Sweating Our Way To Mount Pisgah Views
Pisgah is a very old term term meaning “peak” in the same way as “yama” in Japanese. Fujiyama means Mount Fuji, so you don’t need to call it Mount Fujiyama. So last week, when Denise, Jackie Chan and I climbed Mount Pisgah, I preferred to think of it as Mount Redundant. The trailhead for the popular hike is located a few miles out of Eugene, Oregon in the same parking lot as the Mount Pisgah Arboretum, which we checked out ever so briefly. Then we got on trail number one and headed into Buford Park, part of the patchwork of public lands managing a couple thousand acres in the area.
When Denise and I head up trail number one from the kiosk at the parking lot, I am surprised to realize how steep the trail is in sections. We had done the hike back in the nineties when our boy may have needed an occasional piggyback ride on the steep spots. Now he has more facial hair than I do, and he can outpace me easily on tough trails. Strangely, the temperature seems to rise rapidly as soon as we are huffing and puffing. It doesn’t help that the sun is blazing and there is little shade on the lower part of the trail.
This is a very popular trail, and we encounter a number of energetic walkers as we enjoy the scenery. Dogs are supposed to be on leash but as always, a number of people fudge this rule. We try to be good. Views arise in just a few minutes over the treetops of the arboretum. The trail then roughly diagonals up the side of a ridge to a sort of saddle where there is a trail junction. Horses come up on the other trail and cruise past us easily. The trail cuts back across the open flank of the mountain here, and views open up to the south. In ten minutes or so, the pitch mellows quite a bit.
The final third of the hike meanders between open spots and lovely stands of oak. There are steep sections, but not too many.
As always, I am happy to get to the top. The summit is a big bald patch with a bench and an official looking marker topped with a bronze three dimensional map of the area.
A couple other groups are up there, but nobody stays long. I surmise that for many to them it is an exercise jaunt more than an experience in nature. It definitely beats working out on the elliptical at a gym. We stay on top for ten minutes, taking in views, talking with other walkers, and relaxing.
The descent goes smoothly, and we are back at the car in about thirty minutes. The round trip, including our summit relaxing time, takes about 90 minutes.
The Mount Pisgah trail system is popular for a reason. The summit is a mile and half from the parking lot and elevation gain is right at 1000 feet. It doesn’t take much time out of the day, but it is still a workout, and the views are terrific. This is a great little hike.
Posted on September 17, 2013, in Flora and Fauna, General Hiking, Hiking with dogs, Mountains, Outdoors and tagged Buford Park, hikes near Eugene, Jackie Chan wonderdog, Mount Pisgah Arboretum, Mount Pisgah OR, Oregon hikes. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.