See Thunder Mountain Trail 543 for one map showing the relationship of this trail to 542 and 543.

Topo Map

GPS Track (.GPX File)

Trail Length: 9.4 Miles    Elevation Gain: 4100 Feet


Elevation profile for Baty Butte Trail

Officially only a mile long trail skirting Baty Butte this trail actually continues some six miles along the Molalla-Clackamas divide running south beyond the powerlines and then down to Joyce Lake.  Sometimes it is referred to as the Boundary Trail. There are two access points north: Lost Creek Meadows and the northmost point on the 7010-160 spur.   As you drive up the 160 spur watch for Baty Butte — a distinctive white “beard” on it’s south face* — and as you turn away from it there will be a long abandoned deck of logs on the right.  The trail is just over this deck.  There is no real parking spot except for squeezing in off the road. This is a segment of the old South Fork Trail, formerly a first class route from Estacada to Bagby Hot Springs.  The Lost Creek Meadows trailhead is on the right in a level stretch of road shortly after the end of the climb up the hill.  There is room for a few rigs to park on the left.  Two south access points are the powerlines (a wild flower paradise) at the crest of the ridge and at Joyce Lake left at the entrance to the lake (not at the lake!) at Joyce Lake Road (BLM).  A powerline access road leads up to the crest of the ridge.  Trail runs both directions along the ridge from the clearing.

Trail is maintained by users.  The north three miles of the trail are better maintained than the south end. There are no signs.  Trail survives by virtue of its scenery, wild flowers, and views.  There is usually a breeze. An historic trail well worth investigation. Frequented by hunters in the Fall.  Biologists have some interest in the flora.  The route is not particularly strenuous.

Two bad spots prevent smooth passage.  Climbing out of the lake the trail ends at BLM clearcut just before a saddle.  Scamper up the scree slope here and regain the trail at the north shoulder of the saddle where the cutting ended.  You will now be heading north.

Another logged over stretch, a Forest Service partial cut, is about a quarter mile north of the powerlines.  Continue at the same elevation to find the continuation of the trail north at the other side of the harvested area.  Volunteers improve this stretch a little each year.  Kind of tough stretch. Nice berries in August. There are flags tied.

Trail shows on the older topo maps.  Has been deleted from the new edition.

The switchbacks into Lost Creek are impassable but do deliver you into the midst of an incredible bounty of salmon berries.

Minimal water, if any, along the route.  A dribbly spring is located about a half mile north of the powerlines.  Another one is at the switchbacks about a mile and a half north of the powerlines in a berry patch.  These switchbacks can be grown over with salmon berry thicket.  If you loose the trail, head up to the saddle.  The trail continues north and towards the eastside of the next highpoint.

This is a great trail with no official protection at this time. The south end needs some friends to work on it.


*Baty Butte was named after a local, Andrew Jackson Baty, who spent a lot of time hunting up here around 1900.  It had been known as Whitespot.

Additional details from “Oregon Geographic Names” – Andrew Jackson Baty was a farmer who lived on Dickey Prairie about five miles south of Molalla.  He was a pioneer settler in this locality and spent much of his time hunting in the Cascade Range.  This mountain was named for him, probably by the US Geological Survey party which prepared the maps accompanying Professional Paper Number 9, “Forest Conditions in the Cascade Range Forest Reserve”, Washington, 1903.


Baty Butte Trail 545 — 5 Comments

  1. Hiked this trail on 9/26/2015 – trail north of the access junction was in fabulous shape – the junction trail had some recent maintenance. Trail south of the junction is getting pretty brushy with a fair amount of blowdown.

  2. Hiked this trail on 10/7/2017 – Hiked south – was intending to get to the power line crossing but didn’t quite make it. The trail has quite a few new downed trees and continues to be very brushy in spots, but is still a fantastic scenic trail.

  3. Hiked the trail 7/18/20 heading south starting from Lost Creek Meadows. Very quiet. Many logs down, most step-overs but a few big ones. Brushy but passable. There is a tricky section after the saddle following the high point the trail switches back down steeply into a rocky thicket of green, emerging on the other side where the trail bench was formed from rock fall. After that the trail continues in okay shape until coming to an old logged section, in which I got lost in downed logs and thick brush until I ran out of time and turned back north.

    It would be a real shame to lose this trail. I am hoping to go back soon and do some work on the logs an brush at least up to the high point. The section through the clearcut need more muscle at some some point. I don’t know what trail conditions are currently like on the Joyce Lake end.

  4. I would guess the Joyce Lake end is in better shape, but I haven’t hiked that for quite some time. There was a great deal of work done there maybe 10 years ago and that part was in great shape.

    I’m pretty sure I know the spot you are talking about where it switches down the hill into the “green” – if it is the spot I’m thinking of it is a jungle of Thimbleberry – I’ve cut that out at least twice but it grows so quickly. July is a bad time to hike that portion since everything is fully leafed out.

    I don’t think I’ve been down to that cut area for quite some time – I’ve always spent too much time lopping and clearing stuff.

    Let us know when you intend to go back and do work – you might get some help.

  5. Hiked this trail on 8/13/2022 and the previous comments are still pretty accurate. I’m sure there are a few more downed trees and parts of it are pretty brushy. The “rocky thicket of green” on that switchback is a perennial issue it seems. The cut area north of the powerlines is very rough and there isn’t much of a trail thru there really.

    It is an amazing trail with some magnificent views.

Leave a Reply

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>