Get ready to get your butt kicked as you climb Marin’s tallest mountain. Riding the thrilling, picturesque roads of Mt. Tamalpais is on most everyone’s weekend warrior list. Challenging and rewarding, pro-cyclists and recreational enthusiasts all fall for Mt.Tam’s intimidating beauty. From sea level in Mill Valley to the end of the road on East Peak, you’ll climb 2,571 breath-taking (literally) feet, admire jaw dropping views of San Francisco and Marin County, and feel your legs burn almost every minute on your ascent.
What Makes It Great
Mt. Tam is the perfect weekend ride. It’s a fast roller coaster route through Northern California’s most beautiful coastal State Park. It’s loved by local riders-- swapping stories of its legendary climb. Nature is at her best on Mt. Tam. You’ll wind past gentle waterfalls, race through whimsical, lime green mossy tree trunks, and take in the most incredible views Marin has to offer. Carve out a full afternoon for this ride, especially on the weekends when the traffic is heavier and there are more cyclists to share the road with.
Who is Going to Love It
Mt. Tam is very popular with local cyclists, either training for the next race, or recreationally getting to the top. It’s a classic Marin ride. As you climb, you’ll feel pockets of microclimates, first cool and breezy, then hot and dry. Both sides of the road are lined with 75-foot Redwoods, native flowers and resident turkeys, hawks and deer hiding in the roadside brush. Once you get to the very top, enjoy sweeping views of the entire Bay Area, while watching the fog drift from the Pacific, slowly covering the cityscape.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The best place to park is at Mike’s Bikes in Sausalito, you can pump your tires, get fuel and fill up water bottles. The San Francisco Bay Trail is easily accessible from the parking lot. Ride for about one mile and merge onto Shoreline Highway. Be extremely alert since most of the ride is on a narrow shoulder, with many out of town drivers sharing the road. Follow Shoreline Highway to Panoramic Highway. There are big brown State Park signs that will also lead you to East Peak if you get lost. The road dead ends at 2,571 feet higher than where you started, then turn around and begin the thrilling descent.