Running up Pilot Butte (Bend, OR)

Pilot Butte is one of the most beautiful views in Bend, Oregon. It’s beautiful, but wow, is it challenging! Maybe it was the day but running up took it out of me. I’m no stranger to hills, but the combination of cold, elevation, and workouts beforehand made Pilot Butte one of the more challenging runs I’ve done in a while.

Running up Pilot Butte

About Pilot Butte:

Pilot Butte is one of the most scenic parts of Bend. From the top, you can see almost the entire town and several mountains in the distance.

The trail itself is paved or gravel. It appears they closed down the road when we were there in February for those to run, walk, or hike up. According to the website, there is occasionally driving too.

Running up Pilot Butte

My experience at Pilot Butte:

When we were there in February, there was snow on the ground but not much on the Pilot Butte Trail. Heck, there wasn’t even ice. The trail is steep, and in about .8 miles, it goes up about 470 feet, so it’s not easy. Once you get to the top, you can see a 360 view of the Cascades and the high desert as well as the entire town of Bend.  We even looked down and could see a track too. It looks longer than it is from that view.

Running up Pilot Butte

My experience with Pilot Butte was short. In all, it was about 20 minutes. I ran to the top and averaged about 12-13 miles getting up there. Towards the end, my calves were screening are we there yet? But it was worth the view at the top. At the top, there are several different informational signs bout various viewpoints. We also saw a couple of people meditating at the top.

Running up Pilot Butte
At the top

Once you are done, you can easily run or walk back down. There are several steeper side trails if you are interested in taking a different way back.

Running up Pilot Butte

If you are in Bend, Oregon and looking for a beautiful view (I mean pretty much anywhere is beautiful), I highly suggest the Pilot Butte Trail. Not a lengthy or long hike, but well worth an hour or two of your day. You can see a map on alltrails.

Running up Pilot Butte

You can all hikes and trail runs here.

Questions for you:

Have you been to Bend? Have you hiked the Pilot Butte Trail?

What is your favorite trail?