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Clear Lake Butte, OR | May 2015

K7ATN's picture
Voice Cellular Coverage: 
Spotty, may not work at all
Data Cellular Coverage: 
Spotty, may not work at all
Cellular Provider: 
APRS Coverage: 
Don't know

For anyone heading up to Mount Hood or headed from Portland into Central Oregon, Clear Lake Butte would be a nice stop on the way. It's a well graded and mostly paved forest road, suitable for biking or bringing along those that aren't big hikers. And no one would mind arriving at a classic fire lookout.

Proceed east on Highway 26 (more like south here) past Frog Lake SnoPark and Campground about 4.3 miles. Don't be tempted to turn at Clear Lake Campground - it won't take you to Clear Lake Butte. Turn south onto NF-42 and proceed past the SnoPark and continue south on NF-42 for 2.0 miles where you'll come to a paved right turn that is gated. Park here (not blocking the gate of course) and continue on foot 1.9 miles on a well-graded road, mostly all paved, to the summit and the lookout. 

The lookout is manned in the summer and rented in the winter. You may not be able to drive past the SnoPark in the winter, but it would make for a nice snowshoe.  

At the summit there is a picnic table and room for antennas of various kinds, although trees are not all that tall or adjacent to the lookout. There is a radio facility there but there was no RFI noticed.

While in the area, you might consider activations of neighboring Peak 4260 (W7O/CN-090) or Frog Lake Buttes (W7O/CN-024). Note that another close-by peak, Mount Wilson, is on the Warm Springs Reservation and is posted and should be considered private.

Clear Lake Butte Lookout
Clear Lake Butte Gate - Park Here