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Best trails in Mount Tamalpais Watershed

7,002 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Mount Tamalpais Watershed, California? AllTrails has 88 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 52 moderate trails in Mount Tamalpais Watershed ranging from 1.4 to 31.3 miles and from 72 to 2,568 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

For rules and regulations for this park, please refer to their website: https://www.marinwater.org/DocumentCenter/View/154/Code-Chapter-9-February-17-2011-Final?bidId=

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Map of trails in Mount Tamalpais Watershed
Park information
Contact
415-945-1455
Top trails (88)
#1 - Cataract Falls Trail
Mount Tamalpais Watershed
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1121)
Length: 3.3 mi • Est. 2 h 4 m
NOTE: During times of increased fire danger due to weather conditions, MMWD will close the Mt. Tamalpais watershed to vehicle traffic and suspend land use permits. Please call the watershed closure information line for the latest updates: 415-945-1195 The watershed remains open to the public, with some restrictions, for recreational use daily from sunrise to sunset. The recent county health order prohibits vehicles and parking at the watershed, with the exception of people with disabilities who have the required disability placards or license plates for their vehicles. Parking for those with disabilities is available at our Sky Oaks parking lot. While the watershed remains open, visitors must comply with social distancing requirements of at least 6 feet. All volunteer programs that take place on the watershed have been canceled until further notice. Cataract Falls is one of the most popular falls trails in Marin County within the San Francisco Bay Area. This is a great hike with scattered cascading waterfalls along the entirety of the trail. The trailhead is located off of Bolinas Fairfax Road, just past Alpine Lake. The falls are reached by Cataract Trail starting from Bolinas Fairfax Road. The trail follows Cataract Creek north. The trail shortly starts to climb uphill through a shaded forest and crosses the flowing creek several times. You will eventually reach Laurel Dell picnic area. If you continue on the trail past the picnic area, it will start to descend towards the upper falls. At the junction of Helen Markt Trail and Cataract Trail there is a nice pool where you can stop, take a break, and enjoy the great views. Although this is a short hike, it has a decent amount of elevation gain and is a good workout. If you wish to extend your hike, you can also start from the Rock Spring Trailhead. The best time to visit is after rainfall when the waterflow is heavier.Show more
#2 - Cataract Falls and Potrero Meadows Loop (Cataract, Helen Market, Kent, Benstein Trails)
Mount Tamalpais Watershed
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(559)
Length: 8.4 mi • Est. 4 h 37 m
Enjoy the beautiful Cataract Falls as it drains into the Alpine Lake, Manzinta groves, Redwoods, and Chaparral biomes offer a plethora of natural habits to relax and enjoy the soothing sights and sounds of nature. (Cataract, Helen Market, Kent, Benstein Trails)Show more
#3 - Cataract Falls Trail, High Marsh, Kent Trail, and Helen Market Trail
Mount Tamalpais Watershed
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(319)
Length: 7.7 mi • Est. 4 h 5 m
Note: During times of increased fire danger due to weather conditions, MMWD will close the Mt. Tamalpais watershed to vehicle traffic and suspend land use permits. Please call the watershed closure information line for the latest updates: 415-945-1195 Cataract Creek Trail offers a perfect excuse to play hooky from work or spend a vacation day in the woods. The creek's waterfalls provide a spectacular anchor for a 7-mile loop through the scenic lands of the Mount Tamalpais Watershed. The loop includes scenic vistas stretching to the Pacific Ocean, narrow single-track into the wooded hillsides into forests of young redwood and Douglas fir. Marin County has over 500 miles of trails; these are among the best.Show more
#4 - Cataract Falls and Alpine Lake via Simmons Trail
Mount Tamalpais Watershed
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(211)
Length: 5.4 mi • Est. 3 h 6 m
The watershed remains open to the public, with some restrictions, for recreational use daily from sunrise to sunset. The recent county health order prohibits vehicles and parking at the watershed, with the exception of people with disabilities who have the required disability placards or license plates for their vehicles. Parking for those with disabilities is available at our Sky Oaks parking lot. While the watershed remains open, visitors must comply with social distancing requirements of at least 6 feet. All volunteer programs that take place on the watershed have been canceled until further notice.Show more
#5 - Kent Trail to Stocking Trail, Rocky Ridge Fire Road
Mount Tamalpais Watershed
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(269)
Length: 5.3 mi • Est. 2 h 43 m
NOTE: As of August 2020, the road to the trailhead may close if there are safety concerns. Please check with the park before visiting to check for most up to date road conditions. The watershed remains open to the public, with some restrictions, for recreational use daily from sunrise to sunset. The recent county health order prohibits vehicles and parking at the watershed, with the exception of people with disabilities who have the required disability placards or license plates for their vehicles. Parking for those with disabilities is available at our Sky Oaks parking lot. While the watershed remains open, visitors must comply with social distancing requirements of at least 6 feet. All volunteer programs that take place on the watershed have been canceled until further notice.Show more
