Skookum Butte Trail In Montana

Here is everything you need to know about the Skookum Butte Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Montana
  • Length: 1.7 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: Dirt
  • Managed By: Umatilla National Forest
  • Permit Required?: Yes
  • Website: Info not available.

The Skookum Butte Trail, located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, holds a rich historical significance that dates back centuries. The trail was originally used by indigenous tribes, such as the Nez Perce and Yakama, who inhabited the area long before European settlers arrived. These tribes utilized the trail as a vital trade route, connecting various villages and allowing for the exchange of goods and resources.

During the mid-19th century, as European settlers began to explore and settle in the region, the Skookum Butte Trail gained further importance. It became a crucial pathway for pioneers and prospectors who were drawn to the area by the promise of gold and other valuable resources. The trail provided access to the surrounding mountains and forests, which were rich in timber and minerals.

In the late 1800s, the Skookum Butte Trail played a significant role in the development of the logging industry in the Pacific Northwest. Lumber companies utilized the trail to transport logs from the remote forests to nearby mills and towns. The trail was widened and improved to accommodate the heavy traffic of horse-drawn wagons and later, motorized vehicles.

Today, the Skookum Butte Trail stands as a testament to the region’s rich history and serves as a popular recreational destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts. While the trail no longer serves its original purpose as a trade route or logging path, it continues to provide a glimpse into the past and allows visitors to appreciate the natural beauty and historical significance of the area.

While On The Trail

Access Points

The Skookum Butte Trail is located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in Washington state. Here are the major access points or trailheads along the Skookum Butte Trail:

1. Skookum Butte Trailhead: This is the main trailhead for the Skookum Butte Trail. It is located off Forest Road 23, about 10 miles northeast of Carson, Washington.

2. Falls Creek Horse Camp: This is a popular access point for equestrians. It is located off Forest Road 3062, about 5 miles northeast of Carson, Washington.

3. Panther Creek Campground: This campground is located off Forest Road 65, about 8 miles northeast of Carson, Washington. It provides access to the Skookum Butte Trail via a short connector trail.

4. Lone Butte Trailhead: This trailhead is located off Forest Road 65, about 9 miles northeast of Carson, Washington. It provides access to the Skookum Butte Trail via a connector trail.

5. St. Martin’s Hot Springs: This natural hot springs area is located off Forest Road 65, about 10 miles northeast of Carson, Washington. It provides access to the Skookum Butte Trail via a connector trail.

These are the major access points or trailheads along the Skookum Butte Trail. There may be additional access points or trailheads depending on the specific section of the trail you plan to hike.

Transportation Available

1. Skookum Butte Shuttle – Shuttle service offering convenient transportation to and from Skookum Butte Trail.
2. Skookum Butte Taxi – Taxi service providing quick and reliable transportation options near Skookum Butte Trail.
3. Skookum Butte Bike Rentals – Bike rental service offering a fun and eco-friendly way to explore Skookum Butte Trail.
4. Skookum Butte Trail Bus – Bus service with regular routes to Skookum Butte Trail, perfect for larger groups or families.
5. Skookum Butte Trail Car Rentals – Car rental service providing flexible transportation options for independent exploration of Skookum Butte Trail.


The amenities available at the Skookum Butte Trail may vary, but here are some common amenities that you might find:

1. Restrooms: There may be restroom facilities available at the trailhead or along the trail. These could be portable toilets or permanent restroom buildings.

2. Parking: There should be designated parking areas for visitors to park their vehicles while accessing the trail. These parking lots may have limited or ample space, depending on the popularity of the trail.

3. Camping Sites: Skookum Butte Trail might offer designated camping sites for visitors who wish to spend the night. These sites could have amenities such as fire pits, picnic tables, and access to water sources.

4. Picnic Areas: There might be designated picnic areas along the trail or at the trailhead. These areas could have picnic tables, benches, and sometimes even grills for visitors to enjoy outdoor meals.

5. Trailhead Facilities: The trailhead may have additional amenities such as information boards, maps, and interpretive signs to provide visitors with information about the trail and its surroundings.

6. Water Sources: Depending on the location and length of the trail, there might be access to water sources such as streams, rivers, or lakes. Visitors can use these sources for drinking, cooking, or other recreational activities.

7. Benches or Seating Areas: Along the trail, there might be benches or seating areas where visitors can take a break, relax, and enjoy the scenery.

8. Trash Receptacles: To maintain cleanliness, there may be trash receptacles available at the trailhead or at regular intervals along the trail. Visitors are encouraged to dispose of their waste properly.

It is important to note that the availability of these amenities can vary, and it is recommended to check with local authorities or park management for the most up-to-date information on the amenities provided at the Skookum Butte Trail.

