Puffer Butte is a wonder nestled within the breathtaking Fields Spring State Park. With panoramic views of Blue Mountains and the picturesque Grande Ronde Valley, Puffer Butte is the crown jewel of this state park and beckons nature lovers from all corners of Washington.
In this blog post we will explore Puffer Butte Trail, how to access it, what it’s like to hike Puffer Butte, and if Puffer Butte should be a 100 Classic Hike of Washington.
Hiked on June 11th, 2023.
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Getting to Puffer Butte
Puffer Butte is located on the ancestral lands of the Cayuse, Umatilla, Walla Walla, Nez Perce tribes and the Confederated tribes of the Colville Reservation. We are grateful for the stewards of this land past and present. We are honored to be and recognize that we are guests on this land.
How to Access the Trail
Puffer Butte is located within Field Spring State Park. Once you arrive at the park, head towards the trailhead for the Puffer Butte Trail. Fields Spring State Park is located south of Anatone, Washington. There are two park entrances so if you miss the 1st one, there is a 2nd just around the corner!
Once inside the park, there will be signs that point the way to the trailhead. These signs have recently been moved with the current construction of the park.
The park requires an entrance fee. If you have a Discovery Pass, the pass will cover your entrance fee. If you do not have or need a discovery pass, you can pay a daily fee. It’s always good practice to check the park’s official website to confirm any specific regulations before your visit.
Hiking Puffer Butte
To reach the summit of Puffer Butte and take in the mesmerizing views, start at the trailhead. There is a small parking lot and privy. There are a number of trails in the area, but the official trail for Puffer Butte is the small trail offshoot to the right of the privy.
The trail winds its way through the park’s picturesque landscapes and lush forests. The trail leading up to the butte is pretty overgrown, but easy to follow the trail. There are a couple of benches on route for hikers looking for a short break or just wanting to take in the views.
Follow the marked trail, there are blue diamonds screwed to the trees along the route to make it easy to follow for snow shoers and cross-country skiers.
Check Out a Favorite Eastern Washington Hike: West and Oregon Butte
As you near the final stretch, the views start peeking through the trees, giving you a taste of the grandeur ahead. The summit of Puffer Butte is spectacular and unexpected. The sprawling beauty of the views of the Blue Mountains leaves something to be desired. We caught ourselves wishing we could continue our hike into the mountains.
There is a small warming cabin at the top that was stocked with wood and had an outdoor privy. It would be a great place to bring a group of people looking for a hideaway. We spent some time there as our dog, Meatball, cooled himself on the cold concrete floor.
The hike down the butte followed the looped path and there were plenty of wildflowers. The path was more clear on the route down and butterflies filled the air surrounding us.
Since the park was under construction, our hike was cut off. It added less than 0.1 miles as we hiked along the road back to our car. We were the only people on the trail.
Should Puffer Butte Be a 100 Classic Hike?
Puffer Butte trail has beautiful views from the top of the trail and it is obvious that there is tons of time and care that is currently going into the park. The construction that Puffer Butte is currently undergoing will be beautiful upon its completion.
However, I do not believe that Puffer Butte should be considered a 100 Classic Hike of Washington. The trail offered very little, with a significant amount of brush scraping against our legs. As I discussed with my partner about if “Puffer Butte” should be a 100 Classic Hike, we decided that after the construction is done in anticipation that the trails will be clear.
Check Out Other Eastern Washington Classic Hikes
Eastern Washington is FULL of 100 Classic Hikes. Here are just a few of the “100 Classic Hikes of Washington” that I have completed.
Mount Spokane has some wonderful 360 views at the top of the mount. Along the way you’ll pass by an old CCC cabin and plenty of Pika!
Seeming to rise out of no where, this butte has fantastic views of the surrounding area. A short and sweet hike that will leave you filled with joy!
By far my favorite Eastern Washington hike, Steamboat Rock is a magnificent look into the past. It tells the story of how the Missoula Floods shaped the land leaving behind this glorious structure.