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Best Trails in Mt Tamaipais State Park

34 reviews

#31 of 490 State Parks in California

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Just north of San Francisco's Golden Gate is Mount Tamalpais. It has redwood groves and oak woodlands with a spectacular view from the 2,571-foot peak. On a clear day, visitors can see the Farallon Islands 25 miles out to sea, the Marin County hills, San Francisco and the bay, hills and cities of the East Bay, and Mount Diablo. On rare occasions, the Sierra Nevada's snow-covered mountains can be seen 150 miles away. Coastal Miwok Indians lived in the area for thousands of years before Europeans arrived. In 1770, two explorers named the mountain La Sierra de Nuestro Padre de San Francisco, which was later changed to the Miwok word Tamalpais. With the Gold Rush of 1849, San Francisco grew and more people began to use Mount Tamalpais for recreation. Trails were developed and a wagon road was built. Later, a railway was completed and became known as "The Crookedest Railroad in the World." It was abandoned in 1930 after a wildfire damaged the line. Facilities and Activities Hiking and Bicycle Trails: More than 50 miles of hiking trails are within the park and connect to a larger, 200 mile long trail system. Friends of Mt. Tam provides hike suggestions and hike schedules on their website. Road bikers are challenged by the infamous seven sisters and the twisting road to the top while mountain bikers can enjoy the Coast View and Dias Ridge multi-use trails as well as park fire trails. Be aware of park regulations when visiting! The Bootjack Picnic Area has tables, stoves, piped drinking water and flush toilets. The East Peak Summit features a Visitor Center and the Gravity Car Barn, a small museum of railroad history (open on weekends only). Picnic tables and a fully accessible restroom are also available. The Mountain Theater (AKA The Cushing Memorial Theater) was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. The natural-stone amphitheater seats 3,750 people and features the Mountain Play each spring, produced every year since 1913. In the summer, monthly astronomy programs are held in the theater, free to the public. Walk-in camping is available first come, first served at Pantoll and Bootjack. For reservations at Steep Ravine cabins or campsites, or the Alice Eastwood and Frank Valley group camps, visit Reserve America. Daily: 7:00am to Sunset year round.

on Bon Tempe Trail
11 days ago

Lovely hike with my dog.

on Verna Dunshee Trail and P...
21 days ago

trail running

The Verna Dunshee trail is a paved trail that gives you a unique 360 degree view of the area. We took a detour to descend onto the Temelpa trail for about 1/2 mile, then ran back up. Overall a nice trail, if a bit touristy.

We enjoyed the smaller but steeper Plank Trail better. Once you reached the top, be sure to explore behind the fire lookout, there are some skinny trails and even better views back there.

Bring exact change for the $8 parking fee - you just stuff it into a registration envelope. We only had a $10 bill so we went with that.

on Mt.Tamalpais South Side Ramble Trai...
1 month ago

Great but hot lol

on Dipsea Steep Ravine Matt ...
1 month ago

Great hike to the campgrounds above then back down.

on Old Railroad Grade Trail
1 month ago

Easiest ride to the top of Mt. Tam, nice views

on Verna Dunshee Trail and Plank Trail...
2 months ago

hiking

Amazing views! Easy hike. Go after 5pm

on Mt.Tamalpais South Side R...
2 months ago

Great loop that ends by the beach and by a restaurant with a full bar.

on Mt.Tamalpais South Side R...
3 months ago

It was hard but great trail.

on Dipsea Steep Ravine Matt ...
3 months ago

Good trail! Nobody calls it Pantoll trail though! There's an amazing grassy hilly area, perfect for photo ops.

on Dipsea Steep Ravine Matt ...
4 months ago

Excellent trail, well worth the effort! We tried parking up top by the campground but found the lot to be full at 10am on a Saturday in April. Fortunately we only had to go a half mile or so away to find parking along the road which was fine. We hiked down to find the Matt Davis trail (not "Sam Davis" as listed in the AllTrails description) and took the loop counterclockwise down to Stinson Beach.

Consider parking in town and going clockwise. The climb up that way is almost completely wooded and seemed to be a gradual 4 miles. Another mile and you'll reach stunning views of San Francisco and then the Pacific on your way down to Stinson.

Another note -- technically it is the Dipsea Trail not the Steep Ravine Trail. We followed signs for Steep Ravine, leaving the Dipsea, but decided to backtrack once we realized that leaving the Dipsea would cut off a substantial part of our hike. Glad we did. Hope this helps!

on Mt.Tamalpais South Side R...
5 months ago

hiking

What a beautiful place to hike. It was supposed to be a 6.6 mile hike, but for us it was closer to 8.5 miles. Hope to do another hike in the near future with so many trails to choose from.

on Dipsea Steep Ravine Matt ...
5 months ago

hiking

Great hike, but the rangers are a little puzzles when you call it "pantoll loop". It's technically the Sam Davis>>Dipsea>>Steep Ravine loop. Each section is really special. Doing the trails in that order is great when you want the warmth of the open hillside on Sam Davis in the morning, and the cool of Steep Ravine once the sun is high

on Bon Tempe Trail
1 year ago

hiking