Aldrich Butte, located just east of Beacon Rock State Park is yet another lesser known summits in the Columbia River Gorge area. This peak gets overshadowed by more popular summits such as Dog Mountain, Beacon Rock and Hamilton Mountain but is clearly a special mountain all to itself. Like other mountains in this particular area Aldrich Butte has excellent views of the Columbia River Gorge and of other mountains throughout the region. The hike up to Aldrich Butte is very simple compared to nearby Table Mountain and Hamilton Mountain and probably will take no more than an hour or two roundtrip. This peak is ideal for novices or for those rehabilitating from injury. This is also ideal in winter when the other peaks might be covered in fog and clouds.
Cedar Mountain and Table Mountain
VIA THE DICK THOMAS TRAILHEAD: Take Highway 14 east past Skamania and Beacon Rock State Park. Once past Beacon Rock State Park make a left to Hot Springs Way. After go underneath a railroad, make a right at the T and drive to Bonneville Hot Springs Resort. Make a sharp left turn to E. Cascade Drive and take it all the way to a stop sign. Head straight through the stop sign and make a right to the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort. Pay for parking at the front desk and then drive around back for the gravel parking area.
*It should be noted that old literature states that there is an Aldrich Butte trailhead. This is on private land and has since been closed. Go to the Dick Thomas Trailhead listed above.
Map of the Route
3.2 miles roundtrip
1000 feet elevation gain
YDS Class 1
Take the trail from the Dick Thomas Trailhead for 1 mile all the way to Carpenter Lake. This trail go up at a gradual to moderate pitch. From there pick up the Aldrich Butte Trail and take it all the way to the summit (0.6 miles) while avoid all the other intersection on the trail. You will know you are on the summit when you hit an opening with excellent views of the Gorge.
BearQueen on a bridge
Optional exposed trail
You will have to go to the front desk and pay $5 dollars to park at the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort.
When to Climb
BearQueen heading up
This peak can be hike comfortably year round with no special equipment during most normal years.
At 3.2 miles this is not a peak one would go to camp on. Also the parking situation does not warrant this as a desirable camping area. If you want to camp there is more organized camping located in Beacon Rock State Park that does require an additional fee.
Aldrich Butte Peakbagger Page
Excellent page by Oregonhikers.Org on Aldrich Butte