Great friends joined us Saturday, Sept 17, for a quick early afternoon hike up Spencer Butte from the N. Willamette Trailhead (All Trails). We timed the hike while the Oregon Ducks played football removing a majority of other people from the trail – it worked out as there were few people for mid-Saturday without rain.

What struck me after looking at the few pics was the difference when looking west vs looking east – the impact of Cedar Creek fire.

When at top, here are the views west – top is more southernly and bottom the opposite.

Granted, the skies were overcast and not perfectly blue. But, from that same view if I turned and faced west …

Blue skies and puffy white clouds and Fern Ridge Reservoir is viewable up against the coastal mountains.

Summary: Spencer Butte from N. Willamette to the top is a great quick 2 hour hike. The trail conditions are dry, hard and dusty in places, but a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon while others watch football, or any time for that matter. Smokey skies have become an Oregon fixture in late August / early September, and standing atop Spencer Butte gives one a good vantage point to see smokey and not-smokey.

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