PILOT BUTTE STATE PARK
Come and explore an old cinder cone located just east of Bend. Hike up and around on one of three trails. The trails wind through stands of juniper and sage. All of the trails lead to the summit. Once at the top, get ready for a grand panoramic view of the high desert.
To the west at sunset, the glow of snowcapped Cascade mountains put on a spectacular show. Three Sisters, Mt. Jefferson, Black Butte and Mt. Hood are some of the highlights. Bring something to quench your thirst after the climb; there's no drinking water at the park.
Located in Bend, Oregon, this unique natural landmark is a dormant volcano that has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Central Oregon. The history of Pilot Butte dates back to millions of years ago when it was formed as part of the volcanic activity associated with Newberry Volcano.
The name "Pilot Butte" itself came from its use by pioneers and travelers who used it as a navigational point while crossing through central Oregon during westward expansion periods. It served like an ancient GPS system for those traveling across unfamiliar terrains.
In 1927, Deschutes County purchased land around Pilot Butte making way for public access to this geological wonder. Later on July 23rd, 1928; Governor I.L Patterson dedicated these lands officially marking them under state protection which led to their development into recreational areas over time.
During World War II between1942-1944,the butte's summit was utilized by Aircraft Warning Service volunteers who kept watchful eyes out for enemy aircrafts approaching American soil via Pacific routes.The lookout station built at top still stands today serving visitors panoramic views stretching far beyond city limits
Over decades since then,this site evolved gradually adding amenities such hiking trails, picnic spots, a scenic drive up leading right upto summit etc.,making it more accessible & enjoyable destination. In fact, it's only place within Bend city limits where fireworks are legally allowed every Fourth Of July drawing large crowds annually.