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East Butte Creek

Eastern Washington

Location

Eastern Washington -- Palouse and Blue Mountains
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Length

Elevation

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WTA worked here: 2020
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
Area Closure: Effective July 16 2021 this trail along with the entire Umatilla National Forest is closed due to the risks associated with wildfires. This temporary closure will be lifted once it is safe to do so. Please respect this closure.
 
 

The trail begins at the easily-accessible Teepee trailhead, which also serves as a main access point for both the Turkey Creek Trail and Oregon Butte

From the Teepee trailhead, you'll drop steeply off to the southwest, heading down the ridge. Expect switchbacks and lots of large rocks in the first mile, then the trail flattens out, continuing along the east fork of Butte Creek and Twin Buttes. As the trail descends deeper into the canyon, it crosses East Fork Butte Creek multiple times.

Waterproof (or Goretex) footwear and gaiters help, but some of the crossings are difficult to manage without getting one's feet wet. On the bright side, this is one of the few trails in the Wenaha Tucannon where water is easily accessible in multiple locations. 

At the bottom of the descent backpackers will find a small campsite and multiple options for how to proceed. West Butte Trail ascends West Fork Butte Creek from this location, exiting near Godman Guard Station for an easy set-up of a shuttle bike or car to return to Teepee trailhead.

The main East Butte Trail crosses Butte Creek near the campsite and climbs out of the canyon, ending at Twin Buttes Trailhead for a longer shuttle or out-and-back. The trail through the creek crossing is not well-marked and is very overgrown, so strong navigation skills may be necessary. A short distance from the Butte Creek crossing, East Butte Trail also connects to Butte Creek Trail through Box Canyon, leading all the way to the Wenaha River.

This creates the option of a much longer loop route by connecting to the Weller Butte/Smooth Ridge trails to Oregon Butte and a return to Teepee Trailhead, although this route deep into the interior of the Wenaha-Tucannon is poorly maintained and would likely require excellent route finding skills.

Note on Access

A formerly overgrown, hard-to-navigate trail in the Wenaha-Tucannon wilderness, this trail has received heavy maintenance thanks to the Backcountry Horsemen of Washington's statewide workparty in 2019, with additional work by both BCHW and WTA crews in early summer 2020. 

 

East Butte Creek

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.1182, -117.7149 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Eastern Washington -- Palouse and Blue Mountains

East Butte Creek (#3112)

Umatilla National Forest, Pomeroy Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Umatilla National Forest

Pomeroy Ranger District

including the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness

USFS

2013.

Getting There

From Dayton, drive south on 4th street for about four blocks. Then turn left (east) onto the Eckler Mountain Road. This road also leads to the city cemetery. Follow it for about 15 miles, to a stone monument at a Y in the road. Then turn right on to Kendall Skyline Road 46, and drive for 12 miles to Godman Guard Station. Turn left below Godman on to Forest Service Road 4608. Take all main right turns for 5 miles to Teepee Trailhead.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
Area Closure: Effective July 16 2021 this trail along with the entire Umatilla National Forest is closed due to the risks associated with wildfires. This temporary closure will be lifted once it is safe to do so. Please respect this closure.
 

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East Butte Creek

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