Ascent of Highland Butte on 2017-02-12

Climber: John E Sarna

Others in Party:my son
John P Sarna
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, February 12, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Highland Butte
    Elevation:1594 ft / 485 m

Ascent Trip Report

My son drove me once around the peak while, having read the trip reports of Mark and Austin Smith, I checked for a trail or old road toward the top, but I saw only a lot of rural driveways. We eventually drove south (on S.Dianne Dr. from Upper Highland Road) toward the peak from the north side and checked out that road with no luck. The last place to check was the turnabout at the end of S.Shelley Lane, where I noticed a possible trail going south alongside a fence next to a house with a barking dog. It was unmarked, so I assumed it was for fence maintenance, until I spotted a neighbor working at their property. I told him I heard there was a trail going up to Highland Butte, asking if he knew anything about it. He was quite friendly and told me, naturally, to just just take the trail next to the fence, which winds around private property to the top. He also said there was no problem parking on the side of the turnabout. Thus encouraged, my son and I parked and followed the trail along the fence for a short downhill jog to where it became steep downhill, then turned left contouring around the top of a valley and, where the trail turned right beside an old metal gate, then back toward the saddle to the east of the Butte. A few ups and downs took us to the far side of the saddle where there was an overlook from which we could see the snow-covered Mt. Hood. A short steep uphill stretch brought us to the summit plateau and an obvious high point near a few old concrete blocks, which probably once supported a lookout. After a couple photos, we retraced out steps back to the car. It was one of the nicer short climbs in the Portland area, where the tops of many of the hills are in someone's back yard. Earlier that morning we'd visited Multnomah Falls, the highest non-seasonal waterfall in the U.S., which was still flowing strong from the recent rains, though the trail to the upper bridge was closed due to the loads of snow that Portland got earlier in the year. No snow left on Highland Butte, though. Please be kind to the neighbors so they don't close off access.

Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:324 ft / 97 m
    Elevation Loss:324 ft / 97 m
    Distance:1.6 mi / 2.6 km
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:224 ft / 67 m
    Extra Loss:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    Route:trail to top from end of Shelley Lane
    Trailhead:turnabout at end of South Shelley Lane  1470 ft / 448 m
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:224 ft / 67 m
    Extra Gain:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    Route:reverse of route up
    Trailhead:turnabout at end of South Shelley Lane  1470 ft / 448 m

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