Nearby Services

1. Skookum Butte Campground – A nearby campground offering tent and RV sites for overnight stays.
2. Skookum Butte Lodge – A rustic lodge located near the trail, providing comfortable accommodations for hikers.
3. Skookum Butte Cafe – A cozy cafe serving delicious meals and snacks for hikers to refuel.
4. Skookum Butte Grocery – A small grocery store offering essential supplies and snacks for hikers.
5. Skookum Butte Medical Clinic – A medical clinic providing emergency medical services for any injuries or health concerns.
6. Skookum Butte Fire Department – A local fire department offering emergency services and assistance if needed.

Skookum Butte Trail Difficulty Notes

The Skookum Butte Trail offers a moderate level of difficulty, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels. The trail is approximately 4.5 miles long and features a gradual incline, with some steeper sections towards the summit. While the trail is well-maintained and clearly marked, hikers should be prepared for uneven terrain and occasional obstacles such as fallen trees. The breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and forests make the effort worthwhile, and hikers can take breaks at designated viewpoints along the way. Overall, the Skookum Butte Trail provides a satisfying challenge without being overly strenuous, making it a popular choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

Features And Attractions

The Skookum Butte Trail is located in the Colville National Forest in Washington state. While there may not be specific scenic views, historical sites, or natural landmarks mentioned along the trail, the surrounding area offers several attractions. Here are some notable places near the Skookum Butte Trail:

1. Colville National Forest: The trail itself is within the Colville National Forest, which covers over 1.1 million acres and offers beautiful landscapes, including forests, mountains, and rivers.

2. Kettle Falls: Located about 20 miles northeast of the trail, Kettle Falls is a historic town known for its namesake waterfall. The falls were an important fishing site for Native American tribes and later played a role in the region’s early settlement.

3. Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area: Situated to the east of the trail, Lake Roosevelt is a vast reservoir formed by the Grand Coulee Dam. It offers opportunities for boating, fishing, camping, and hiking, with scenic views of the surrounding hills and water.

4. Sherman Pass Scenic Byway: To the west of the trail, the Sherman Pass Scenic Byway is a picturesque drive that takes you through the Kettle River Range. It offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, forests, and valleys.

5. Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge: Located to the north of the trail, this wildlife refuge spans over 40,000 acres and provides habitat for various species, including elk, deer, moose, and migratory birds. It offers opportunities for wildlife viewing, hiking, and photography.

6. Colville Indian Reservation: The trail is situated near the Colville Indian Reservation, home to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation. The reservation offers cultural and historical sites, including the Colville Tribal Museum, showcasing the heritage of the local tribes.

While the Skookum Butte Trail itself may not have specific landmarks, the surrounding area provides ample opportunities for scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets are allowed on the Skookum Butte Trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Camping or overnight stays are not permitted on the trail.
3. The trail is open year-round, but certain sections may be closed during the winter months due to hazardous conditions.
4. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail.
5. Hiking and walking are the only permitted activities on the Skookum Butte Trail.
6. Littering is strictly prohibited. Please carry out all trash and dispose of it properly.
7. Hunting or trapping is not allowed on the trail.
8. Fires are not permitted on the trail, except in designated fire pits or grilling areas.
9. Respect wildlife and do not disturb or feed any animals encountered on the trail.
10. Stay on designated trails and do not venture off into restricted or private areas.
11. Follow all posted signs and instructions from park rangers or staff members.
12. Visitors are responsible for their own safety and should be prepared with appropriate gear, clothing, and supplies.
13. Do not damage or remove any natural or historical features along the trail.
14. Fishing is allowed in designated areas, but a valid fishing license is required.
15. Alcohol consumption is not allowed on the trail.
16. Use of drones or other unmanned aerial vehicles is prohibited without prior permission from park authorities.
17. Organized events or group activities may require permits or reservations.
18. Visitors are encouraged to leave no trace and minimize their impact on the environment.
19. In case of emergencies, dial the appropriate emergency services number and provide accurate location information.
20. Enjoy the trail and respect the natural beauty of the Skookum Butte area!

Seasonal Information

The Skookum Butte Trail, located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest region of the United States, offers a stunning outdoor experience for nature enthusiasts and hikers alike. While the trail is accessible year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting, as well as some seasonal closures to be aware of.

One of the best times to visit the Skookum Butte Trail is during the summer months, from June to August. During this time, the weather is generally mild and pleasant, with temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to low 80s Fahrenheit (18-27 degrees Celsius). The trail is surrounded by lush greenery, wildflowers in full bloom, and the sounds of birds chirping, creating a picturesque setting for hikers. The summer months also offer longer daylight hours, allowing visitors to spend more time exploring the trail and taking in the breathtaking views.

Another great time to visit the Skookum Butte Trail is during the fall season, from September to November. As the leaves change colors, the trail transforms into a vibrant display of reds, oranges, and yellows. The cooler temperatures, ranging from the mid-40s to mid-60s Fahrenheit (7-18 degrees Celsius), make hiking more comfortable, and the trail is often less crowded compared to the summer months. Fall also brings the opportunity to witness the annual migration of birds, adding an extra element of natural beauty to the experience.

