Ravaged by fire in 2003 and 2007, Bessie Butte and its surrounding landscape isn’t the prettiest spot in Central Oregon.
But if you look hard enough, you’ll see glimpses of beauty in the thriving manzanita, the jagged trees passed over by the flames, and the expansive views in all directions at the end of the easy, ¾-mile hike to the top. Perhaps prettiest of all, in its own way, is the promise of a green future in the thousands of pine seedlings that were planted in the area over the past year or so.
If you go
Getting there: Head south on U.S. Highway 97 and exit at Knott Road. Head east on Knott Road for about 1.5 miles, then turn right on China Hat Road. Follow China Hat Road for about 4.5 miles and turn right on Forest Road 1810. Parking for Bessie Butte trail is a few hundred feet down the road.
Cost: Free. No permit or pass needed.
— Bulletin staff