Hike Spencer Butte

Rate this Adventure Oregon Spencer Butte Parking

Added by Emily Schrick

Only 15 minutes from downtown Eugene and the University of Oregon, this quick hike gives you beautiful views of the Eugene area. 

Getting There

Searching Spencer Butte Trailhead Parking Lot on Google Maps will direct you to exactly where you need to go. From downtown Eugene/ UO you'll drive south on Willamette St. until you see an official park sign for Spencer Butte Park. Take a left on the gated road (will be locked during closed hours - around 9 pm to 6 am), and drive up to the large parking lot. There is room for about 50 cars. This trail gets pretty crowded on the weekend and at sunset, but during the week you can find solitude. There are also port-a-potties at the trailhead.

The Hike

There are a couple of ways you can get to the top of Spencer's. I'll be describing the 1.8 mile loop, but you can see from the trail map that you can do an out and back route for both the "difficult" and "easier" routes which would be 1.4 and 2.2 miles round trip respectively.

Doing this loop clockwise from the trail guide at the trail head is my favorite: you'll get a good work out climbing the 700 feet in .7 miles, and then can take it easy on the way down and see some new scenery.

Start at the trail guide at the trailhead and take the West Route Trail directly to the left of the guide. From here, its fairly straight forward to the top. You'll start climbing almost immediately. At some places, the trail seems to disappear among rocks, but its not hard to pick up again. When you're nearly at the top but still under tree cover, you'll come to a cross roads of sorts. The trail seems to keep going straight, and to your right and steeply up the mountain you'll see plenty of tread marks and roots. Unfortunately, the trail disappears shortly after this junction, so the best way up is the hiker-worn "trail" to your right. From here, its pretty much a scramble to the top. Nothing difficult though: plenty of footholds and tons of rocks. If you're not following anyone up and it's your first time, some route finding may be required, but you'll be able to see your destination during the whole scramble.

Once you're at the top, there's plenty of rocks to perch on to eat a snack and take in the marvelous views!

When you're ready to head down, either come back the way you came, or find the 1.1 mile route down on the opposite side of the mountain. If you're looking at Autzen Stadium from the top (North), you'll see a much more maintained trail to your right. Follow this for about .5 miles. You'll come across a trail junction, stay to your right to go back to the parking lot. 

Pack List

  • Day pack
  • Water
  • Camera
  • Snack
  • Sturdy shoes
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Fitness, Hiking

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



1.8 Miles

Elev. Gain:

700 Feet


Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby

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