Spencer Butte Trail is a 6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Gifford Pinchot, Washington that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
From Vancouver, north on I-5 to Highway 503, exit 21. Drive east 45 miles to Forest Service Road 25. Continue straight on Forest Service Road 25 and drive 6 miles to Forest Service Road 93. Turn right and drive 9 miles to the signed trailhead on the left.
Motorcycles have made the trail, a narrow single track width, from the West. Nice training hike for the Dogs! No view from the lookout, but really pleasant hike.
The trail from the East begins just out of Spencer Meadow. If a person parks a quarter of a mile from the meadow, and walks quietly toward the meadow on a hot summer day, they will normally see 10-80 elk being lazy in the cool meadow and the little pot holes located throughout the meadow. Unfortunately too many people park their campers at the Meadow access and become the only people that get to enjoy the beauty and wildlife. The trail is a gentle climb to the top where the lookouts once stood. The old lookout was a little to the west of the new lookout. The old lookout was lower as the area had been burned by the old Spencer burn.
If one traverses down the west side of Spencer hill and if he is quiet early in the day, he might get the chance to see a Black Bear. Just be careful that it is not a mommy bear with her little one tagging along. It is a wonderful hike and trip with all the beautiful scenery and wildlife to photograph along the way.