Black Butte Trail

Difficulty
This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
Hard
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
3.5-5h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
9.8 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
607 m
User Ratings
These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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Directions to Trailhead

Though demanding, the Black Butte Trail is an amazing adventure in the Shasta National Forest. After tackling the technical terrain, you will be granted breathtaking vistas of Mount Shasta dominating the skyline. This trek is well-worth the sweat—trust us.

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Route Description for Black Butte Trail

The Black Butte Trail is a well-revered adventure near Mount Shasta that offers unparalleled vistas of the volcano in the Cascade Range. This route is conveniently located near the city and impressively scenic, and attracts thousands of visitors yearly. However, the trails' conditions have deteriorated due to overuse and poor upkeep. Maintain along the marked terrain and mind your footing as you navigate the rocky terrain. Note this path requires some scrambling over scree, so wear ankle bracing footwear and consider leaving your pup at home as the terrain may hurt their paws! When hiking in the winter months, the terrain is often icy, so consider bringing microspikes.

Embark on your adventure along the Black Butte Trail from the parking lot and trailhead off Forest Route 41N18. Note you can continue to the true trailhead if you have a high ground clearance vehicle with 4-wheel drive. If not, walk southwest along the off-roading route. Soon after your departure, you will merge onto the Black Butte Trail, climbing up the butte. Mind your footing on the rocky terrain as you navigate the winding path. As you ascend the mountain, the switchbacks will become more tightly wound, and the terrain will become more technical.

After tackling the vertiginous terrain, you will ultimately top the butte. From the peak, you will be granted impressive views of the snow-capped summit of Mount Shasta. Marvel in the grandeur of the volcano in the northeast, and when you are ready, carefully retrace your footing back down the route to the trailhead.

Getting to the Black Butte Trail Trailhead

The Black Butte Trail departs from the trailhead off Forest Route 41N18.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    Year-round

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    No

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

Black Butte Trail Elevation Graph

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