The Red Buttes Wilderness: Visitors guide
This 20,000-acre Wilderness straddling the Oregon-California border is defined by ultramafic geology, primeval forests, high mountain lakes, dreamy meadows, and rare trees. From easy day hikes, to extended treks, the Red Buttes has something to offer almost anyone.
Much of the Red Buttes’ trail system was impossible to hike, and some still is. But we did a major overhaul of the area in 2016 with a grant from the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.
The Butte Fork Trail serves as an artery through the Red Buttes, with plenty of feeder trails. Combining the Butte Fork with trails outside the wilderness open up more options. Consider starting at Horse Camp just outside the wilderness, and hiking all the way to the Oregon Caves National Monument.
The Cameron Meadows Trail provides a full day experience, with a loop option that includes about a mile of road walking. Day hikes along the Butte Fork lead to stunning swimming holes and primeval forests.
Tanner Lake is an easy hike suitable for kids, and entry into the wider trail systems.
Projects en cours
Through a generous 2017 grant from the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, we are restoring a five mile section of the Boundary Trail which will salvage a multi-day loop that hasn’t been hikeable since at least the 2012 Goff Fire.
Tips and tricks
The Red Buttes also provides a link into wider trail systems, including the Pacific Crest Trail. It feeds trails that lead to the Grayback Range, Illinois Valley, and Klamath River. Experienced hikers may pursue many off trail options, seizing on open ridges that serve as direct routes.
Help us restore and maintain trails in the Red Buttes Wilderness and get a map of the area with your membership: