29. Home Creek Butte (High Steens Unit)
Suggested Citation: Kerr, Andy. 2000. Oregon Desert Guide: 70 Hikes. Seattle: The Mountaineers Books. pp. 152-153.
What to Expect: Bighorn sheep in the spring, great views, and ancient junipers anytime
Distance: 6.2 miles round trip
Elevation Range: 4,605-6,006 feet
Drinking Water: No
Best Times: Spring, fall
USGS 7.5' Map: Home Creek Butte
Oregon Map Starting Point: Frenchglen
Drive approximately 24 miles south of Frenchglen on OR 205 (8 miles south of Roaring Springs Ranch). Park at Home Creek Canyon, the obvious break in the Catlow Rim.
Two hikes exist. The first option is a mile or so of good birding and scenery and possibly seeing some bighorn sheep from below on an easy former cattle trail on the north side of the creek. Follow the old irrigation ditch that turns into the trail. Great Basin redband trout may be seen in the creek.
It is possible to continue up the creek to the destination of the second option, but it is not recommended without a guide (seriously).
The second option is to hike directly up the north side of Catlow Rim where it breaks for Home Creek. (Yes, it is 1,401 feet in 0.8 mile, but it is at the beginning of the hike.) The ultimate objective is Home Creek Butte 2.3 miles by rim to the east. After reaching the plateau, slowly and quietly work your way along the north rim of Home Creek. Keep looking down, and if it is April or May, you'll almost undoubtedly see bighorn sheep, including lambs.
Return the way you came.