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Mount Talbert Nature Park

Portland Metro Area, Oregon

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Mount Talbert Nature Park

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  • View west from the Prairie Loop Trail in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Day use picnic shelter in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Parking and picnic area in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Camas (Camassia quamash) in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Camas (Camassia quamash) in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Camas (Camassia quamash) in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Red-breasted sapsucker (Sphyrapicus ruber) in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Vine maple (Acer circinatum) in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Columbia wildflower (Anemone deltoidea) in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Oval-leaf blueberry (Vaccinium ovalifolium) in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Oregon oak (Quercus garryana) tree in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Canopy of Oregon oak (Quercus garryana) in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Vine maple (Acer circinatum) in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Canopy of Oregon oak (Quercus garryana) in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • View from Mount Talbert's summit of 745 feet.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Canopy of Oregon oak (Quercus garryana) in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Oak restoration area along West Ridge Trail in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Toughleaf iris (Iris tenax) in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Toughleaf iris (Iris tenax) in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Toughleaf iris (Iris tenax) in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Boardwalk along the West Ridge Trail in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • Interpretive sign along the West Ridge Trail in Mount Talbert Nature Park.- Mount Talbert Nature Park
  • - Mount Talbert Nature Park
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
4.2 miles of hiking trails. Camas flowers in May.
Cons: 
Limited views from summit.
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Region:
Portland Metro Area, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

Right on the southeastern edge of the Portland Metro Area and across the freeway from the Clackamas Town Center lies an absolutely unique biological preserve, Mount Talbert Nature Park. Encompassing much of the long-extinct, 750-foot tall volcanic* butte, Mount Talbert Nature Park offers visitors 4.2 miles of well-maintained hiking trails through native conifer woodland in addition to picnic facilities and interpretive signage.

The park's most unique feature, however, is that it functions as a living lab and experimental forest where prairie burning, a practice once implemented throughout the Willamette Valley by the native Kalapuya tribe, is being tested as a strategy to strengthen and diversify the park's 200-acre ecosystem. According to Metro:

Although the [Willamette] valley could support fir forests, prairies and oaks were preserved through controlled burning... Burning in the valley during the late summer encouraged the growth of plants that supplied tribes with food, fiber and medicine, and improved hunting.

Interestingly, many of the prairie flowers used by the Kalapuya need fire to germinate, including:

  • Western buttercup (Ranunculus occidentalis): this was used as a poison by natives from Alaska's Aleutian Islands.
  • Oregon "toughleaf" iris (Iris tenax): the fibers were used for rope and string.
  • Camas (Camassia quamash): the bulbous root was cooked, and it is said to "taste like baked pear."

As you walk through these oak and prairie restoration areas, look closely to see how the habitat morphs and which flora and fauna thrive.

* Mount Talbert is a part of the same ancient volcanic field that includes Mount TaborRocky Butte and Powell Butte.

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(16 within a 30 mile radius)

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