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Mt. Pisgah Summit from West Trailhead

 4 votes

3.6 Miles 5.7 Kilometers



948' 289 m


-961' -293 m


1,509' 460 m


559' 170 m



Avg Grade (6°)


Max Grade (12°)



This summit loop with great views through forest and savanna habitats is popular for a reason!

Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah


As an alternative to hiking up and down Trail #1 - Beistels West Summit Trail (the steepest and most popular trail in the park), this hike is a hybrid of Trail #1 - Beistels West Summit Trail and a combination of other, more moderate-grade trail segments. This challenging 3.5-mile route gains and loses around 1000 ft of elevation and offers a variety of scenery along the way and great views from the summit of Mt. Pisgah.
Features: Birding — Views — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Family Friendly: Children with the stamina to make it to the summit will enjoy the rewarding views. The trails are wide enough to walk side-by-side with a friend or caregiver.
Dogs: Off-leash

Need to Know

Parking passes are required at this County-owned park. You can buy a pass at the trailhead or through various other outlets, including with your membership to Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah at bufordpark.org/become-a-friend.

There is poison oak throughout the park that the Friends of Buford Park cut back from the trails. Be careful brushing against vegetation alongside the trail!


Start at the main/west parking lot at Howard Buford Recreation Area (aka Mt. Pisgah) - which is also the parking area for the Mount Pisgah Arboretum. Go through the gate next to the parking pass kiosk and take the first left onto Trail #17, which will climb steadily through the edge of some nice, mixed forest of maples, oaks and firs. Youll have great views of the farm valley below as well as the Coast Fork of the Willamette River, which meanders between the park and the farmland.

Trail #17 will merge with Trail #7; continue straight at the intersection. Soon youll reach the intersection with Trail #3 - West Slope Trail. Go right onto that trail until just past a sharp bend in the trail. In one hundred feet or so, will be the intersection with Trail #4 - Spur, take a left on that. Trail #4 - Spur will climb at mostly a moderate grade through mixed forest dominated by firs and ferns and eventually become a gravel road that has a short stretch of very steep grade that will connect you to Trail #1 - Beistels West Summit Trail, where youll take a left to finish your hike to the summit.

On that final section, youll travel through a beautiful section of White Oaks that were released from fir trees by Friends of Buford Park in a demonstration habitat enhancement project. Enjoy the spectacular views in all directions from the summit and then hike straight down Trail #1 - Beistels West Summit Trail to the main parking area. Or you can always return the way you came.

History & Background

Trail #17 is also known as Theodores Trail in honor of Theodore Palmer, a retired math professor at the University of Oregon. Theodore is one of the key founders of the Mount Pisgah Arboretum, which comprises a few hundred acres adjacent to the main parking area. For over four decades, Theodore did everything imaginable, from clearing blackberries and poison oak, building bridges, benches and buildings to fundraising and bookkeeping, all as a volunteer! He helped make the Mount Pisgah Arboretum one of the most respected in the country (especially for its nature education programs). Trail #17 was built and is maintained in a collaboration of Lane County Parks, Friends of Buford Park, and Friends of Mt. Pisgah Arboretum.


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Jan 13, 2018
Zachary Westfall
Oct 4, 2017
Matt Hage
Dec 25, 2016
David Bierwirth
Wet, somewhat muddy trail. Busy with the holiday and sunny weather. 4.5mi

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