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Hiking in and around Eugene, Oregon

Hey friends! I’m back in DC after a really fun trip out to the west coast! As you guys know, I was there with Brooks for the annual Run Happy Blogger Ambassador trip, but I flew out a day early to see my friend Ashley who lives in Eugene, Oregon! I’ll be back tomorrow with a recap of the Brooks portion of the trip, but for now, let’s chat about part 1 with Ashley. :)

mountain view flying in to portland oregon

I arrived in Eugene late on Wednesday night and Ashley and I had all day Thursday and Friday morning to hang. I was excited to see her – it had been awhile! We made plans to check out some fun hikes in and around Eugene – but our first order of business was fueling up. We hit up a fun hippie vegetarian spot for breakfast called Morning Glory Café – highly recommend! It was delicious.

morning glory cafe eugene breakfast

We shared two dishes because we couldn’t make up our minds! My favorite was the one up top – veggies + eggs inside a crispy potato shell – so good.

After fueling up, we headed to our first hike of the day: Spencer Butte, right in Eugene. The weather was phenomenal – loved the lack of humidity!

MY OTHER RECIPES
 

spencer butte hike

There are a couple different ways to get to the top – we took the steeper route with some fun rock scrambling. I definitely felt all the uphill in my hips/butt the next day!

spencer butte rock scramble

Made it to the top! Gorgeous views from up there, especially on such a clear day!

spencer butte summit

A beautiful day + fresh air + an awesome hike + a good friend = doesn’t get much better than that. :)

IMG_1560

spencer butte scramble

We took a longer more gradual route back down to the car with a bit added on via an offshoot trail since we were enjoying chatting and the scenery!

spencer butte wooded trail

By the time we made it back to the car we were ready for lunch! We headed back into town and met Ashley’s boyfriend for lunch at another cute spot – Hideaway Bakery. I had the veggie bowl with peanut sauce and tempeh and a side beet salad. Delicious!

hideaway bakery eugene

The vegetarian food scene in Eugene is on point.

hideaway bakery eugene lunch

I also bought a muffin to snack on later in the afternoon. :) All their baked goods looked amazing!

hideaway bakery muffin

After our late lunch and a bit of a siesta back at Ashley’s place, we headed back out for adventure #2: a hike on the McKenzie River Trail about an hour away in the Willamette National Forest.

mckenzie river trail hiking

Ashley had done a hike and trail race on this trail before and loved it so I was excited to check it out! The McKenzie River Trail is 26 miles long so there is a lot to see; we chose the Tamolitch Valley Section and hopped on a trail that took us to the Tamolitch Blue Pool.

tamolitch blue pool trail

The trail is a 3.9 mile out and back. Since we arrived in the late afternoon and were there on a Thursday we only saw a couple other people, but apparently it can get crowded during peak hours – and for a reason! It’s gorgeous and relatively easy, too.

tamolitch blue pool trail

The trail had us walking right by the water – so beautiful! Reminded me of some of the hikes we just did on our hiking trip in western Canada. I’ve been so spoiled by amazing hiking lately! The more hiking I do, the more I want to do – I love it so much!

mckenzie river trail hiking

The blue pool was at the end of the trail and it was incredible – I’ve never seen water that color before. Unlike the gorgeous glacier fed lakes in Canada that were a beautiful aqua color, this water was a deep bright blue – almost like a sapphire. The pictures don’t do it justice!

tamolitch blue pool

It almost looked like it was colored with dark blue food dye! So crazy. I could have sat here looking at it all night.

hiking near eugene oregon

After enjoying the views for awhile we reluctantly made our way back. By the time we made it back to the car it was nearly 8:30 – whoa! How did it get so late?! We had one last stop we wanted to make before heading back to Eugene and we knew we had about an hour of daylight left so we decided to use every last bit of it. Adventuring = more important than real dinner. ;) We pounded some snacks and drove over to the Terwilliger Hot Springs, which were about half an hour away, back towards Eugene but still in Willamette National Forest. We screeched into the parking lot with about 30 minutes of daylight left and quickly threw on our swimsuits. Let’s do this!

The hot springs are in the forest about a 1/4 mile walk along a trail. So cool – I loved that they were actually out in nature. There are five small pools – the hot springs feed directly into the top pool, so that one is by far the hottest, and they get cooler in temperature as the water trickles down through the pools. I didn’t get a picture because it was getting a bit dark and because almost everyone was naked (yeah, clothing is optional!) – but here’s one Ashley took earlier this year.

eugene oregon hot springs

The springs felt amazing – we settled in the second pool which was perfect temperature-wise. We stayed and relaxed for about 20 minutes before needing to head out – we were officially out of daylight. We had to pick our way back to the car along the trail in the very last light of the day. Spooky but peaceful and totally worth it. :)

terwilliger hot springs trail

What an amazing day! We arrived back at Ashley’s place around 11, exhausted but happy. :)

