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.