I’ve hiked Stein Butte a few times before. This was the first time in a few years though. This is a strenuous hike that climbs over 2500ft to a summit with nice views. It’s a good choice in winter months because the trailhead is just off a paved road and is accessible year round.
The trailhead is near Applegate reservoir just outside of California. It’s not my favorite hike in hot weather. There’s no water sources and it gets a lot of direct sunlight.
The trail is not heavily used most of the year. This was the first time I’ve ever seen anyone hiking it. I do see vehicles parked at the trailhead from time to time when I’m driving past it to hike other trails in the area.
I recommend hiking it on days when there’s a good chance that the valleys will be covered in clouds. This is when the views are best in my experience.