Spencer Butte

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View of Eugene from Skinner Butte, with Spencer Butte in the distance

Spencer Butte is a prominent landmark in Lane County, Oregon, United States, on the southern edge of Eugene, with an elevation of 2,058 feet (627 m).[1] Spencer Butte is accessible from Spencer Butte Park and has several hiking trails to the summit.[2] The tree cover on the butte is predominantly Douglas-fir, however the butte is treeless at its summit. The butte is the tallest point visible when looking south from downtown Eugene.


View north across the summit

The butte was called Champ-a te or Cham-o-tee by the native Kalapuya, meaning rattlesnake.[3]

One popular theory is that Spencer Butte was named for a young Englishman of the Hudson's Bay Company named Spencer, who was said to have been killed by the Kalapuya after climbing the hill alone. Another, less popular theory holds that the butte was named after Secretary of War John C. Spencer in July 1845 by Elijah White.[2][3] Spencer was no longer Secretary of War by 1845, however.


View of the southern Willamette Valley from the summit of Spencer Butte.
  1. ^ "Spencer Butte - NGS Data Sheet". U.S. National Geodetic Survey. Retrieved January 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Sullivan, William (2005). 100 Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades (3rd edition ed.). Eugene, Oregon: Navillus Press. pp. 176–177. ISBN 0-9677830-6-2. 
  3. ^ a b "Spencer Butte Park History". City of Eugene. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 

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Coordinates: 43°59′01″N 123°05′48″W / 43.98361°N 123.09667°W / 43.98361; -123.09667