UO Knows: Spencer Butte tops for nearby hikes

For the first piece in our UO Knows series, which provides inside information about life at the UO, we asked our 150,000 Facebook fans to share with us their favorite day hike close to campus. No surprises. Spencer Butte, just south of the UO, ranked tops. Look for all sorts of insider tidbits in the next few weeks in our UO Knows series.

The 2,055-foot peak stands like a sentinel in Eugene's southern skyline, and is a favorite destination for hikers.

“Spencer’s for the workout, trail options and the view!” wrote Greg Strohecker.

Mount Pisgah Arboretum also got lots of love.

“It gives you a great workout, regardless of your physical abilities,” wrote Halla Walton. “And it has such a beautiful view of the surrounding area.”

The main route up Spencer Butte, off Willamette Street, winds up through a forest before climbing up the flanks of the mountain to its bald, rocky top.

From the butte’s summit, hikers can enjoy panoramic views of the Eugene and Springfield, the Willamette Valley and the Cascades.

The UO Outdoor Program leads trips to the summit of Spencer Butte each fall during Week of Welcome, as well as trips later in the year, said Suzanne Hanlon, assistant coordinator.

A map of the Ridgeline Trail systemWhile the upper Willamette Street trailhead is the most popular starting point, the butte can be reached from other trailheads along the Ridgeline Trail network of trails. Click on map at right to enlarge.

Lane Transit District buses can get you close to the Willamette Street trailheads, and the lower trailheads are easily accessible by bicycle, Hanlon said.

Other related links: The UO Outdoor Program, Sports at the UO, and more about the Campus and Community.

— Tim Christie