A fast hike on Ridgeline Trail (Eugene Parks) end-to-end and Spencer Butte on a foggy morning winter solstice 2022 to catch the sunrise with more other hikers than a non holiday. The trail condition perfect after the rains without puddles or mud yet not hard on feet and legs.

The hike

Start was Spring Blvd trailhead leaving the car around 7:00 with headlamp barely lighting up through the fog. First to the top of Spencer Butte, then to Blanton Blvd trailhead turning around and retracing steps in the opposite direction. (Recorded track)

Fox Hollow trailhead parking lot was empty. A couple of the raptors at Raptor Center made noises as I walked across the street. At the top the first time, the fog remained thick with almost no visibility and oddly probably the warmest time of the hike.

As the sun tried to rise over the ridge more fog rolled in and from the N. Willamette trailhead Spencer was invisible.

After the second walk to Spencer’s top and back around toward Baldy, the fog lifted.

Summary

Fast hiking Ridgeline Trail and Spencer Butte is a favorite close-in hike. Getting to any trailhead is less than 30 minutes of total driving for a low carbon karma tax for the activity. As long as one enjoys retracing steps at different times (light and temperatures), 15+ mile hikes await and during shoulder season the human traffic is tolerable. The winter solstice brought out more people than normal, even some with candles celebrating the solstice sunrise.

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