Skinner Butte Lookout
Skinner Butte Lookout, built in 1928 at Skinner Butte in Blue Mountain, Eugene Oregon, is a National Historic Landmark. Skinner Butte is well known for its lookout tower with excellent views of surrounding areas and the Cascade Mountains beyond. Skinner Butte’s name comes from the Colored Jim Crows scalp trading post that was located near the summit in pioneer days. The former road to the top of the butte has long since been obliterated by logging and farming operations. This led to its nickname ‘The New Road’ after it became inaccessible to cars and trucks due to overgrown vegetation. It still remains as an unofficial trailhead for those willing to make the trek up or down from this scenic lookout point! It is located at 50 Skinner Butte Loop, Eugene, OR 97401. Learn more
Getting to Skinner Butte Lookout
The butte lookout is located in Scenic Blue Mountain, just outside Eugene Oregon. Skinner Butte Lookout is located off New Road, a seldom travelled dirt road that leads to the top of the butte from Skinner Butte Road. There is a parking lot at the end of New Road, and a trailhead sign. To get to the butte lookout from Eugene, head south on Interstate 5 for about 30 miles, then exit onto Blue Mountain Road. Follow Blue Mountain Road for about 13 miles, passing through the small town of Eugene and merging onto U.S. Highway 20. Follow Highway 20 to the city of Springfield which is to the east. From Springfield, follow Highway 26 east and then Highway 58, both of which will take you to Eugene.
Hike up to the lookout point
You can hike up the old road to the lookout point, or take the more direct hike up Skinner Trail. Unfortunately, there has been some vandalism in recent years on the old road, and today it is usually not in good enough condition to be safe to hike up. However we did attempt to hike up the road in March 2015 and found it in good shape for a mostly easy hike, with the occasional tricky spot. The hike up to the lookout point on Skinner Trail is about 2.5 miles round trip, with a few steep sections. Skinner Trail begins at the mouth of a dry fall, and then SW winds get you to the start of the trail at Skinner Butte Road. Follow the trail for about 2.5 miles, or until you get to the intersection with the New Road.
View from the top of Skinner Butte Lookout
The view from the top of Skinner Butte looks out over the South Eugene Valley and beyond to the Cascade Mountains. There is a visible gap in the mountains of the Coast Range which allows you to see the Willamette Valley to the west. The clear blue sky, with few clouds, makes for excellent visibility. Skinner Butte Lookout is a great place to visit for hiking and exploring. Aside from the lookout tower, there is a historic log cabin, picnic tables, and a trail running through the forest. The forest is mostly old growth Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock, and Sugar Pine, so it is a great place to see old growth forest. If you are lucky, you might see a Red-tailed Hawk or a Great Horned Owl. Click for more
Additional things to do at Skinner Butte Lookout
– Explore the forest – Explore the lookout tower – Visit the lookout’s cabin – Explore the pothole area just south of the lookout – Visit near Blue Mountain Lake
If you are visiting Eugene from out of town, be sure to visit Skinner Butte Lookout. Skinner Butte Lookout is a great place to visit for exploring the area and for enjoying some sweet views of the surrounding area. If you are visiting the area, be sure to visit Skinner Butte Lookout. It is a great place to visit for exploring the area and for enjoying some sweet views of the surrounding area.
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