Whitney Butte Trail

Lava Beds National Monument
Located 16.2 miles from Tulelake, California (CA)
4 Stars
7,139 Steps 1  (3.3 mi)

The Whitney Butte trailhead is located near the Merrill Ice Cave. The trail enters the Black Lava Flow Wilderness Area at the western boundary of the monument. Although this trail is long, it's a relatively easy trail to hike. Bring plenty of water, especially during the summer months as there are no water facilities available along the trail.

Whitney Butte TrailWhitney Butte TrailheadWhitney Butte Trail


The Whitney Butte Trail has a maximum elevation of 4,906 ft (1,495 m), a minimum elevation of 4,724 ft (1,440 m), and an elevation range of 182 ft (55 m).


[ A to B ] or [ B to A ]
Steps 1Length 2Min Ele 3Max Ele 4
7,1393.3 mi4,724 ft4,906 ft
[ A to B ]
Time 5Floors 6Gain 7Loss 8
1.3 hrs10.0120 ft261 ft
[ B to A ]
1.3 hrs21.8261 ft120 ft

What is the length of the Whitney Butte Trail?

The length of the trail is 3.3 mi (5.4 km) or 7,139 steps.

How long does it take to hike the Whitney Butte Trail?

A person in good physical health can hike the trail in 1.3 hrs in the [ A to B ] direction, and in 1.3 hrs in the [ B to A ] direction.


The following chart shows the total calories that you may expend on the trail while hiking in the [ A to B ] and [ B to A ] direction at a typical speed and is based on gross weight (which includes anything carried), the topography, trail length and trail conditions.

Topo Maps

Download the free Whitney Butte Trail topo map and the adjoining quads to plan your hike. These are full-sheet, 7.5 Minute (1:24,000 scale) Lava Beds National Monument topographic maps. Do you want full-sheet outdoor recreation JPEG Topo Maps?

Adjoining 7.5' Quadrangle Legend

  1. Northwest Topo Map: Mount Dome, CA
  2. North Topo Map: Captain Jacks Stronghold, CA
  3. Northeast Topo Map: The Panhandle, CA
  4. West Topo Map: Bonita Butte, CA
  5. Topo Map: Schonchin Butte, CA
  6. East Topo Map: Caldwell Butte, CA
  7. Southwest Topo Map: Little Glass Mountain, CA
  8. South Topo Map: Medicine Lake, CA
  9. Southeast Topo Map: West of Kephart, CA

Is there a Whitney Butte trail map?

Yes, and it's free! The Whitney Butte Trail is located on the Schonchin Butte topo map. Use the adjoining quadrangle legend to download the map.



  1. Steps is a unit of distance equal to the sum of stride lengths that vary with the terrain.
  2. Length is the distance of the trail between the two trailheads, measured on the trail.
  3. Min Ele is the minimum elevation on the trail.
  4. Max Ele is the maximum elevation on the trail.
  5. Time is the typical total time required to hike the trail.
  6. Floors is the gain divided by twelve, the height of one floor.
  7. Gain (cumulative elevation gain) is the sum of every gain in elevation.
  8. Loss (cumulative elevation loss) is the sum of every loss in elevation.