Verna Dunshee Trail and Plank Trail at Mount Tam East Peak

easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(106)
Mount Tamalpais State Park

Verna Dunshee Trail and Plank Trail at Mount Tam East Peak is a 1.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mill Valley, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 1.2 miles Elevation Gain: 285 feet Route Type: Loop

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly


nature trips


bird watching


partially paved


wild flowers


no dogs

UPDATE (May 1, 2020): This park is temporarily closed to vehicular access, meaning there are no parking facilities and parking on roadways is prohibited to protect public health from the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this park is open to local residents, they must abide by the following guidelines: Stay Local: Walk or bike into the park. Do not drive to the park. Stay Active: Keep walking, jogging, hiking and biking. Watch for one-way trails. Stay Safer at 6 Feet: Maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or more. Gatherings, picnics and parties are not allowed. Visitors are being asked to leave if there are too many people at the park or on trails to allow for the required physical distance. Stay Clean: Be prepared. Bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash. Statewide, many parks and beaches are temporarily closed or have very limited access to ensure Californians are abiding and practicing physical distancing. The goals are to make sure people are safe and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 as much as possible. To view the list of closures and what they mean to the public, please visit

off trail
4 months ago

Beautiful trail! The loop is very well maintained. The loop is so easy, it’s mostly flat and didn’t take long aside from stopping for views. We were lucky enough to go on a clear afternoon, you could see the whole bay. Also took the trail up to the fire look out. That trail is shorter but steeper. The fire trail starts with a walk way for the steepest portion, but some of the trail is climbing over decent sized rocks. Took about a half hour to get up there. Took less than 10 minutes to get down.

5 months ago

Easy walk with great views. Parking is decent but costs $8.

11 months ago

Amazing views

Sat Apr 20 2019

Mon Dec 31 2018

Short and spectacular. Worth every step.

Sun Sep 02 2018

Quite rocky after the 1st 50' or so, wear hiking boots to avoid injury! Nice views of bay area. No shade throughout.

Fri Aug 31 2018

Stunning, panoramic views at the top. Roads to the trail are constant switchbacks for about an hour, so if you get car sick easily, be prepared.

Mon Aug 20 2018

Winding roads up to the summit, short, scenic hike with a pretty sweet firewatch tower.

Mon Aug 06 2018

Short hike, the lower portion is paved and accessible, great views and even some connecting trail options, including a nice viewpoint to a rocky overlook. Upper part via the initial "plank trail" takes you to the top and fire lookout, with a great 360 view. Go on a clear day. On top of the east peak of Mt. Tam, this hike is worth a stop with great views of the city and surrounding areas. The pay station was overstuffed, had not been emptied for a while.

Sun Jul 15 2018

Nature beauty everywhere!!! Will be coming back soon!

Thu Apr 05 2018

Just beautiful! Views everywhere!

Thu Mar 08 2018

Short, easy trail but THE VIEWS.. oh my god. So worth it getting here.

Wed Jan 17 2018

Great for small kids. Paved, with spectacular views of the Bay Area.

Thu Jan 11 2018

Short trail with gorgeous views of East Bay, SF and the ocean. The "scenic overlook" offshoot trail that, according to the sign, "ends in 400 feet"... does not; don't try to reach the end unless you're up for a MUCH longer and harder hike. (We turned around after reaching a huge flat-ish rock with beautiful unobstructed views.)

Mon Jul 31 2017

Thu Jul 20 2017

One of the most beautiful hikes I've been on. We went in the morning right before the sun come up and I highly recommend. The colors in the sky and the fog were out of this world. You get 360 views of the valley and of San Francisco. It is a relatively easy hike, the road to get to the top is pretty windy.

Sun Jun 11 2017

If you go on a weekend, have cash for parking. Easy trail with great view of East Bay, SF, and the coast. There's a lookout area that's great for photos. Very flat trail, not intense at all. I saw a guy with a scooter kind of thing for his knee.

Tue May 30 2017

Mon May 15 2017

Drove up Mt. Tam to the East Peak to get out of the heat in late July. Trail was fairly crowded but view was awesome from up top. Lots of bikers going up. Easy trails to the top from the parking area.

Wed Dec 21 2016

Very easy loop around east peak. We went off trail a few times to climb onto some of the boulders before we went up to east peak. Great place for a beautiful panoramic view.

Tue Dec 13 2016

This is the top portion to several of the trails. Paved. Great views.

Sat Nov 26 2016

I wish we would've known that there is an $8 parking fee that you have to pay on your own (ie, no change and no ATM). Otherwise, a nice easy hike. paved all the way around so it seems to be handicap accessible

Tue Sep 06 2016

Hiked this over a hundred times and still sometimes get lost. Pay attention to road signs and trail signs so you don't get lost!

Fri Aug 05 2016

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.

Sun Jun 12 2016

Amazing views! Easy hike. Go after 5pm

Fri Sep 12 2014

Nice short trail at the East Peak of Mount Tamalpais. Views are gexpansive. There was a marine layer obscuring our view of San Francisco, so I have to remember to come back in November on a clear day (we came on a clear summer day). Start the loop to the right of the restrooms. The interpretive trail flyers are in a box there. We did the reverse and missed them altogether. Be sure to hike to the fire lookout before you leave. Parking at the trail head is $8.

Mon Feb 03 2014

best place in the bay area

Showing results 1 - 29 of 106