Highway 58 and then turns up Deception Creek. The creek is a tunnel of moss encrusted rocks and gently flowing water. Soon enough, however, the trail crosses a bridge at the picturesque confluence of Deception Creek and an unnamed tributary and immediately begins ascending more than 3,000 feet to the top. The trail clings precariously to the heavily forested northern flank of Deception Butte for a few miles before finally gaining the summit ridge for the final push. On the way up, a few openings in the trees that allow you to chart your rapid vertical progress. Although most of the trail is in old-growth forest, a few enormous stumps hide in dense stands of younger trees, attesting to the logging history on the lower slopes of the butte. At the summit meadow there is a rewarding view to the south. 

Note that the trailhead for this hike is now a short distance up Forest Road 5850 near the ranger station. Many maps and trail guides have not been updated with the new information.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Beautiful creek. Huge trees. Mushrooms.


Steep trail.

Trailhead Elevation

1,000.00 ft (304.80 m)


Bird watching
Big vistas
Old-growth forest

Suitable for



Nearby Adventures


This trail is closed due to fire. The Deception Creek fire has burned over nearly the entire length of the trail. It is hard to say when the trail will re-open. Even after the fire goes out this fall, there will likely be extensive damage to the trail that will need to be repaired before it is passable. Check with the Middle Fork Ranger Station before attempting this hike.
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