For the first baseline hike of the ’21 season (the last ramble was 12-24-20), a quick Spencer Butte ramble fit the bill. Left the house before 07:00 on a coldish foggy day and was back home around noon. See All Trails factoids at end.

From the parking lot, the sun peaked out from the first hill crest.

Once at the top of the butte, a very common weather pattern with the clear weather up top and deep / thick fog down below.

All in all, it was a great first hike of the season. The wildlife was abundant. Uncommon bird sightings: Sharp-shinned Hawk and Barred Owls (2x but only 1 seen and the other heard) – no photos taken worth sharing of the birds.

All Trails Factoids

Distance: 9.9 miles | Elevation Gain: 2,513 ft | Avg Pace 21:55 / miles — Recording

Gear TypeFor this Hike
PackNorthFace ION 20L
ShoesColumbia Fabric Boots
Top LayersBaselayer + cotton L S + Fleece
Bottom LayerREI heavy hiking pants
SocksSingle layer REI Wool
WaterBladder 2 L (1 L drank)


  1. Looks like on a dune looking down on Lake Michigan! How is the trail marked so that you do not get lost?

    1. Author

      the trail is heavily used and so easy to follow. a bigger problem for this hike is keeping people on the trail! people used to bushwhack to the point that the butte was covered with trails like a cow pasture. kudos to park folks as they have mostly solved that problem!

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