|The almost perfectly conical Black Butte, Oregon|
|View of the Cascades from Black Butte|
Black Butte, like almost every Cascade mountain, is a conical volcano that has long been extinct. There are actually 18 Black Butte Mountains in Oregon, but this is the most famous one. This one is unique because its summit is a fair distance away from other Cascade volcanoes. Its location offers a unique birds-eye view of the high desert plateau of Oregon and a panorama view of the Cascades. There is a strategically placed fire lookout tower at the top of the mountain which takes a more practical advantage of the topography. Hiking Black Butte is easy and worth it for a unique perspective of Eastern Oregon.
|The new Fire Lookout on Black Butte|
Hiking Black Butte is relatively easy; its a 3.6 mile round trip hike with moderate elevation gain. You will be passing through the large forests of the Cascades before finally toping out at the 6,437ft summit. From the top of the mountain, you can see several prominent cascades such as Mt Washington, Three Fingered Jack, The Three Sisters, Mt Jefferson, and even Mt Hood. You can also see the two fire lookouts which have served as stations for over 75 years. The Dechutes River, or rather, the gorge cut by the Dechutes River is also visible to the east. When you're ready to head down, simply head back the way you came!
|Enjoying a Black Butte Porter atop Mt. Hood|
I admit, I'm a beer snot. I would sooner eat grass before I'd let a bud-light or coors tarnish my palate. I mainly prefer Porters, Stouts and Ales to any mass produced light beer. Black Butte Porter is a porter that is "just right". Its full flavored, but not too heavy like a guiness, its sweeter, but not like a brown ale, and it has a balanced flavor without being as "hoppy" as a pale ale. The taste is somewhat of a blend between a coffee flavor and a dark chocolate finnish, almost creamy. Its a perfect dark beer even for those who prefer lighter beers.
Enjoy the hike, friends, and don't forget the beer!
Read. Plan. Get Out There!