For those living in the Willamette Valley (or just looking for a break while traveling on I-5) Spencer’s Butte offers one of the best views in the area. Located just a few minutes’ drive from downtown Eugene, the 2055 foot butte has long been a not-so-secret retreat for Eugene residents. It’s rare to find a place so close to a city that offers such an amazing view. 360 degree views of the Willamette Valley are the reward for the relatively quick 1+ mile hike to the top. For those looking to really give themselves a workout, there is an even shorter, albeit much steeper, trail to the top, measuring in at just over half a mile. Cliffs and fields await exploration at the summit, plus a rocky outcrop that isn’t visible from the base of the hike. Dogs often make the trip; however, they should be kept close as poison oak abounds on the sides of the trails. Bring a flashlight along on a clear day at dusk for a truly unforgettable sunset. The summit trail is actually part of a 12 mile trail system, and those looking for a longer trip can explore within the Eugene region.
Adam Tirella, Eugene