Mt Taylor

29 Sep

It seems everyone in Canberra knows Mt Taylor. Along with Black Mountain and Mt Ainslie, it’s one of the most easily recognisable. Mt Tennent looms up behind it in the same shape (positively skewed distributions!) at almost double the height, but from some distances they look like twins. Mt Taylor was the first walk Boyfriend and I ever did together, and is popular with many of my Twitter friends. With warmer weather today, what better time to revisit it?

There are a number of entrances and trails to the top of Mt Taylor, but we do the one I know best. We park on Sulwood Drive, just past the turn off to Mannheim Crescent, where plenty of cars are parked. We’re on Mrs Low’s Firetrail.

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I am not sure who Mrs Low was, but I assume she liked steep and not particularly direct tracks. This track meanders a little along a fence line, passing a field of kangaroos, before turning into the real guts of the mountain.

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It’s almost midday and, while I know it’s a popular walk, it feels like half of Canberra is here – a big call for a long weekend! We pass plenty of people coming the other way, including a handful of whippets.

From a gravel dirt track, it turns into a more concreted pathway. It does flatten out eventually, and two park benches are placed on some flatter areas of the mountain with some of the best views you’ll see over the Tuggeranong Valley.

Looking over a very green Tuggeranong, with Mt Tennent in the background

Looking over a very green Tuggeranong, with Mt Tennent in the background

Someone's spoilt. And hot.

Someone’s spoilt. And hot.

From here, the path becomes steps for quite a way, helping us travel a great height quite quickly.

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It’s then more steep gravel (but not particularly loose – good for clumsy people like me!) and a few more turns to the top. There’s a broadcasting station (?) to the right, and then a few more huff and puffs to the trig at 856m (Mt Majura is the highest mountain in Canberra at 888m).

Mt Taylor Trig

Mt Taylor Trig

From the trig, there are views in all directions, but particularly the northern side of Canberra with Black Mountain and Mt Ainslie. The ranges to the west make a striking backdrop at any time of day.

Someone (?) brings up litres of water for dogs in milk bottles, and places them with a bowl near the picnic tables at the top.

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Now with complimentary whippet

View now with complimentary whippet and Boyfriend

Turning back from the trig and heading down the mountain - the pointy one is Camel's Hump

Turning back from the trig and heading down the mountain – the pointy one is Camel’s Hump

Heading back down - it's steep!

Heading back down – it’s steep!

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Canberra walk without spotting some wildlife. We see quite a few birds, and of course, some more kangaroos. As you’d expect, early morning or late arvo are the best times for seeing the most wildlife.

Can you see them?

Can you see them?

The walk takes us about 50 minutes at a fairly slow pace – 30 minutes up, and 20 minutes down (I’m quite slow going down on the steeper bits, with fears of going a over t!).

Blast from the past – walking with whippets (Cooper on the left) in 2011

Date: Sunday, 29 September

Cost: Free

Worthwhile factor? Highly worthwhile

Want more? Try this map from TAMS, or this map prepared by the Melba Men’s Shed

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14 Responses to “Mt Taylor”

  1. megan September 29, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    Oh beautiful photos! I have never done Mt Taylor but think I need to after seeing this – I wish Mt Rogers was a bit steeper, slightly too leisurely for me too feel like I have done any real work!

    • inthetaratory September 29, 2013 at 9:27 pm #

      I really like Mt Rogers (altho haven’t reviewed it – still need to do so!) – but agree, it’s a little bit too leisurely. I think Mt Taylor would get the heart rate pumping. Have you done Mt Painter? It’s short but has two steep parts, so feels like you get a bit out of it if you’re running short on time.

  2. Stacie September 30, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Mt Taylor. It’s my first (and closest to home) local mountain top and I do love it. I travel around discovering new ones, but enjoy this one very much. I always come down the Sullwood Drive side and gone all the way round the bottom but enjoy the choice of three different routes going up the Pearce side. On the weekend I explored Mt Pleasant and Mt Painter with my four legged friend both were lovely. I read about Mt Painter from your blog from a while back and it was on my list. Lovely weather for walking.

  3. Mount Taylor Local September 5, 2015 at 8:56 am #

    As a Mount Taylor local and avid walker I wanted to share with you and other walkers that there’s a sealed car parking area off Athllon Drive where you can access the same walk.

    It is a lot safer to park there as Sulwood Drive has numerous car accidents at the spot where you mentioned you park. Also parking at the Athllon Drive carpark ensures the surrounding grasslands don’t diminish.

    Keep up the good walk.

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