"Well, we picked a good day," he says.
As he approaches the summit of the 2,000-foot peak, the clearly marked trail suddenly goes this way and that. Where exactly is the trail?
"That's the question we want people to think about," says Richardson, a landscape architect working to define and re-route the summit stretch of the Spencer Butte trail.
The route is one of the most popular hiking trails in the city's Ridgeline Trail System, and that's the problem. Hikers are loving the trail to death.
Now city parks officials want the public's help to develop a new trail plan for the top of the butte.
The problem: the clearly defined trail ends short of the summit, leaving hikers to engage in some freelance mountaineering this way and that - which adds up to a hard time for vegetaion atop the butte.
Richardson says rerouting the upper trail would help the eco-system - and make the summit safer for hikers. It's rare, but some hikers get hurt and have to be airlifted to the hospital. A hiker had to be flown off the top of the butte by helicopter earlier this year.
Don't think for a moment that the city wants to change the opportunity to scale the butte and take in the expansive view.
Instead, they want to protect eroding hillsides and fragile lichens that grow on rocks by focusing traffic on a defined trail.
"If we can do minor improvements to the trail that will benefit those species, we have a responsibility to do that," said Jesse Cary-Hobbs, Parks Natural Resource Specialist.
That sounded right to hikers on the butte Monday.
"Well, I think it's a great idea for protecting the native plants," says Greg Meyer.
"It gets so rough up there, climbing up over the rocks and stuff," says Kari Zylstra.
Richardson knows a certain number of hikers will go where they want, trail or not.
"We're not in the business of enforcement but we feel that people want to do the right thing," Richardson says.
A plan should be in place by early next year. If you want to help, you're invited to take a tour this Saturday. Meet at the Spencer Butte parking lot at 9 a.m.