Horsethief Butte

AreaColumbia Gorge (east - WA)
Best time to visitMid-March through mid-April
Blooming NowYES
Elevation285 feet
Trail Info1 mile round-trip, minimal elevation gain (not counting the butte!)
 Hike information - Oregon Hikers Field Guide
 Hike information - Washington Trails Association
 Washington State Discover Pass required!

NOTE: The blue marker indicates the trailhead.


Horsethief Butte is a good spot for viewing early spring wildflowers. It is also very popular with rock climbers, so parking might be difficult.

The trail begins next to the parking area. After a few feet you will see a short spur trail leading off to the right. This is a good spot for wildflower viewing. The main trail continues toward the butte, which is climbable without special gear if you are so inclined. You can also take the trail to the south (river) side of the butte.

If you decide to climb the butte, beware of poison oak which may appear as woody shrubs along the base of some rockwalls.

A wildflower checklist for this location can be found here.

In addition to the wildflowers, Horsethief Butte features petroglyphs and pictographs left here over centuries. Those can be viewed as part of a guided tour, which are offered at 10:00 am every Friday and Saturday morning between April and October. For more information and to make reservations for the guided tour, call Washington State Parks at 509-767-1159.


Take Interstate 84 east to The Dalles. Exit onto US Highway 197 and drive north across the Columbia River. (No toll is required on The Dalles Bridge.)

Turn right onto Washington SR-14, and drive east approximately 2.7 miles to the Horsethief Butte parking area. The closest facilities are located at Horsethief Lake State Park, which you will have passed en route to the parking area.

Trip Reports

DateSubmitted by
Reports from previous years
03/06/2022Greg Lief
01/15/2016Greg Lief
04/14/2012Byron Will
04/14/2012Byron Will
03/25/2007Greg Lief
03/11/2007Greg Lief

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