Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
You don’t have to travel far (or even out of the city) to get your fill of shady woodlands, vibrant wildflowers, and postcard-worthy views of Mount Hood. This scenic 2.6-mile route crisscrosses—and crests—Mount Tabor, an extinct volcanic cinder cone in southeast Portland. Start at the south side trailhead in Mount Tabor Park (junction of Harrison and Lincoln Streets), and hike northeast up the Stairway to Heaven. Take the next two right forks and contour around Tabor’s eastern slopes, which are covered with buttercup and rhododendron.
After half a mile, cross the road, descend a flight of steps, then take a quick left to reconnect with the trail. From here, the route travels northwest, then rounds to the south, passing a playground, soap box derby track, and the banks of the middle reservoir. A mile later, the trail reaches Summit Park, where shady benches offer prime views of Mount Hood to the east and downtown Portland to the west. The return route travels across the western slopes of Mount Tabor (look for periwinkle wildflowers and blackberry bushes) back to the trailhead.
Info: Mount Tabor Park
-Mapped by Eli Boschetto, Bosco Mountain Photo
- Distance: 4.2
Location: 45.508084, -122.593485
Trailhead: Hike northeast up the Stairway to Heaven.
Location: 45.509452, -122.592224
Bear right at trail fork.
Location: 45.511894, -122.59162
Bear right. Enjoy rhododendron and buttercup.
Location: 45.514374, -122.592724
Cross the road, descend a set of stairs, and reconnect with the trail on the left.
Location: 45.514879, -122.594608
Location: 45.514561, -122.595089
Cross road and take middle fork.
Location: 45.513967, -122.594848
Location: 45.51364, -122.595164
Location: 45.513779, -122.595593
Location: 45.512599, -122.597138
Bear left (east) at junction. The trail cuts across a shady, hillside meadow.
Location: 45.510321, -122.595784
Views extend to the north across the reservoir. Next, turn left (east).
Location: 45.510452, -122.594381
Cross the road and continue up to the Stairway to Heaven junction.
Location: 45.509456, -122.592265
Take the left fork and head north to the summit.
Location: 45.511625, -122.592916
Cross the road to the Summit Park.
Location: 45.511541, -122.592432
Statue of Harvey W. Scott, editor of The Oregonian newspaper from 1865-1872 and from 1877-1910.
Location: 45.51236, -122.593338
Benches with nice views over downtown Portland.
Location: 45.512926, -122.593099
Mt. Tabor: Find shady benches and views of Mt. Hood.
Location: 45.51302, -122.593643
Stone restroom chalet (often closed).
Location: 45.513148, -122.593759
Fork right (north), descending back to road.
Location: 45.514437, -122.594555
Cross the street, then take the short, steep descent to the left (southwest).
Location: 45.514176, -122.59558
Cross another street and descend into The Canyon.
Location: 45.513986, -122.596374
Location: 45.513766, -122.598718
Another street crossing.
Location: 45.513587, -122.599061
Fork left at tennis courts.
Location: 45.511264, -122.598329
Go straight through this 4-way junction.
Location: 45.510344, -122.597753
Fork right (southeast).
Location: 45.509172, -122.596854
Trail meets the road. Ahead, reconnect with the trail 50 yards on the right.
Location: 45.508181, -122.595524
Snack on summer blackberries!
Location: 45.508076, -122.593574
The trail ends back at the trailhead.
Views of Mt. Hood
Location: 45.513106, -122.592799
Find windows in the trees for views of Mts. Hood and St. Helens. © Eli Boschetto
Stairway to Heaven
Location: 45.508948, -122.592401
Climbing the steep trail on SE side of Mt. Tabor. © Eli Boschetto
Location: 45.511016, -122.591211
Look for on Mt. Tabor’s eastern hillsides. © Eli Boschetto
Location: 45.513678, -122.592037
Large patches on northeastern slopes. © Eli Boschetto
West Side Meadow
Location: 45.512189, -122.595872
Lots of grassy slopes and shade trees above middle reservoir. © Eli Boschetto
Location: 45.510926, -122.595169
Find large grassy slopes covered with English Daisy. © Eli Boschetto
Location: 45.510336, -122.59573
View over Portland’s Reservoir Number 5. © Eli Boschetto
Location: 45.51176, -122.592455
Lots of shady benches and grassy for snacking and relaxing. © Eli Boschetto
Location: 45.513189, -122.593217
Pick your own for chatting, reflecting, or whatever suits you at the moment. © Eli Boschetto
Location: 45.514076, -122.597959
Descending through the heavily wooded western canyon. © Eli Boschetto
Location: 45.510903, -122.598002
Enjoy some sun in this break between wooded areas on open, grassy trail. © Eli Boschetto
Location: 45.508016, -122.595213
this pretty purple flower is sprinkled amid blackberry on the south side of the mountain. © Eli Boschetto