PDX Runs: Mount Tabor

Mount Tabor Park Portland Oregon Harvey Scott Statue Summit

Mount Tabor Park
has a little something for everyone, and a lot for runners and walkers.

This volcanic cinder cone in SE Portland was acquired by the city for park space in 1909. It has four open reservoirs, an amphitheater, basketball court, soapbox derby track, a nursery, tennis courts, a playground, picnic areas, a dog park, and more in its 190+ acres.

The naturalistic park design incorporates long sweeping staircases, lots of paths and trails, dense tree cover, open meadows, and amazing views of the city and the cascades.

There are scads of routes to run in and around Mount Tabor, so here we'll just focus on one way to take advantage of this venue. The park offers local runners a great place to do hill training.

Mount Tabor Uphill Mile Running Route

One of our favorite workouts here is a series of uphill mile repeats. Starting at the swinging gate on SE Salmon Street just east of SE 60th, follow this serpentine route to the statue of Harvey Scott at the summit: Continue on SE Reservoir Loop Drive, make a hairpin left on SE Salmon Way, make a sharp right on Mt. Tabor, and finally veer left onto SE Tabor Summit Drive. That’s a mile. You’ll ascend a couple hundred feet over that distance. Now forge your own, more direct path back to the start via any of several dirt trails. Repeat three or four times.

Fun fact: The statue of newspaper publisher Scott, by the way, was sculpted by Gutzon Borglum who also created the presidents’ heads at Mt. Rushmore.

The entrance to the park is from SE 60th and Salmon and from SE 69th and Yamhill. On Wednesday the park is closed to vehicular traffic all day.

-Ryan Heal

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