Groomed trail
Elevation Gain
725.00 ft (220.98 m)
5.50 mi (8.85 km)
Warming hut
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 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.

Logistics + Planning



Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass


Great views. Historic accomodation.


Accomodation often booked in advance.

Trailhead Elevation

3,905.00 ft (1,190.24 m)


Big vistas

Trail type


Typically multi-day


Snowmobiles allowed



Nearby Adventures

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon


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