#6 - Phoenix Lake Loop via Gertrude-Ord Trail
Mount Tamalpais Watershed
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(372)
Length: 2.8 mi • Est. 1 h 17 m
The watershed remains open to the public, with some restrictions, for recreational use daily from sunrise to sunset. The recent county health order prohibits vehicles and parking at the watershed, with the exception of people with disabilities who have the required disability placards or license plates for their vehicles. Parking for those with disabilities is available at our Sky Oaks parking lot. While the watershed remains open, visitors must comply with social distancing requirements of at least 6 feet. All volunteer programs that take place on the watershed have been canceled until further notice. This trail starts from the main parking lot at the end of Lagunitas Road. If going counter-clockwise, you start on a dirt road, going around the northern part of the lake. After about a mile, you can take a left onto a hiking-only trail that traverses the southern part of the lake. There are bridges to cut the left side a bit, if you're short on time. Along the southern part of the lake, there are some small inclines, and then a small switchback back down to a dirt road. The road then returns to where you started, and you can take one of three small trails down to your car. Great loop to do with your dog in the Mount Tamalpais Watershed, a lesser-known and lesser-visited park area nearby Mount Tamalpais State Park. You’ll have an easier time parking here than at other trailheads in the area but will still probably share the trail with a few other joggers making this a safe and convenient choice for a run or hike. Accessibility: The transition from the parking lot to the trailhead is the steepest part. Manual wheelchair users may need assistance on this part. The trail itself is dirt and mostly flat with a max grade of 4%. See above for parking lot information. Use caution during the rainy season...trail becomes muddy and slippery.Show more
#7 - Bon Tempe Lake Loop
Mount Tamalpais Watershed
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(305)
Length: 4.1 mi • Est. 1 h 47 m
Bon Tempe Lake provides a wide variety of activities. The north side offers an open area, while the other sides offers trails that travel through wooded areas. The dam has a great view of both Bon Tempe Lake and Alpine lake as well as the surrounding mountains including Mt. Tam.Show more
#8 - Mountain Home Inn to Mount Tam East Peak
Mount Tamalpais Watershed
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(221)
Length: 3.9 mi • Est. 2 h 38 m
The watershed remains open to the public, with some restrictions, for recreational use daily from sunrise to sunset. While the watershed remains open, visitors must comply with social distancing requirements of at least 6 feet. All volunteer programs that take place on the watershed have been canceled until further notice. Hike up to the summit of East peak for stunning 360 views of the Bay Area and the Ocean. Start from the Mountain Home Inn and go up the Gravity Car Fire Rd. to the Old Railroad Grade, then take the Fern Creek Trail to the summit.Show more
#9 - Mount Tamalpais: Middle Peak Loop Trail
Mount Tamalpais Watershed
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(131)
Length: 4.9 mi • Est. 1 h 58 m
The watershed remains open to the public, with some restrictions, for recreational use daily from sunrise to sunset. The recent county health order prohibits vehicles and parking at the watershed, with the exception of people with disabilities who have the required disability placards or license plates for their vehicles. Parking for those with disabilities is available at our Sky Oaks parking lot. While the watershed remains open, visitors must comply with social distancing requirements of at least 6 feet. All volunteer programs that take place on the watershed have been canceled until further notice. This stunning hike will grant you with incredible views. Be prepared for some steep climbs. Make sure you have proper footwear, and bring along a camera to capture the stunning vistas. There is an $8 parking fee.Show more
#10 - Mountain Theater, West Point Inn, and Mount Tamalpais Loop
Mount Tamalpais Watershed
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(95)
Length: 8.3 mi • Est. 4 h 40 m
The watershed remains open to the public, with some restrictions, for recreational use daily from sunrise to sunset. The recent county health order prohibits vehicles and parking at the watershed, with the exception of people with disabilities who have the required disability placards or license plates for their vehicles. Parking for those with disabilities is available at our Sky Oaks parking lot. While the watershed remains open, visitors must comply with social distancing requirements of at least 6 feet. All volunteer programs that take place on the watershed have been canceled until further notice. Explore the remnants of a bygone era on the slopes of Mt Tamalpais. This 9 mile loop takes in many of the park's best features, from sweeping grassland and redwood groves, to the remains of the old Mt Tamalpais Scenic Railway and the buildings and features that still remain. There's a way up Mt. Tamalpais for everyone whether you're a biker, hiker, driver or equestrian. Opt for the easy drive-up option and you'll be taking the third of a mile plank-walk to the rocky summit and some of the best views in the bay area, but you'd be missing out on the opportunity to experience some really great Marin hiking trails.Show more
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