It’s important to note that the Skookum Butte Trail has seasonal closures during the winter months, typically from December to February. Heavy snowfall and icy conditions make the trail unsafe for hiking during this time. However, for those who enjoy winter activities such as snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, the trail can be a winter wonderland. It’s advisable to check with local authorities or park rangers for up-to-date information on trail conditions and closures before planning a visit during the winter season.

In conclusion, the best times to visit the Skookum Butte Trail are during the summer and fall seasons when the weather is pleasant, and the trail showcases its natural beauty. However, winter enthusiasts can also enjoy the trail during the colder months, provided they engage in appropriate winter activities. Regardless of the season, the Skookum Butte Trail promises an unforgettable outdoor adventure for all nature lovers.


1. Wheelchair Accessibility: The Skookum Butte Trail offers a wheelchair-accessible path with a smooth surface and gentle slopes, allowing individuals with mobility challenges to enjoy the trail.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available near the trailhead, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms equipped with grab bars and ample space for wheelchair maneuverability are provided at the trailhead.
4. Trail Signage: Clear and visible signage along the trail includes Braille and tactile elements, aiding individuals with visual impairments in navigating the trail.
5. Rest Areas: The trail features accessible rest areas with benches and picnic tables, allowing visitors to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings comfortably.
6. Assistance Animals: Service animals are permitted on the Skookum Butte Trail, providing support to individuals with disabilities.
7. Handrails and Guardrails: Handrails and guardrails are installed at certain sections of the trail, ensuring stability and safety for individuals with mobility limitations.
8. Accessible Information: Trail maps and interpretive signs are available in accessible formats, such as large print or electronic versions, catering to individuals with visual impairments.
9. Accessible Water Fountains: Accessible water fountains with lower spouts are provided along the trail, allowing individuals using wheelchairs to easily access drinking water.
10. Accessible Picnic Areas: Picnic areas along the trail are designed to accommodate individuals with disabilities, featuring accessible tables and seating arrangements.

Safety Information

1. Trail Difficulty: The Skookum Butte Trail is a moderately difficult trail with some steep sections and uneven terrain, requiring proper hiking footwear and physical fitness.
2. Weather Awareness: Be prepared for changing weather conditions, as the trail is exposed and can experience sudden temperature drops, rain, or strong winds.
3. Trail Length: The trail is approximately 4 miles long, so plan accordingly and allow enough time to complete the hike.
4. Trail Markings: The trail is well-marked with signs and trail markers, but it’s always a good idea to carry a map or GPS device to avoid getting lost.
5. Wildlife Encounter: Be cautious of wildlife encounters, including bears, cougars, and smaller animals, and follow proper wildlife safety guidelines.
6. Water Availability: Carry enough water for the duration of the hike, as there are no reliable water sources along the trail.
7. Sun Protection: Wear sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun, as parts of the trail are exposed and offer little shade.
8. Bug Repellent: Apply bug repellent to avoid mosquito and insect bites, especially during the warmer months.
9. Hiking in Groups: It is recommended to hike in groups for safety, as the trail can be remote and having companions can provide assistance in case of emergencies.
10. Emergency Preparedness: Carry a first aid kit, a whistle, and a fully charged cell phone for emergencies, and inform someone about your hiking plans and estimated return time.
11. Leave No Trace: Practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out all trash, staying on the designated trail, and respecting the natural environment.
12. Trail Conditions: Check for recent trail condition updates before heading out, as weather events or maintenance work may temporarily close or affect the trail.

Conservation Notes

The Skookum Butte Trail, located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, is currently designated as a conservation area due to its unique ecological significance and the need to protect its natural resources. The conservation status of the trail reflects the efforts made to preserve and maintain the delicate balance of the surrounding ecosystem.

One of the primary reasons for the conservation status is the presence of several rare and endangered plant species along the Skookum Butte Trail. These plants, such as the Skookum Lily and the Cascade Azalea, are highly vulnerable to habitat destruction and disturbance. By designating the trail as a conservation area, authorities aim to safeguard these plant species and their habitats from potential threats, such as invasive species or human activities that could disrupt their delicate ecosystems.

Furthermore, the Skookum Butte Trail is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including several species of birds, mammals, and reptiles. Many of these species rely on the trail and its surrounding areas for food, shelter, and breeding grounds. The conservation status of the trail ensures that these habitats remain intact and undisturbed, providing a safe haven for the local wildlife populations to thrive.

In conclusion, the conservation status of the Skookum Butte Trail is crucial for the protection of its unique plant species and the preservation of the diverse wildlife that depends on it. By maintaining this status, authorities can actively manage and mitigate potential threats, ensuring the long-term sustainability and ecological health of the trail and its surrounding areas.

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