Mountain Theater, West Point Inn, and Mount Tamalpais Loop

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Mount Tamalpais Watershed

Mountain Theater, West Point Inn, and Mount Tamalpais Loop is a 8.3 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Mill Valley, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round.

Length8.3 miElevation gain1,965 ftRoute typeLoop
HikingNature tripsBird watchingRunningForestViewsWildflowersWildlifeNo dogs
Description
Waypoints (18)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

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.

California State Parks: Mt. Tamalpais http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=471

Mount Tam gets busy on the weekends; beat the crowds by going during the week or starting very early. Poison oak is common near narrow trails. Bushwacking is not advised. Watch for road bikers on the Panoramic Highway and mountain bikers on the old railroad beds. During the rainy season (November to May) some of the trails may be closed, so you might want to check at the ranger station before setting off. What to bring: Layers: weather can change rapidly. Sunscreen for the unforested areas. Hiking supplies (gear, water, food) if you're hitting the trails Binoculars Camera Map

If Pan Toll ranger station is full, you may find more parking at Bootjack

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (146)
Photos (3,438)
Activities (132)
Completed (410)
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Kelly M.
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Hiking

Beautiful!! However didn’t make it up the last out and back. I went up a ways and almost stepped on a rattlesnake, plus it was getting dark. Be careful and bring lots of water! The first part of the hike has stunning wildflowers right now. Will return to complete the full hike sometime.

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Kelly Margerum
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Hiking

One of the best hikes we’ve ever done! Lost the trail a few times but easily got back on - just make sure to download the trail before you lose service.

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Julia Tang
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HikingBlowdownFee

Beautiful hike with a lot of variety in terms of scenery-some nice oean/bay/city views, some foresty parts, and a nice babbling brook towards the end. Parking at Pantoll was full at 9am, but plenty of spots at Bootjack, so that's where we started the hike, going clockwise. We ended up doing 8.75 miles over 4 hours with a little stop at East Peak for a snack. Definitely recommend this hike if you like greenery and some nice ocean views on a clear day. There were a few downed trees but easy to climb over. There is an $8 fee for the parking lot so bring cash.

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Franco Folini
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Hiking
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Sara Mermey
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Hiking

One of my favorites I’ve done in the Bay Area. Long but not overly difficult (though a few spots definitely got my heart rate up). Amazing ocean views, bay and city views, redwood trails and more!

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MsAnh ..
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HikingGreat!Rocky

Greats hike with amazing views at the peak! There’s a lot of bikers on the trail so be careful! The trail is also very rocky so wear good hiking shoes!

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Bryan Hoey
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Hiking
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AllTrails User
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HikingGreat!Rocky

Gorgeous views and the creeks were flowing in full force. It gets very rocky in places so wear your hiking boots for ankle support and traction. It wasn't very muddy. Keep your eye out for trail markers and you should be fine.

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Keren Guy
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HikingGreat!

Great views on the way up. One of the most beautiful trails in the area.

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Jesse Dalton
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Hiking
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Tanya Foley
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Hiking
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Marisa Moreno
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OHV/Off-road driving

Loved it!!!

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Albert Gussmann
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Hiking

Beautiful going threw the mossy trees, breathtaking view of most of the bay area and Pacific Ocean , have some good shoes bring water and you’ll love it :)

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Rishi Kothari
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Hiking
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Christopher Smiley
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Hiking

Very nice trail, although it does get busy on the weekend. Parking is $8, but I recommend you get there early as it was almost full when I got there around 9:00. The first incline isn't too steep as there are a lot of switchbacks. Before you reach the ampitheather, there are some nice rolling hills that you walk through. Once you reach the Inn, you walk on a fire road for a bit which is boring and there can be a lot of mountain bikers in that section. The trail then breaks off the fire road to the right. It's narrow, so long pants are recommended. After a little while on that trail gets steep, but there are some steps as you ascend. The final push from the visitors center to the summit isn't too difficult. From the summit, I took a small trail to the east which was very steep for a quarter of an mile. You will be scrambling. Some hawks hang out in this area so it was neat seeing them fly around. Eventually I stumbled upon a nice plauqe dedicated to Sitting Bull. I then went to the Hoo-Koo-e-Koo trail which was very nice and ended on the Matt Davis and Alpine trails. About half of the route I took was shaded, but the rest was exposed to the sun which was strong even though it was only 55 degrees out today. Take precaution if you do this trail in the summer.

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Vianney Trujillo
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Hiking
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Joshua Outwater
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Hiking
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Raphael Rogman
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Hiking
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Anil kumar Desabhaktula
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Hiking

Nice weather, great views

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Don Martini
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Hiking
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G Brown
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Hiking
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Stephen Gomes-Figueira
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Hiking
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Joju Mangalam
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Hiking

Struggled a bit in the beginning to find the trail. To start, you want to get to Old Mine trail. Name was not visible in map. Trail is wooded, but not very scenic.

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Alison Christopherson
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Hiking

Absolutely gorgeous trail with beautiful views and mossy forrests. I went on a day that was rather foggy which means that my view was initially obscured by mist . However, it was still a very nice experience. It was a bit of a hassle trying to figure out how to pay for parking. This took me 10 minutes or so. But the parking area has slips you can fill out. Be sure to bring $8 in cash. The initial hike was a bit uphill but nothing very difficult. Some nice trees around some hills. I started around 7:45 am. After the initial ascent, you spend a few miles walking on what roughly feels like flat terrain. It’s easy and peaceful. I’d love to come back in a clearer day so I could have seen what the view looks like. Before you get to West Point inn, there were some bushes near the trail with a ton of spider webs. This obviously triggered the arachnophobia within me so my hike during those sections was more of a jog than a hike. Since I was probably the first hiker of the morning, I also had to break some spider webs. The trail after West Point inn is just a dirt road which is very uninteresting. This is likely the low point of the trail for me. However, once you get off the dirt road, you will take a Fern Creek to begin summating the East peak. This was a good workout which got my heart rate pumping. I summated around 10:15-10:30 and maybe spent one half hour up there. Since it was Friday and misty, I was the only person there which was peaceful. I’d like to add that when you get near the parking lot for the East mount tamalpais peak, you have an option for a trail or to use the paved road. I personally preferred the paved road which was very nice and peaceful. The trail option was too narrow with bushes in the way. On the way back, from the Matt Davis trail, I could see views of San Francisco, the bay, Sausalito, and the Pacific Ocean. Absolutely stunning. I got back a little past 1. Overall, I’d recommend wearing pants or leggings since some parts of the trial are very bushy. I drank all two liters of water I brought though I probably could have gotten by with less. I think the moderate rating is justified. It is too long to be easy not to mention the workout of climbing the summate. However, I don’t think it kicks your ass like some of the trails marked “hard” do. Overall a very enjoyable hike !

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Mitchell R.
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Hiking

Impeccable trail with amazing views - but make sure you have the map downloaded! There are so many split-offs that it’ll be impossible to find your way otherwise.

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Milind Jadhav
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Hiking

amazing views of Sao Paulo and San Francisco Bay along with SF skyline!

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Brandon Brady
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Hiking

Have to keep a sharp eye out to stay on the right track. challenging run and stopped to photo a lot of beautiful views. A bit narrow and overgrown at spots

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