Monday, October 15, 2012

Mount Pisgah

I made my annual trip to Eugene, Oregon for a Ducks football game last week.  Typically while I’m in Eugene I always do a hike up Spencer’s Butte, but I decided for a bit of a change since I have done Spencer’s so many times over the years.  This time I decided to hike up Mount Pisgah, which is just to the east of Spencer’s.  Pisgah is a trailed park and is part of the Lane County Park system.  Only a short drive across town from Nate’s townhouse; as he left for school and I left for a short hike.

Mountains west of the Cascade Range have a uniqueness to them that has always drawn me to climb them.  Most are probably extinct volcanoes and hold true to the shape of a standard volcano rising from the Earth.  These mountains seem to be all to their own showing great prominence and that’s what draws me in even though they are a mere 1,500ft high.  I was un-impressed when I arrived at the TH and found out there was a $3 trail fee.  Lucky for me the fee unit took credit cards and that is something I have not seen before.  I already saw about 10 people head up the trail, so I knew it would be like a freeway today.  I ate the rest of my sandwich and turned on my GPS then I was off.

Spencer's Butte
Some call it a trail, I call it a road.  It almost looked to be filled in with gravel at times.  There were other trails to choose from, but I only wanted to spend 1-2 hours out on the mountain, so I stuck with the easy #1 trail as it was called from the TH.  I wasn’t sure on the stats of elevation and such before the hike started, so I was in for somewhat of a surprise right out of the gate.  The trail was pretty steep, a lot steeper than I expected anyway.  It turned out that there was about a 1,000ft gain over 1.5 miles, so it was a nice short vertical climb. 

I brought my trail shoes, but anyone in sandals could have made this summit without too many blisters.  The vertical climb was sustained throughout the hike, so there wasn’t much for relief.  I was sweating out booze like it was going out of style; too much fun over the weekend but it was well worth it.  It was nice having a change in scenery, the moss covered trees were a new thing for me; not something I see in Colorado.  The fall colors were out, but not enough to notice in most of my pictures. 
Summit Sculpture

After about 35 minutes I was at the summit.  The summit was huge and pretty flat.  There was a sculpture of the area on the summit that was pretty neat and it had a topographical depiction of the surrounding area.  I had my first water while sitting on a bench and enjoying the views.  Spencer’s Butte was looking larger than I have ever seen it off to the west.  Within a few minutes I was getting ready to head back down the trail.  The descent was quick, not by choice though.  I kind of just let gravity do its thing and bring me down the trail.  I stopped for a few pictures on the way down, but that was about the excitement of it.

I always love hiking in Oregon.  I’m thankful for getting out on this short one, but hope to make my way deeper into the Cascades within the next couple years for some of the bigger volcanoes. 

GPS Track
Date: 10/8/2012
Starting Elevation:  505ft 
Mount Pisgah Summit: 1,529ft
Total Gained Elevation: 1,020ft
Distance: 3.02 miles
Time: 1:18 moving, 11min stopped
Partners: Solo

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