Now that we’ve had a bit of a dry spell, it’s high time that I brought Mt. Tam (Mt. Tamalpais to the unfamiliar) into the spotlight. It has always been and is still one of the most popular tourist attractions in Marin County, and deserves to be. There are many great trails on Mt. Tam, for walking, hiking, biking, horseback riding, but if you’ve never simply driven up to the top of the East Peak (take East Ridgecrest Blvd. all the way up) and then walked up the last few hundred yards to get to the lookout, you’ve really missed something spectacular. The views are grand and include San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge; the cities and open lands of Marin County; the Farallon Islands out on the horizon of the Pacific; Berkeley, Oakland and the Bay Bridge; Alcatraz and Angel Islands; and Mt. Diablo on the eastern horizon.
The path up to the summit won’t accomodate strollers or wheelchairs, and sturdy shoes are recommended, because it’s pretty rocky in places. But it’s a pretty easy 5 minute or so walk. Strollers and wheelchairs do have access to fantastic views along the Verna Dunshee trail. They also have access to the small “Gravity Car Barn” which houses a gravity car replica and photos from the “Crookedest Railroad in the World” – the Mount Tamalpais Scenic Railway which was built and operated in the early part of the last century. It’s only open on weekends, as are the snackbar and the tiny visitors center/souvenir store. The restrooms are open everyday during park hours.
I’ll write more later about the many other wonderful things to do and places to go on Mt. Tam. The list is long…
Park Hours: 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. winter / 7 a.m. – 9 p.m. summer peak (closing time varies with the season. Call 415-388-2070 for current hours)
By Anne Kennedy