“Experience expansive, 360-degree views from the top of Johnson Butte's gravel doubletrack.”
— Paul Krupin
This trail's ease of parking and gentle grades make it a great way to get some exercise with the family.
This trail gets covered with snow in the winter, and since it often cycles between melt and freeze, the road can get icy. However, this makes for a good snowshoe or cross-country ski route when the conditions are right.
This is easy hiking on a gravel road from 1312 feet at the base to the communications towers at 2038 feet. Johnson Butte is surrounded by canyons, jeep trails, and unnamed elevation points at altitudes greater than Badger's. On a clear day, you'll get a remarkable 360-degree view and may be able to see the chain of Cascade Volcanoes from Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, the Goat Rocks, Mt. Rainier and even to Mt. Stuart and the Enchantments.
Bring the 10 essentials
, including plenty of water and snacks. Lastly, watch for vehicles on the road, as this is open to vehicle traffic.
Directions: To get to the hike, take Highway 395 south two miles south of 27th St. Take Locust Grove Exit 114 at the 397 Finley Intertie and then turn (east) to pass under the freeway. Turn right immediately, traveling south onto Bofer Canyon Road, which parallels I-82. Continue for 1.9 miles. Turn left at Owens Road, just past some grain silos, and park.
Flora & Fauna
In May and early June, you might see an uncommon plant called a thelypodium if you keep your eyes open along the disturbed road cuts.