Explore the most popular mountain biking trails in Mount Tamalpais Watershed with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Fair to moderately complex hike with beautiful views. It earns the moderate complexity from loose gravel, large rocks, and some steep grades. However these are all intermittent and are easily traversed. I recommend a pair of trekking poles to navigate these areas more easily. Some of the views along this trail are absolutely stunning, and the change in scenery and microclimates as you hike are really fascinating. The fog adds an extra layer of beauty if you go before noon.

If you’re trying to access the trailhead from the Mount Tamalpais parking lot, you will need to walk down the road a little bit to find it. It is clearly marked with a trail marker. Note that you will need exact change ($8 cash, USD—foreign currency not excepted) to park in the parking lot. I tracked my hike with an app and it measured just over 5 miles. Not sure if it was me wandering around too much or if the measurement is off.

Not a difficult hike but a good workout. I did it counterclockwise and also took a side trip to the mountain top trail, to make it a bit more difficult. This trail truly has it all. The ecosystem changes pretty frequently. Lots of streams are still flowing in mid June. So are many wild flowers. The terrain is also frequently changes. It was foggy and so I couldn’t get good views this trail is famous for. Enjoy!

beautiful hike with varying terrain- lake, forrest, “desert”- gorgeous. not what i would i consider “easy” with stairs and inclines not totally steep, but there is a significant elevation gain. you can see san pablo bay at one point. fantastic!

Great Hike. Felt longer than 3.7 miles

Our dog got bit by a rattlesnake on this trail today. It’s beautiful, but please be careful!

The trail wound sharply at spots with varied amounts of shade - some spots were very shady, and some spots were in the full sun on this clear, sunny, hot summer day. The foliage was a mix of medium-size and large trees with some brush and bushes mixed in. Encountered some redwood groves too. The view from the mid-peak is stunningly beautiful, as is the view from the nearby fire tower (not part of the trail). Make sure to buy a more detailed map at the visitor's center near the parking lot or use an app like Gaia. The free map from the visitor's center is not detailed enough and may lead you in the wrong direction. Overall we had a wonderful day!

Not an “EASY” hike. Loved it, but its far too technical to be EASY with either a steep sun-drenched grade up a fire road if entering the loop to the left, or a shady, but technical and long up-and-down single track if entering from the right of the split. IMHO, I’d head left and get the climb out of the way early in the hike and then enjoy the walk as you head toward the reservoir filled with really great views.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely love this hike! It's easy and very little traffic. Goes through lots of different kinds of landscapes. The views of the lake are stunning.

Great trail. Lightly trafficked this past Sunday. Fairly easy terrain. Lots of ticks. Found at least 12 of them on my pup. It’s tick season, not much I can do about it.

Great easy hike for families - varied landscape - beautiful pasture hills with wildflowers and then magical redwood forest. Good for dogs too

I loved the differing terrain on this hike. I agree with other reviewers, it felt a little more difficult than an “easy” hike considering how many stairs were involved...one of the best hikes I’ve been in the Bay Area!

We loved this hike!! The amphitheater and West Point inn make excellent resting spots and there are plenty of bathrooms along the way. Gorgeous views the ENTIRE way. Good mix if forest and meadow. So many beautiful water falls when we went last week. It says 8.8 but we found 2 extra miles somehow. Can’t wait to do this again!!!

hiking
2 months ago

One of the best locations for many great trails! The best way to get here is going to the 'Mt Tamalpais Watershed' where you pay an $8 parking fee. There is no attendants but a pay machine that you can pay cash or card. Very convenient. There is a porta-potty if you have to go.

Unfortunately, there is no available map for your use. Good thing I used AllTrails' the know where to go exactly! There is plenty of parking even on a weekend but the parking is on gravel. This hike sees both ‘Bon Tempe lake’ and on the other side is ‘Alpine Lake'. The trail we took, took us to both.

Actually, this trail was awesome to take even if to me this was considered moderate and NOT easy; about 5+ miles loop. It takes you to many small waterfalls and rivers, big trees, large logs, bridges and stairs were killer! Don't come here if you've partied the night before. I totally regret it as it was killer on my body! Hahaha...

Some trails can be deceiving but you have to go through rocks, bridges and water beds so make use of those waterproof hiking shoes! Because of the waterfalls, water puddles and lake, beware of ticks! There is a lots of them but you can avoid by wearing long pants and socks if you can. Check your clothes before entering your car.

Most of the trail is shaded but towards the end was open space. Many of the trails are very narrow for one person. I believe this is one of the most beautiful most scenic trails I have gone through so far.

I would definitely come back here to do it again! It's a great workout! The lake is beautiful and pictures don't do justice compared to being there.

Wonderful views of the ocean and SF.

Wonderful hike in Mt. Tam with gorgeous views! We did the full loop, starting clockwise and took a little over 4 hours including snack stops and time at the summit. Wildflowers are popping up all over the place, and there was a ton of wildlife viewing as well! We’ve had a lot of rain recently, so waterproof footwear is a must until runoff is calmer. Overall a great morning!

Good for trail running...

Cold if you're in the mountains shade. There are much better hikes on Tam!

Hiked clockwise this time and counterclockwise last time. Both ways are enjoyable and worth repeating. Good hike, very scenic and a decent workout. Clockwise has more uphill climbing - going clockwise Bootjack to Mountain Theater is the steepest part of the loop. Clockwise time: 3 hrs.

Agree with others, it’s definitely a moderate and not a hard. Still beautiful, and love the rest stops at the inn and the amphitheater, but tack on one of the peaks to add a bit more exercise to your miles.

This was such a gorgeous hike! You are surrounded by ferns, trees, and moss for most of the hike. Gets a little strenuous at times but should be a fairly easy for the avid hiker. I did come home with a tick stuck to my back so take precaution.

Easy and well labeled trails. Quiet, beautiful views of the BayArea and where the ocean meet. Hike with kids and dog. Plenty for them to climb and touch along way. If traveling with dog, some trails allow, some don’t. Bring doggie poop-bags (none provided). We did not do entire loop. 1/12/2018.

Great hike with great views. Not too many people when I hiked it. Sunset is the best.

Awesome hike. Not for those just starting, but if you've done just a few hikes you'd do fine. There is bathrooms, water fountains and plenty to look at along the way. The east peak is where you want to go, it's the best view, but not the only one. The downhill part is definitely nice as well.

Fun loop trail. Easy quick get away.

Hiked the train in the winter, and the mix of trail time under tree-cover and out in the open was perfect. Barely anyone was on the trail. The amphitheater was amazing to visit, and it offers an awesome view.

Be aware that the trail is closed at Carson Falls - a posted sign says trail closed due to hazardous conditions. This hike is in a beautiful area but the trail map needs to be edited and updated for accuracy. I deleted my recording due to trail map errors and will record an alternate route next time.

So scenic and otherworldly because of fog that rolled in. We saw no one the whole time we were there. Fantastic memory!

Beautiful hike. Took me 5 hours. The Fern Creek trail is steep so if you want to go down it (rather than up) then go clockwise and start with the Old Mine trail. I really appreciated the clean bathrooms along the way :) Mt Tam is awesome

Easy fun loop that we can take the pup along. Half shady, half sun. Take the sunny side first so you're not facing the sun while walking.

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