Mount Tabor Spiral Loop

The open slopes of Mt Tabor

The slopes of Mt Tabor

Surely one of the few extinct volcanoes inside any major city, Mount Tabor is a popular spot to get outside on Portland’s east side.   Roads, trails, and reservoirs dot the landscape, and the top is almost 500 feet and change higher than downtown, so there are views in spots.

Hey, it's a perfect time of year for outdoor sports, right?

Hey, it’s a perfect time of year for outdoor sports, right?

Denise, Jackie Chan and I headed there for a Saturday walk.   We needed to get some exercise, and the weather is supposed to get a lot worse in the next couple days, so we’re taking advantage of the last semi-balmy weather.

No exactly a perfect view, but we'll take it.

Not exactly a postcard perfect view, but we’ll take it.

We got some exercise, and Jackie met lots of other dogs.    Quite a few people were walking and jogging the trails, and while there is no getting away from the presence of neighborhoods and cars, Mount Tabor is definitely a green oasis in the heart of Southeast Portland.

Turning the corner, headed uphill

Turning the corner, headed uphill

 The steep section.

The start of the steep section.

Our path had us spiral around the base of the butte like formation, above two reservoirs and along side another one, then start to climb.  There are lots of navigational options between pavement and dirt track.   Our upper section was relatively tough.

Mt Tabor hike

Looking back down the steep slopes below the summit

Okay, there really isn’t much of a summit.  There’s a broad flattish area ringed by a road, but I’m not sure you can drive all the way up there anymore.   Nice Doug Firs dot the area, but you can also get views in spots.  We sat on a park bench and enjoyed such a views before descending toward the volcano crater.  There’s a basketball court there now.

Views from on high, looking west

Looking west from the top

Mount Tabor is an underrated gem, far smaller than Forest Park, and not quiet as lovely as the Arboretum, but it’s still pretty great, and it is right in the city.  You can even break a sweat if you try.

About Josh Baker

"The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” ― John Muir

Posted on November 30, 2013, in General Hiking, Navigation, Outdoors, Urban Hiking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Mount Tabor is a great urban hike, Josh. Wonderful option for a couple of hours. Used to take my dog there.

  2. Looks perfect for a city hike – and a great place to take a pup 🙂

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