Last winter snow on Spencer Butte hike on only 2 small stretches of the trail and more than 15 deer around the trail pre-dawn. Compared to last week with snow limiting risk-free hiking above Ridgeline Tr, the trail is almost back to normal (for winter). Few humans were out early and the animals were nearly everywhere getting ready for big Spring activities.
Spencer Butte Route and trail conditions
The route started at Blanton Ridge and then went to S. Willamette th, then to Fox Hollow then back to Blanton with 4x topping Spencer Butte. GaiaGPS shows more NOAA snowpack than existed on the Butte. Last year’s experience was the opposite so far – GaiaGPS under displayed snowpack.
Here are the two areas of remaining snow – both above Ridgeline Tr on the ‘summit’ trail and on the north side of the Butte.
Overall, the trail had about 1/2″ of mud everywhere – just enough to be slippery and cushioning, not too much to get your shoes and pants dirty. Perfect winter trail conditions. Lower elevations, like Fox Hollow th were completely snow-free.
Starting at Blanton typically encounters deer in the pre-dawn dark. Their greenish eyes reflect in headlamp. This hike was amazing! In the first 1 mile there were at least 15 deer sheltered (sleeping?) around the trail on both sides. They did not move or run – just stood there in the headlamp light their muted green eyes looking back … I even talked loudly to them, and they would not move.
Later, a young deer was munching while standing on a fallen log. It stood still just long enough
The first time at the top, the sky was threatening grey and heavy – yet, for the entire hike, my rain jacket stayed in pack.
Later in the morning, the sun tried to break out off in the distance