Black Butte trailhead. Not too difficult to find with the instructions available at Summitpost. Despite Black Butte being a big volcanic cone, the trail starts off in nice forest duff.
During the first ~mile, every once in a while you emerge from the forest cover to volcanic rubble.
Looking up Black Butte. I never noticed so many trees on it from a distance.
Back into the forest. It's a great hike - the trail climbs steadily and it is easy to get a good pace going.
Through more rubble
Eventually we see mt shasta through the trees. What a view!
Shadow of Black Butte
Trail through more rubble.
After ~1.5 miles the trail finally switchbacks and continues climbing at the same steady grade. Now, however, there is much more volcanic rubble to walk through.
The trail is always good, through.
We're getting high enough to see some of the upper channels and piles that make up the craters and plugs of the summit.
Looking back to where we switchbacked out of the trees.
Along the rockier trail.
As we wrapped back around the north side of the Butte we ended up back in trees and dirt path for a while.
Looking up towards the summit.
See the wire restraining the rocky rubble? It's a steep slope.
View of the top of black butte as we climb the highest point.
Trail towards the summit switchbacks quickly in the final bits.
Nice and easy well-made trail. It's a quick climb of ~2.5 miles with about 1900 ft of gain.
Mt Shasta. Looks more like August than December.
David photographing from the old foundation on the summit. I don't know what was here - some kind of lookout, presumably.
Mt Shasta. Don't know where to get a better view of it than from here.
Zoomer on Castle Crags in the distance
Highway 5 below us
The top of black butte
Heading down. Despite the really nice trail all the way to the summit, there is a tiny little catwalk kind of scramble you can do at the end to make you feel like you earned it. :)
The many bumps of Black Butte
Shasta and the Black Butte trail towards the bottom.