Hiking Mt. Tabor: Portland’s Urban Workout with a Spectacular View

If you want to blast calories and see some great city views on your next Portland walk, lace up your sneaks and head over to Mount Tabor City Park, located in the heart of Southeast Portland. Offering more than 190 acres of beautiful, Doug Fir-laden forested area to explore, this extinct volcano-turned massive park stretches from SE Lincoln to Yamhill Street, and from 60th to 71st Avenue. Here’s what to expect on this quintessential Portland walk.

Hiking Mt. Tabor

As indicated by its name, Mt. Tabor is no joke. Regardless of what entrance you use, or which of its many trails you choose to trek, you’re guaranteed to have a scenic, uphill climb ahead of you. But don’t worry; reaching the summit is totally worth it. Plus, walking on an incline boosts calorie burn and helps strengthen your glutes.

For a relatively easy hike, hit the stairs at 60th and Hawthorne, which lead up to the lowest of three water reservoirs in the park. Walk around the first reservoir, over to the west side, and then walk up another set of stairs leading to the second reservoir. Turn right on the access road, and take the trail heading uphill on your left. Keep climbing past the third reservoir, and then head across another access road and up another trail on your left, to get to the top.

Or, if you’d rather stick to the road, enter at either 60th and Salmon or Lincoln, and take the windy route up. You’ll pass plenty of cyclists, runners and dogs along the way.

Reaching the Summit

However you reach the summit, a big circular drive at the mountain’s peak, you’ll enjoy stunning views of downtown Portland to your west. While you’re up there, be sure to sneak a peek at Mt. Hood through the trees to your east. Time it just right, and you might even be able to perch yourself on a bench and catch the perfect sunset over the Rose City.

Once you’ve taken it all in, it’s time to end this Portland outdoor adventure. Head back downhill, but take the northern path. You’ll walk down what feels like a million stairs to get to the exit at Yamhill and 69th Avenue. Stroll on over to Songbird Cafe, just a couple blocks away, for a hot cup of Stumptown coffee, and/or a delicious, heart-healthy snack made from fresh, local ingredients, like homemade granola with fresh fruit and yogurt, or an organic arugula salad with Oregon hazelnuts and green apples. Eat up—after a long walk in Portland, you’ve earned it!

Lindsey Emery

Lindsey Emery is a Portland-based health and fitness writer. Prior to her move to the Pacific Northwest, Lindsey was the senior fitness editor at Fitness magazine. A graduate of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Lindsey spends most of her downtime running, biking, hiking and baking. She lives in southeast PDX with her husband, Eddy, and their cat, Reggie. You can find her online at www.lindseyemery.com or on twitter @FITNESSlindsey