When: 6:30am Tuesday morning every week… or whatever time and day you wanna get yourself a run-up!
Distance: 2.35 miles to the top. 1063′ of elevation gain.
Route: Start on the Western Route, follow the Pedestrian Connector, head up to the top on the Eastern Route.
For downtown Santa Rosans, the best panoramic views of your backyard and the most accessible steep mountain training run are at Taylor Mountain. Just a few minutes from downtown, this short mountain-climb brings you from the daily grind to classic west Sonoma county cattle grazing land. Beautifully soft green grass hangs around until late in the year, as this slope of the mountain is often shrouded in fog until late morning. A quick morning run-up brings out the sun as you clear the clouds to spectacular views of the soupy fog as it hangs over southern Santa Rosa.
Taylor Mountain Tuesday (#TMT) launches from the lower parking area every week at 6:30am. The route starts with a 1/4 mile of gravel road before it turns to something like a wide single track mix of path and trail. Then it starts getting steep. I mean really steep. This is no joke. Most runners can not run it the entire way the first time, not only because of burning lungs and legs but also due to the cows that often end up in your path. To stop your run to negotiate use of the trail with a couple of cows is downright charming. The trails are mostly smooth dirt with cow-pies about. During the rainy season the dirt here turns to very slick mud. There are some technical rocky stretches to keep you on your toes, but for the most part this is smooth, steep running. The climb gets steepest as you join the Eastern Route. Don’t quit because within about 10 minutes you’ll reach the top. The trail ends at an oddly climactic fence line. There you can have a seat on the rock wall and catch your breath while you soak in the views. And just in case you want to announce to the city that you are now urban mountain royalty… TMTers know that there is a little something hidden at the top so you can ring out loud your achievement. The run back down allows you a bit more time to reflect on the intensity of the slope you just climbed as you hit the brakes hard down the steepest sections. Towards the end of the run you can open up your stride for a few nice flat stretches, then you’re back at your car in under an hour. Not bad for a Tuesday recovery run!