Quote of the Month:

Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own." - Charles Dickens

Horsethief Butte Trail

Parent Category: Dallesport
Created: 12 May 2014
Address: 8608-8628 Lewis and Clark Highway, Lyle, WA 98635, USA
Roundtrip: 1.0 mile
Elevation Gain: 150 ft
Highest Point: 500 ft
Features: Wildflowers, rivers, lakes
Visitor’s Information:

Discover Pass Required

Photo from Eastern Washington, Dallesport, Horsethief Butte TrailPictures below will take you on a virtual tour to the top of the Butte! The views from the top are breathtaking! Enjoy!

General Information:

The Horsethief Butte Trail can be found in Columbia Hills State Park, the South Cascades. The Butte is the jewel of this area; it is situated near a beautiful 90-acre lake. From the top of the horseshoe-shaped natural monument visitors enjoy breathtaking and spectacular views.

The trailhead is found at a new parking lot where a newly founded trailhead facility is located.

Photo from Eastern Washington, Dallesport, Horsethief Butte Trail

The best time to visit the Horsethief Butte is late spring when all the meadows are covered with colorful and beautiful wildflowers.

Lupine, balsamroot, white biscuit root, salt-and-pepper lomatium, yellow bells and many others flowers cover the ground.

On the top of the Butte enjoy the beauty and the might of the Columbia River that runs through the gorge. If you are lucky to hike here on a clear day, you will surely enjoy the views of snow-capped Mt. Hood and yellow farmlands of Oregon.

Photo from Eastern Washington, Dallesport, Horsethief Butte Trail

From the trailhead, the main path takes you to Horsethief Butte. If you decide to take the right path from the main one, it will take you around the natural monument to the cliffs above the Columbia River.

It should be said that the elevation of the Horsethief Butte is 500 feet, and it will take you about to hours to explore this trail with all the buffs and cliffs. If you are considering camping here, there is a small campground near Horsethief Lake, which is open seasonally. The largest camping site along the Columbia River is located in 18 miles in Maryhill State Park, this is the largest campground on this side of the gorge.

Photo from Eastern Washington, Dallesport, Horsethief Butte Trail

Horsethief Butte is also popular among rock climbers. They come here mostly in spring to enjoy the colors and good weather.

The Butte and the channel, where the Columbia River flows, were carved out of basalt rock by floods after the last ice age. The basalt rock were formed thanks to a series of lava flows which covered the entire Eastern Washington and Oregon region. Historians say that it happened long before the ice-age floods.

These pictures were taken on May 3, 2014


From Yakima
Drive east on Interstate 82 and take Exit 37 (US Highway 97/Goldendale). Drive till a signed right-turn only to US 97/Goldendale once you reach Toppenish. Drive south on US 97 through Goldendale till a junction with State Route 14. Drive west on SR 14 for 14.7 miles and find the Horsethief Butte trailhead on your left. If you come from the west, drive 1.2 miles past the entrance to Horsethief Lake State Park. Visitors can park along SR 14 on either side of the highway.

Click on the map below to get the directions to the park

Photo: Roman Khomlyak

Photo Editing: Pavlo Petryshyn

Information: Marina Petrova

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