The Oregon Buttes don’t have an established trail leading up them, but it’s open country and when the weather is good, you’ll have no trouble finding a path up and down.
What Makes It Great
The Buttes were an important landmark for settlers traveling the emigrant trails west in the 1860s. Located on top of South Pass, the buttes meant the travelers were cresting the Continental Divide and the Rocky Mountains, one of the first big obstacles on their journey west. You can still see remnants of these trails on South Pass.
There are three buttes. I typically climb the northernmost one, but you could do all of them in a day if you had the inkling. The parking area for the hike is 51 miles from Lander, so it’s a bit of a trek to get out here. But the views are incredible and the buttes are a kind of mountain sanctuary in the middle of the Red Desert. Plus if you are lucky, you may seem elk roaming their flanks or wild horses racing across the plains below.
Who is Going to Love It
It’s roughly 2 miles and 600 hundred feet to the summit of the North Oregon Butte, so most adventurers (including young ones) can find something to enjoy at this picturesque destination.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
To hike up the buttes, drive out Highway 28 approximately 42 miles heading toward Farson. Turn left on Oregon Buttes Road and drive 10 miles to parking area. (You know you’ve gone to far if the road begins dropping steeply.)
Park your car and hike west on a two-track for a mile or so. You’ll see the butte rising before you. There are a bunch of roads that climb up the butte, you can follow these or venture off trail, depending on what looks like the easiest travel.