This is a great hike through scary-looking burnt forests from nearby Duffy Butte. The scrambling part of this climb comes on Duffy Butte. There is some route-finding involved but the forest between these two peaks is mostly bare and burnt out so views of your objective would be easy in decent weather (as long as clouds or fog don't bar your path). Round trip mileage will be about 12 miles and you'll get 2500 feet of elevation due to ups and downs. Combine this with the Duffy Lake Trail route for a great loop hike in an amazing region of the Oregon Cascades.
See the Getting There section of the Main Page for directions to the trailhead.
Follow directions to the summit of Duffy Butte per the South Ridge Route
From the summit gently scramble down the rotten rock on the north side of Duffy Butte. Staying left on the ridge worked best for me until you come to more open slopes. See this shot
for what it looks like just down off the summit blocks on the north side of Duffy Butte.
Below is a shot from Red Butte showing the north slopes of Duffy that you will descend.
Continue on down north by northeast through the burnt out forest in the shot below. (this shot is looking south back at Duffy Butte as is the above linked shot)
Watch for small cliffs along the way and be wary of sinkholes caused by burnt out roots in the sandy soil. Continue around the NW corner of Mowich Lake cross country and aim for the saddle seen in the shot below:
Once you reach the saddle, climb mostly open slopes on the west side of Red Butte. Aim for a more open area just on the right side (as you look above) which will make it easier to come to the summit. If you crest the summit ridge further north, head south to the open red cindered area for the amazing views of Three Fingered Jack. To descend, follow the climbers path down the east side of Red Butte from the summit to Alice Lake where you will take the Duffy Lake Trail back. (See the Duffy Trail to East Side route page for that information)
Bug juice and maybe sandals before August.
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