Skinner's Butte

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Oregon, United States, North America
682 ft / 208 m
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Skinner's Butte
Created On: Dec 15, 2008
Last Edited On: Feb 8, 2016

Skinners Butte 

Looking toward North and Middle Sister
Looking toward North and Middle Sister

Skinner's Butte is a small butte located in the heart of butte. In fact the butte is located right next to Eugene's tallest building. The small butte is home to an abundant amount of opportunities including hiking, biking and rock climbing. Skinner's Butte is named after Eugene Franklin Skinner, one of the first European settlers to settle in the Willamette Valley. The city Eugene is named after him as well.   The easiest way to get to the summit area of Skinners Butte is from the east where there is a nice paved path that lead to within feet of the true summit. It is at most 0.3 miles round-trip and 100 feet of elevation gain. Honestly if this was it this butte would not be on SummitPost. But there are better way to enjoy Skinner Butte including from the north where there is a trail that goes 300 feet from the base to the summit area. There is also a great basalt slab that is located to the west that is home excellent top rope and trad climbing in the region. 

The exact highpoint
Where the exact high point is located.
The trail to the summit area
Trail from the parking lot to the summit area.

What really makes this peak popular is its well known view of Eugene. You cannot see any literature on either the University of Oregon or Eugene without see the legendary view from near the summit of Skinners Butte. The view not only consists of Spencer Butte and downtown but there are also views of the Sisters in the distances as well. This is a great peak to stop at even if you don't plan on hiking or climbing in the region. 

The classic view from Skinner Butte
The classic view from Skinner Butte

Map of the Peak and the park

Map of Skinner Butte
Map of Skinner Butte

Urban Crag

EastKing high up on on the columns
EastKing high up on on the columns

The columns,Eugene oregon.
The columns Eugene,Oregon.
Columns Eugene,Oregon.

Inside the city limits of Eugene, Oregon lies a locally popular crag called the Skinners Butte Columns. The Columns are a top roping trad climbing site. It is not very extensive but has 56 documented routes and variations. The columns are approximatly 45' ft tall with routes ranging from 5.6 to 5.13a. With bouldering and fixed line routes it makes a great place to brush up on skills before heading out to the bigger crags.

The area has been popular to local climbers since the 1940's and has been developed quite nicely by the Eugene parks and Open spaces department. There are at least eight bolted anchor points along the rim of the crag making top roping popular. There is many folks who come to practice trad and aid climbing.

The rock is columnar basalt and most climbing is fist and foot jamming with some friction/slab available also. Manteling stemming, and Jugging are also part of the many tools of movement up these routes.

The crag is also popular as a training site for local clubs and organizations such asEugene Mountain Rescue, University of Oregon Outdoor Program and theThe Obsidians Outdoor Club .

The most popular route for crack climbing is called the Fat crack I also found this little tid bit from Mountain project covers a half dozen more routes.

It is extremely popular because of its' being near downtown and the river greenway. Come early in the day for availability of routes. Climbing earlier in the year, after winter rain is better because the rock is cleaner. It is also less polished by the many feet that smear the rock as the year progresses.

Nearby the columns are an R.E.I store to rent shoes and Helmet and the local climbing gym Crux Rock Gym to get a lesson are meet other ambitious climbing folks.

Getting There

The Columns are located in the City of Eugene at Skinner Butte Park. To get there from the north Take the Interstate-5 exit 191-A going west on I-105/126 crossing the Willamette river the freeway heads south.( at this point the columns are visible to the east) exit onto 7th ave/downtown. Proceed two traffic signals to Lincoln street. Take left On Lincoln st go north 4 blocks till you climb the Butte. The Columns we will be to your right.

Coming from the south on I-5 take exit 191-B going west bound on the I-105/126 freeway. after crossing the Willamette river, the freeway proceeds south. Take the 7th ave/downtown exit, proceed two traffic signals to Lincoln St. Take left at Lincoln st proceed 4 blocks north till you begin to climb the Butte. The Columns are to your right.

Red Tape

There are no fees or permits for using this crag. Parking is limited so parking a block or so away can be a possibility.


This is a urban park, there is no camping.

External Links

Skinner's Butte

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