Spencer Butte storm seam sunrise fast hike reached the top of Spencer Butte twice before sunrise and once after – between big winter storms coming from the Pacific Ocean. A perfect morning, for January 17 on Ridgeline Trail.
The Hike Route (Recorded Track)
I left Spring Blvd TH around 6:00 in dark. Before I even left the car, a couple of hikers (headlamps on) left the trail and hiked toward the neighborhood – not the first one on the trail today! From Spring Blvd to Spencer Top; then down to S. Willamette TH and back to the top; then down to Blanton Ridge TH back to the top, and finally to the car. The full length of Ridgeline Trail with 3x up Spencer Butte.
Trail condition muddier than last week, and the trail needs a break as it’s starting to show wear in the lower, muddier spots.
Carbon karma tax ratio: hike time 400 minutes / drive time total 30 minutes = 13.3 (lower guardrail = 3)
First Spencer Top – Before Sunrise
After the first couple at the Spring TH, no other humans were met until the final segment to the top. All quiet – even the birds – and the deer were gone. Not a single car in the Fox Hollow TH. Headlamp stayed on until almost that same top segment as it was just getting light, and then at the top … a moon, small fog in the valley, and a pristine predawn skyline.
Second Spencer Top – At Sunrise
Bouncing quickly down to the S. Willamette TH and then back to Spencer top trying to make it the second time just as the sun pops over the ridge. Beautiful!
Third Spencer Top – after sunrise, before the rain
From Spencer, it was down to N. Willamette TH and on to Blanton TH, and by this time the crowds had arrived. The trail was the busiest I’ve seen in weeks between Spencer and Blanton. On the way back from Blanton, another quick trip to Spencer top and the scene had changed somewhat – more clouds, less sun, but no rain.
Another great morning on Ridgeline Trail and Spencer Butte hiking to find a storm seam sunrise … where else can one hike >18 miles, get great views of southern Willamette Valley, all the while driving less than 30 minutes total?