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Tanner Butte

based on 4 tracks & routes #17 hike out of 65 in
17.7 mi
Distance
8 hrs 43 min
Time
terrain
4,268 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

Tanner Butte is an old lookout site that offers breathtaking 360° views of the Gorge. On clear days, visitors can see prominent mountains like Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Jefferson. The trail starts from the Tooth Rock Trailhead and begins with a walk east on the paved Historic Columbia River Highway Trail. After a short distance, there is a junction with a trail marked "Tanner Butte Trail" leading uphill. Continuing along this trail for about 4/10 of a mile, another split appears, and hikers should take the right trail marked for "Trail 400/Wauna Pt/Tanner Butte Tr."

From there, the steep trail ascends for about 100 feet until reaching Tanner Creek Road, a 4-way junction. Following the sign for "Gorge Trail 400" to the right, hikers will encounter several service roads, staying on Road 777. Eventually, they will reach the old Tanner Butte Trail #401 trailhead. Turning left onto the #401 trail, the route involves crossing creeks and a powerline road. After 2.2 miles, there is a campsite and an unsigned junction with the Wauna Point cutoff trail #401D.

Continuing uphill through the forest, hikers will come across the junction with Tanner Cutoff Trail #448, leading steeply down to Tanner Creek Trail. Another 0.1 mile ahead, the Dublin Lake Trail #401B junction appears, providing access to Dublin Lake. The #401 trail gradually climbs through the forest and transforms into an old roadbed along the ridge. Known as "Beargrass Alley," the trail is adorned with beargrass for about a mile. Passing through a meadowy area, Tanner Butte comes into view.

The trail proceeds through the forest, skirting the side of the Butte until approximately 7.8 miles from Road 777. At this point, hikers will notice a faint and unsigned Tanner Spur trail on the left, leading to a steep but short climb to the top of Tanner Butte. Once atop the flat, broad summit, visitors can enjoy panoramic views from a flat rocky outcropping, the site of the old lookout.

Returning to the Tanner Butte Trail #401, hikers have the option to continue south for 0.5 miles to reach the Tanner Springs trail junction. Taking a right turn and following the faint use trail leads to a seasonal water source and a campsite. Further south, after another 0.1 mile, the Eagle-Tanner trail junction marks the end of the Tanner Butte trail #401. Beyond this point lies the Bull Run Watershed, where entry is prohibited.

Getting Started

The trailhead for Tooth Rock is one of many in the area, all accessed from Exit #40.

From Portland: Drive East on Interstate 84 to Exit #40, signed for Bonneville Dam. Turn right at the stop sign, and immediately turn left the fork (straight takes you to the Wahclella Falls Trailhead). Follow the road up the hill to the end where you'll see the trailhead parking lot.

From the east: Travel Westward on Interstate 84 to Exit #40. Turn left, pass under the freeway, pass the eastbound freeway ramp and turn left the fork (straight takes you to the Wahclella Falls Trailhead). Follow the road up the hill to the end where you'll see the trailhead parking lot.


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Public Tracks

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Nathan Barton 6 years, 10 months ago
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SproutsNCords 6 years, 10 months ago
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Andrew Weygandt 7 years, 7 months ago