Abbott Butte (Rogue-Umpqua Divide Wilderness)

Rating (Out of 5): 4.0

Location: Near Prospect, Ore

Distance: 6 miles round-trip

Difficulty: moderate

Camping: Yes

Quick hit: There are two trails that closely parallel each other in this lonely and beautiful section of the Rogue Umpqua Divide Wilderness, that is highlighted by wildflowers, berries, views and an impressive old lookout tower.

The best route is to begin at the trailhead (see directions below), and hike 1.4 miles to the first trail junction. Go right at this junction onto the RUD Trail, which skirts the mountain and provides some amazing, dramatic views. This section of trail is a little tougher, but the views make it worth it.

After one mile you’ll meet back up with the CCC Trail. Turn right at this junction and continue into an open area with wildflowers and nice views, before swinging right and uphill toward the lookout. Some of these areas are slightly overgrown, but are easy enough to follow.

You’ll zigzag uphill here, following the road, climbing above the open area and enjoying some outstanding views that including Crater Lake and Mount McLoughlin, along with numerous other peaks.

Finally, the road will swing into the cool old lookout tower here, with a little shed below. It takes some bravery to reach the steps of the tower, and it’s a bit rickety, but I made it to the top. The wood is fairly sound.

Directions: Take Oregon Highway 62 from Medford past Prospect and mile marker 51. Turn left and go five miles of pavement and another 7.8 miles of gravel, following Forest Road 68 through the well-marked intersections. (In the two places where the road isn’t marked well, veer right along the more prominent road). The Trailhead is on the right side of the road and is labeled Abbott Butte Trailhead.

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