Driveway Butte



9 mi rt

gain: 3270 ft

max: 5994 ft

My dog and I

gpx track, use at your own risk: Driveway Butte

Driveway Butte

This is a good early hike when there is still avalanche dangers or too much snow to get to the trailhead in other places, I did it earlier this year on May 11.  In May I hit snow in the burn area and then chose my path up the hill from there wishing that I had brought snowshoes.  I wanted to go back and see what the summer trail was like.  It was fine but I like snow (:

This hike had been on the list  (we all have one) for quite some time.  I had read that it was a good early season hike because the trail starts down by the highway.  This is also the former spot of a fire lookout and I like to visit those.

Driveway Butte is over in the Mazama area (east of Bellingham) so I wait until Highway 20 opens for the season before I even consider this area.  If I was to drive around using Hwy 2 it would take several more hours to get here and back so waiting for 20 it is.

The trail for this starts at a graveled parking area (N48 35.874 W120 30.819) with a pit toilet across the road from the Klipchuck campground.  It takes off up a hill from there following switchbacks up though a pretty slope that was full of wild flowers earlier this year but for this hike it was pretty dry .  Even with the dryness there were still lots of birds around eating the seeds from the earlier flowers.  There is water about 1/3 of the way up the slope on a small side trail that goes about 100 ft over to a year-round creek.  Knowing this in advance meant that I didn’t have to carry as much water to insure that both Miranda and I had enough to drink.  As it turns out there was also plenty of water in the burned out area so I think this hike is good for dogs water-wise.


Once up the first slope, the trail enters a burn area that was the result of the 2003 Needles fire.  The trail has been brushed out so other than a few downed trees to step over or go around, it was easy to follow.  There was a group of campers with horses at the beginning of the burn area, I think they were the ones working on the trail.  The walk through the burn area has little elevation gain so you get a rest from the up for a bit.  Once through it though there is a final push to get to the summit and the old fire lookout remnants.


WTA lists Driveway Butte as being 8 miles round trip, I clocked it at nine on both trips.  This is a beautiful hike, it is one I intend to do again in the future.

DSCN6568 DSCN6577

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