Spencer Butte is not just an iconic backdrop to Eugene – hiking to the top is one of the most popular city hikes. The trail has steep switchbacks through beautiful thick forest, meadows and a treeless, rocky butte. Starting at the South Willamette Trailhead, this moderate to difficult 1.7 mile (2.7 km) loop trail climbs 784 ft (235 m) before reaching the summit of Spencer Butte at approximately 2,000 ft (610 m) -- the highest peak in the surrounding valley. The 360-degree view from the summit makes this short but challenging trail worth the effort for hikers of all ages. On a clear day, look for views of the Three Sisters to the east and Fern Ridge Reservoir to the west. Hikers can connect this trail with other sections of the Ridgeline Trail System for a longer hike. Watch for poison oak and rattle snakes along the trail.