One of the best reasons to live in Eugene is hands down how quickly you can get out into nature. It is literally down the street (in this case Willamette Street). Spencer’s Butte is a great hike about 10 minutes from downtown. If you go up the front side it’s about a mile to the top, which translates to about half an hour hike if you can do it without stopping. If you do need to stop, there is a bench about halfway up that makes a perfect resting spot. If you want a little more of a challenge there is a 2 mile trail on the backside of the Butte.
For my morning hike the one mile trail is perfect. I went in September and sunrise was at 6:45 so I arrived at 6:00 am ready to roll. If you’re not familiar with trail you may want to bring a headlamp with you along with a light jacket you can tie around your waist as you start to break a sweat.
This isn’t a very technical climb, but it does get pretty steep towards the top. The city has recently carved a staircase towards the top so you now have even more of a footing than before.
When you reach the top the view is absolutely breathtaking, you can see for miles in every direction and when the sun peaks over revealing that first burst of morning light you will be in awe! Anytime I have started my day this way I have had an amazing day, whether it be all the fresh oxygen going to my head or the blood flow from walking I feel exuberant all day. You should try it and tell me what you think!
Pro tip- If you need an even bigger challenge this hike does connect to the Ridgeline Trail System https://www.eugene-or.
gov/facilities/facility/ details/129 this is a great resource for trail runners looking to go the extra mile.
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