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Kelly Butte

Mount Rainier Area

Location

Mount Rainier Area -- Chinook Pass - Hwy 410
View map below

Length

3.4 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1100 ft.
Highest Point: 5409 ft.

Rating

4.00 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2018
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 
 

This is a nice, short hike to a recently repaired fire lookout. Guidebooks do not include recent upgrades to the trail and road to the trailhead. The lookout is no longer only accessible via a scramble, but a trail now switchbacks through wildflowers and interesting rock walls which was constructed in 2007. The lookout itself has been repaired, making it a nice lunch stop, but please keep in mind that it's only open if a Forest Service staffer or volunteer is present. 

Hike less than a mile up a former logging road to a trail lined by large rocks. These steps create a shaded pathway that hikers can enjoy before making the short, but steep assault on Kelly Butte.  

As you pause for breath on the steep climb, look around. Rocky columns dotted by splashes of color from wildflowers provide ample opportunity for photos. How many kinds of flowers can you identify on this short hike? You might be surprised by the number. Be sure to stop and harvest a few berries for a snack. In late summer, there are huckleberry patches just short of the summit.

Switchback again and again on your way to the summit, where you can see Mount Rainier if the day is clear. If not (or even if it is) be sure to gaze at the valley stretching below you, full of wildflowers, snaggy trees, and silvery waterways.  Eventually the exposed switchbacks and steep grade give way to a slightly more gentle climb through light evergreens and bear grass before reaching the summit and lookout.

At the summit, enjoy lunch and the views. Be sure to take lots of photos, then head back down the way you came.

 

Kelly Butte

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.1632, -121.4741 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area -- Chinook Pass - Hwy 410

Kelly Butte (#1031)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Best Rain Shadow Hikes Western Washington

Buy the Green Trails Lester No. 239 map

Getting There

About two miles past Greenwater, turn left from Highway 410 onto paved Forest Road 70. All mileage readings are from this junction.

At 8 miles, turn left onto a road signed 7030 and an arrow. There is about 10 feet of pavement, then gravel. This section of 7030 has some washboard driving surface. At 8.3 miles cross a bridge and pass some campsites. At 11.9 miles, come to a T and turn left, staying on unsigned 7030. (A right turn will take you toward Colhoquon and Pyramid Peak and PCT trailheads.) The rest of 7030 has a couple of steep sections and falling rock areas. At 12.4 miles go straight, not right and uphill.

At 13.1 miles turn right. At this time there is a sign that indicates that the road to the right is 7030; the road straight ahead is signed 7032. Pass side roads at 13.6 and 14.1 miles. The rough road to the Kelly Butte “trailhead” is on your left at 14.4 miles from Highway 410.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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Kelly Butte

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