Vicinity: 80 miles east of Portland in the Mt. Hood National Forest.
Take I-84 from Portland for about 80 miles to the Dalles. Take exit 87 for Hwy 197 towards Dufur. Drive about 12.4 miles to Dufur and turn right onto Heinrich St. Drive about 0.6 mile and turn left onto Dufur Valley Road which you follow about 15 miles. The road changes to Forest Service Road 44 as it enters the National Forest and continues to Billy Bob Sno-park. Turn left and drive about 300 feet into the sno-park.
Note: Many mapping applications show this road closed in winter and won’t route correctly. Route from The Dalles to Dufur Valley Road and this will take you to the National Forest boundary. Continue on Dufur Valley Road about another 5 miles.
There are bathrooms at the trailhead and the lookout.
Length and Elevation:
9 miles roundtrip. Elevation at the trailhead is 4,002 feet. Lowest point is 4,002 feet. Highest point is 4,627 feet. Total ascent is 1,590 and total descent is 1,590 feet.
Eightmile Loop Trail #496, Bottle Prairie Trail #455 with connections to Knebal Springs Trail #474.
Review: February 9th, 2020
From Billy Bob Sno-park walk back up to the highway, and on the other side of the road walk on Forest Road 4430 Road for about 0.6 mile to the Eightmile Creek Trail.
Cross Eightmile creek and walk about 0.15 mile to the Eightmile Creek Trail on the left. The trail junction is a sharp dogleg back into the woods.
After walking just over 1 mile, drop down to Eightmile Creek and cross on a small log bridge. The forest along here is a tangle of trees in this area so the stream has multiple deadfalls across it.
Walk another 1.4 miles and the trail comes out by a Forest Service Road at the Bottle Prairie Trailhead. From there, cross the creek, go up about 150 feet, and turn left to follow the Eightmile Loop Trail.
Walk about 100 feet to a set of trail signs and turn left to follow the Bottle Prairie Trail #455. In another 100 feet, turn right and follow a trail through the woods. The trail comes out into a meadow. Cut straight across the meadow and look for cut tree trunks on the upper end of the meadow.
At the next meadow stay almost level with just a very slight ascent. Once in the forest there is another trail junction in about 200 feet. This is a junction for Bottle Prairie Trail and Eightmile Loop Trail. Continue straight on uphill on the Bottle Prairie Trail.
In another 0.5 mile, you reach a sign directing you up to Perry Point. The trail is moderate and the forest is fairly open. There are good views into Eastern Oregon and limited views of Mt. Adams.
Coming down from Perry Point, turn left at the sign for Perry Point and follow the trail back to the Eightmile Loop Trail where you turn left, heading towards the Fivemile Butte Lookout.
Drop down the hill to a clearing where a road and the trail come together. Turn right away from the road and follow the trail to reach the butte. The trees around here are a nice mix of Ponderosa Pines, other pines, and Grand Fir. It is a very lovely forest. There is a lot of deadfall in the woods so you want to keep to the trail.
You’ll see the lookout as you approach the flat summit. Take a look around as you approach the lookout so you can find your way back to the trail.
There is a utility building, bathroom, and a picnic table. Trees are growing taller and the views are slowly disappearing. There are still nice views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams. Snowmobiles visit the area but the area is mostly quiet.
The lookout deck is locked when not in use and you can only climb partway up the stairs unless someone is using the lookout.
Returning from the lookout back into the forest, look for the Eightmile Loop Trail heading off to the left. The trail switchbacks through a clear-cut then into the forest. The forest gets thicker as you descend and continues to switchback through the trees and back down to Forest Road 4430. Follow the road back past the campground and ascend gently up to the Dufur Valley Road and back to the Billy Bob Sno-park.
Enjoy the photos!!