OverviewThe highpoint of the High Lake Rim, Indian Spring Butte is part of the headwall that separates the glacial cirques located high in the central Strawberry Mountains. Indian Spring Butte is the third highest point in the Strawberry Range behind Strawberry Mountain itself and Graham Mountain. Although no trail exists to the summit of Indian Spring Butte, it is a short hike with little more than 1000 feet of elevation gain from the High Lake trailhead through an open Alpine Forest. Indian Spring Butte is a great jumping off point for hiking the High Lakes Ridge and its subpeaks. Each of the these easily accessed peaks offers an entirely different view of the glacial basins and the lakes they contain.Below: Indian Spring Butte on the right, seen from the shore of Strawberry Lake in this Bubba Suess image
Getting ThereFrom John Day travel 9 miles south on Highway 395 to paved County Road 65 on the left. Follow this road approximately 15 miles to its intersection with Malheur National Forest Roads 15 and 16. Take a left heading east towards Logan Valley traveling only 2 miles where you will take a left on USFS road 1640. Follow this road 11 miles to its termination at the High Lake trailhead overlooking the High Lake Basin.
From the parking lot set off due north directly up the ridgeline towards its highpoint which is Indian Spring Butte.
High Lake RimExtending east of Indian Spring Butte is the High Lake Rim. This includes Rabbit Ears, the throat of a miocene volcano heavily worn by glaciation during past ice ages and currently the residence of Mountain Goats. The High Lake Rim seperates High Lake from three other basins each containing at least one lake including Strawberry Lake, Slide Lake and Mud Lake. This rim has five distinct highpoints from west to east; Indian Spring Butte, Rabbit Ears, two points between High Lake and Strawberry Lake, and BM8172 overlooking the Slide and Mud Lakes.
Red TapeNo Parking fee required. Trailhead is located at edge of Strawberry Wilderness where no vehicles or bicycles are allowed.
CampingFor the Strawberry Wilderness area there is a pack out what you pack in rule. The best opportunity for Camping lays at High Lake, a beautiful and remote high elevation lake with fishing potential. High Lake lays at the SE base of Indian Spring Butte in a glacial cirque.
When to ClimbOnce the snow clears off the road in late June until it sets back in sometime around October or November. The trailhead is located at over 7000 feet, so expect snow late into spring or early summer.
Eastern Oregon is prone to wildfire and varying weather conditions. Concerns such as weather and fires are HERE on the Malheur National Forest website.