Ashley had to work on Friday unfortunately, but we got up and snuck in one last adventure together – a run! We ran on Pre’s Trail, which is a 4 mile long woodchip and bark trail named after the famous University of Oregon athlete Steve Prefontaine.

pre's trail eugene

It was so beautiful out – cool but sunny. I see why so many runners love Eugene! There were a ton of people out enjoying the trails. I was sore from all our hiking the day before but still glad to be out there – y’all know I’m not one to pass up a run on a beautiful morning. :)

pres trail eugene

Hot tip: if you run on the trail, wear shoes you don’t mind getting super dirty – we were covered in red dust by the time we finished out the 4 miles! Luckily I had been warned by Ashley so I had my Brooks PureGrit trail running shoes on, which are already well loved. :)

We headed straight from the trail to Morning Glory Café – I requested we go again because I loved it so much! This time I got a really good purple potato, kale, mushroom, and scrambled egg dish topped with cheese. Plus a side of fruit and their homemade cinnamon walnut bread which was amazing! And an iced whole milk latte, obvs.

morning glory cafe breakfast eugene

Thank you again for such a fun visit Ashley! I wish I could have stayed longer. :)

Have you ever been to Oregon? Bend, Oregon is next on my bucket list – I keep hearing it’s amazing for outdoorsy adventures!

Comments

  1. 1

    We just got back from a trip to Portland – there are so many amazing outdoor opportunities in Oregon! We did a beautiful hike in the Columbia River Gorge full of waterfalls!

  2. 3

    You know all the amazing brunch spots!!! Hiking adventures sound fun! Amazing pics as always.

  3. 4
    Allison says:

    Your pictures are amazing! Definitely brought on some West Coast nostalgia! I went to college in Eugene and before that grew up directly across the river from Portland in Washington state. Bend is beautiful – you would love it! I have had lots of family move there recently. The food and beer scene is fantastic and there is so much to do both in the hot and cold months!

    • 5

      I really wish I’d had time to make it there – I keep hearing amazing things! Jealous you grew up in that area – so beautiful!

  4. 6

    The way you describe it all and the pictures really make me want to take a trip out there. I could use a good hike! Thank you, because I didn’t realize this was all out there and so easy to do.

  5. 8
    Kristina Dorsey says:

    Hi Anne,

    I was just wondering if you were going to be providing weekly marathon recaps of your training (i.e. Monday- 5 miles, Tuesday- Crossfit, etc.). I am also training for the Marine Corps Marathon this year and am curious to see what you are doing too. It definitely helps with staying motivated–especially in this DC heat!

    Kristina

  6. 10

    Looks like you got some fantastic hiking in! Oregon is definitely on my bucket list of places to visit soon – especially a drive along the Oregon Coast, hiking, and eating in Portland.

  7. 12

    I’m blessed to live in this beautiful state. I’ll never leave! :)

  8. 14

    The food looks absolutely delicious and the scenery is spectacular. Thank you for sharing.

  9. 15
    Roadrunner says:

    Looks gorgeous. Clearly time to go West! :-)

  10. 16
    christina says:

    Anne,

    Given that you hike a lot, do you ever worry about ticks? Do you have a preparation method for long hikes to minimize ticks?

    Thanks,
    Christina

    • 17

      I do worry about them… but I don’t want to let them stop me from hiking! Wearing long pants and high socks can help, but for summer that’s obviously not an option since it’s so hot. I always just make sure to check for ticks thoroughly once I get home.

  11. 18

    The hiking game around DC is a bit unfortunate isn’t it? I don’t think I’d want to live on the west coast, but I am jealous of their mountains. I hiked up in Catoctin this past weekend and it only took 30 minutes or so to get up to Chimney Rock. The views are fine but nothing like it is out west. I need to get travelling soon!

    • 19

      We love Shenandoah National Park! It’s gorgeous if you haven’t checked it out and not far from DC. I love Great Falls, too. Not quite the same as the western mountains, though, you are right!

  12. 22

    Welcome to Oregon! So glad to hear you enjoyed your adventures in this incredible state. I just love the Spencer’s Butte hike! And Bend, OR is incredible!

  13. 23

    Looks lovely! I’ve never been there but always wanted to, it’s the scientific birthplace of Zebrafish as a model system ;) Who knew it had such nice hiking to boot!

  14. 25

    I’m a frequent reader, but not commenter, but have to say that I’m super excited you did this post! I live in Seattle and am headed to Eugene to go camping this weekend and am planning to hit up a bunch of these places as it looks like you had some great adventures!

  15. 27
    Megan B. says:

    I love this! I lived in Eugene for about a year right after college and LOVED it. And you went to some of my favorite spots! So fun to remember those days through your post. And I’m glad to know Morning Glory is still there – sooo good.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Hey guys – I’m back with part 2 of my Eugene, Oregon adventures! If you missed part 1, check it out: hiking in and around Eugene. […]

  2. […] and moist, too. I whipped up a batch of these a few weeks ago and loved having them on hand for my travel to Oregon – they made a really satisfying plane snack and […]

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