Black Butte Trail

Photo of Black Butte Trail looking into the Siskiyou Wilderness, Cave Junction, Oregon

Black Butte Trail with the East Fork Illinois River Canyon on the right and the peaks of Devil’s Punchbowl in the far distance. All of the terrain seen in this photo is within the Siskiyou Wilderness. Click image to see enlargement.

41.930175, -123.606583  (trailhead)

The total driving distance from Cave Junction to the trailhead is about 23 miles with half of that drive on gravel surfaced roads that includes sections often littered with fist-sized rocks that have rolled down from road cuts. Assure your vehicle has tires suitable for these conditions. Carry a Forest Service map when driving in the back country. These can be purchased at the Forest Service station in Cave Junction. 

Drive south out of Cave Junction on Highway 199 for 0.6 miles and turn left on Rockydale Road immediately after the bridge. Follow Rockydale for seven miles to where it ends at Waldo Road. Turn left on Waldo Road and drive one and a half miles to the stop sign at Takilma Road. Turn right on Takilma Road and drive 3.6 miles to the fork in the road. SET YOUR ODOMETER TO ZERO and GO LEFT at the fork. The road log below begins from this point.

NOTE: This road log is intended to supplement (not replace) a Forest Service map. Carry a Forest Service map when traveling in the back country. 

0.0 Fork in the Road – Go left

1.7       Road Forks go right over the bridge. This is the approximate location of the Oregon and California state line. The rest of the tour will be in California.

1.9       Road forks go right – you are now on USFS 4906

3.5       Road forks go right to stay on USFS 4906

5.9       Continue straight ahead at this intersection

6.5       Intersection – Go to the right up the switchback

7.3       Intersection – Go left.

8.9      Road narrows to a two track dirt road for a short distance and then widens to a gravel surfaced road again

11.8     Black Butte Trail parking

Map of the Black Butte Trail, Siskiyou Wilderness, Cave Junction Oregon

The trail is well marked and is generally a moderate hike over a surface that is often rocky. Views of the East Fork of the Illinois River canyon are common making this a scenic hiking route. Most of the trail passes through an exposure of mantle rock, which generally does not support vigorous plant growth. Few trees grow on these rocks so the hike has an alpine feel to it. About a mile from the trailhead the trail to Twin Valleys takes off to the left. The intersection with the East Fork Trail is about a half mile past the Twin Valley Trail. The Black Butte Trail ends at Youngs Valley where the Clear Creek National Recreation Trail begins.