Spencer Butte Hike


Willamette Valley, Oregon

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Spencer Butte Hike


  • Ample parking at the trailhead.- Spencer Butte Hike
  • Two routes lead up to the summit.- Spencer Butte Hike
  • The trail gets plenty of use, but volunteer efforts keep it well maintained.- Spencer Butte Hike
  • A pileated woodpecker works on a standing-dead tree.- Spencer Butte Hike
  • Hours of volunteer work have benefitied this heavily used trail.- Spencer Butte Hike
  • Sunlight streaming through the firs along the Spencer Butte Trail.- Spencer Butte Hike
  • Menzies' larkspur.- Spencer Butte Hike
  • Poison oak is all over the upper portion of the butte. - Spencer Butte Hike
  • The morning clouds linger over the valley east of Spencer Butte.- Spencer Butte Hike
  • The summit of Spencer Butte (2,058 ft).- Spencer Butte Hike
  • Eugene is to the north of the butte.- Spencer Butte Hike
  • The steep trail down the west side.- Spencer Butte Hike
  • A mid-hike view from the west trail toward the Coast Range.- Spencer Butte Hike
Overview + Weather
Close to Eugene. A dense and healthy forest. Great views.
Crowds. Poison oak in the summer. Soggy trail in the winter.
Willamette Valley, OR
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
730.00 ft (222.50 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.20 mi (3.54 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,330.00 ft (405.38 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


Spencer Butte is Eugene’s popular backdoor hike. It isn't just a good walk in the woods, it is one of those hikes that adds to the quality of life for local residents. Because of this trail, a person in downtown Eugene can decide she wants a nature fix, climb the butte through a lush forest, and be looking down on her former position from the 2,054-foot summit in about an hour.

Several trails lead to the summit, including a nearby Ridgeline Trail and others that stretch to Fox Hollow Road or Blanton Road.  From the main parking lot there are two trails that lead to the summit: a main trail that is longer with a more gradual ascent and an alternative trail that is a steep and short ascent on the butte's west side. The main trail is a 2.5-mile round-trip hike, but ascending on the main trail and descending on the short and steep trail provides the greatest variety and is nearly the same distance.

Regardless of which route you choose, you will walk through a healthy forest of Douglas fir and maple trees that tower over fern covered slopes. This is a very popular hike year-round, so expect to share the views. New construction has resolved the route ambiguity near the summit, so be sure and stick to the established path. And do watch out for poison oak, which is ubiquitous at the summit.

On a clear day you may be able to see Mount Scott to the southeast, the Three Sisters and Broken Top to the east, Eugene to the north, and Fern Ridge Reservoir and the Coast Range to the west.

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Nearby Camping + Lodging

(8 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(60 within a 30 mile radius)

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