There is something about a Butte, once you climb it, you never forget it. The more little bumps you recognize on the horizon, the better you know the land as a whole. 7 miles from my house is 5,154 foot tall Pistol Butte. Locals say the butte was named after Pistol Pete, a notorious mountain man who trapped in this area. A telephone line and 30-foot fire lookout were consturcted in 1932, supplies were brought up by horse and tractor. The lookout was designated emergency only in 1954 and was mostly used for training until it’s destruction in 1969. Remnants of the lookout’s foundation are still there today.
About 3/4 of the way up Pistol Butte is a nice campsite. Mt. Bachelor and Pistol Quarry are visible from this location. There are large lava boulders here and the remains of an old wooden mountain bike track.
From Bend take Highway 97 South to South Century. Turn right on NF4032. Parking at the Forest Service Gate the hike was 4 miles up and back. Lots of ATV use in this area. Pistol Butte is also close to The Fall River Fish Hatchery and Campground.