Mt Tamalpais Walk – the Easy Way

If one drives forever up Mt. Tamalpais to the East Peak, past bicyclists on a winding road, one gets to a flat trail that is less than a mile. It comes with great views. This one looks to San Francisco, with the fog just outside the Golden Gate to the right.

view to SFThe trail was named after Verna Dunshee, who was an honorary park ranger, founder of the Marin Conservation League and a tireless worker to help establish Mt. Tamalpais and Pt. Reyes, etc. Thank you Ms. Dunshee and all the other people who make parks available. This is a California State Park.

View NE of Mt TamView Marin to Mt DiabloThere’s an overlook in one spot, but there are plenty of places to look out – when not noticing the rocks, flowers, birds or lizards.

Mt Tam lupineThe day, we were there recently, was almost windless, I kept hoping that the wind was just around the corner. Side trails go down on the mountain or out a ridge. This one heading east – yes, that’s Mt. Diablo in the hazy distance.

Mt Tam step trail eastMost of the trail is paved. In this one spot to get over a ravine and under a rock it was a wooden bridge.

Bridge under rock Mt TamFinally, some shade.

Trail shade Mt TamSome breeze and the view north.

View North to Bon Tempe LakeNorth side trail Mt TamPlenty of varieties of manzanita and oaks, as well as California nutmeg. It is a chaparral environment, so this chaparral pea revealed itself near the end of our loop.

chapparal peaIf we were real hikers we’d have hiked to the very top of East Peak, (see the lookout on top?) but we left it to others. I met a couple who had hiked up from the Mountain Home Inn. Whew!

East Peak Mt TamThe Gravity Car Barn is open on the weekends – a museum to the past when a people rode the “gravity-fueled” train from Mt. Tam to Muir Woods. Visit the Friends of Mt. Tam for more information.

Gravity Barn Mt TamPicnic tables, bathroom (with plumbing), dogs on leash.

Visitor Center and Gravity Train are open on the weekends. More park information.

Flat trail vs goat trailSee you on the trail!

Lynn Millar

Published by Lynn Millar

Walker, reader, writer, traveller - see About Walking

2 thoughts on “Mt Tamalpais Walk – the Easy Way

  1. Just lovely!! Had never heard of or seen a chaparall pea until now – thank you for the pic! I am hoping from 2016 we will start heading south and hike some of these trails you’ve visited Lynn.

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