Hike Distance: 1/4 mile?
Big Butte would not be a destination for a hiker except for one interesting feature. It has a fire lookout on its summit. The 82' timber tower was constructed in 1950 and may or may not still be in use during certain times of the year. The fire lookout attendant at Oregon Butte (earlier in my trip) said that she had been assigned to Big Butte in the past.
When I visited Big Butte the gate to the lookout near the end of the road was closed. However, upon inspection their were not any "no trespassing" signs. The lookout is situated atop the butte and just a short distance past the gate. From there the area has a few picnic tables, a porta-potty and a few out buildings.
From the lookout it is clear why the site was chosen. It has great views to the west of the eastern extent of the Blue Mountains. To the South the Grande Ronde River gorge has cut an impressive canyon and the distant Wallaowa Mountains in Oregon can be seen.