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Willamette National Forest
Maxwell Butte Hike
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Length: 10 mile RT
Elevation Change: 2600' cumulative elevation gain
Season: Summer thru Fall
Difficulty:   Difficult
NWF Pass NOT Required
Latitude:    44.4636
Longitude:   -121.9324

Features: The trail head for this hike is located just off US20 at the far east end of the Maxwell Butte SnoPark area. It is well marked.

This is outstanding hike with a great deal of variety. The trail starts out gently while passing through fairly dense forested areas. However, it does get gradually steeper and often there is winter blow down that you have to climb over or around.

At about 1.25 miles, you will come to a fallen sign indicating that you are entering the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area. It is another 3/4 of a mile to the main junction that offers you the choice to climb Maxwell Butte. Bear right at the sign and continue east.

Just as you leave this junction, you will catch glimpses of a single lake (or pond) which has the unlikely name of Twin Lakes. I must have missed the twin. Anyway, a very short stroll to the lake edge gives you more variety to add to this adventure. You can see Maxwell Butte from the lake shore and to your east.

As you make your way back to the main trail and head east toward Maxwell Butte, the trail actually gets better. I have concluded this is due to the higher altitude and less available timber to succumb to the winter elements. But whatever the reason, the trail really becomes delightful but it also gets steeper. Yet as it gains elevation it also provides you with your first real vistas of the surrounding Cascade volcanos and mountains.

After another couple of miles, the trail really begins its ascent of the butte and is quite steep, yet well switch backed all the way to the summit. The top of Maxwell Butte offers you fantastic, breath-taking vistas that you will most likely remember forever!

Maxwell Butte Pano
How to get there:

From the junction of Forest Road 46 and Oregon state highway 22 at the west end of the community of Detroit, travel east on Hwy 22 about 28.8 miles to the Maxwell Snow Park which will be on your left. Turn into the snowpark area and follow the forest service road to the east for about a half mile and you will find the trail head to this hike.

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A Virtual Hike of the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area

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