Chaffin Butte – Is It a Summit???

Chaffin Butte or the “C” Hill stands above Corvallis and is accessed via an easement through private property. The flanks of the hill are covered with big sagebrush and scattered stunted ponderosa pine. The soils are rocky and dry, and the plant life can be likened to those communities found in the Big Hole Valley and the Great Basin, in general. The hike is steep, like over a 1,000 vertical feet in little more than a mile. The footing can be tricky, especially when your attention is grabbed by a Rock Wren or seeing the seldom-seen flora. Speaking of unusual flora, at the apex of Chaffin Butte, a small latch of Brittle Pricklypear Cactus grows next to the larger boulders.

Cutleaf Fleabane – Erigeron compositus

Lanceleaf Stonecrop – Sedum lanceolatum

Golden Draba – Draba aurea

Bessey’s Locoweed – Oxytropis bessey

Silverleaf Scorpion-weed – Phacelia hastata

Silverleaf Scorpion-weed – Phacelia hastata

Ground Crab Spider on Cocks-comb Cat’s-eye

Cocks-comb Cat’s-eye – Cryptantha celosioides

Linearleaf Phacelia – Phacelia linearis

Brittle Pricklypear – Opuntia fragilis

Longleaf Phlox – Phlox longifolia

Mottled Sand Grasshopper - Spharagemon collare

Mottled Sand Grasshopper – Spharagemon collare

Written by Radd Icenoggle

I am a native Montanan, who has spent a lifetime as an outdoors and wildlife enthusiast. I earned a degree in biology with an emphasis on habitat relations. During my studies, I had the great fortune to research and compose a thesis that explored the effects of slope aspect on...
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