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Encompassing 46,000 acres, the TLC’s area of focus radiates from the top of Mount Tam to include all of Mount Tamalpais State Park, Muir Woods National Monument, and MMWD’s watershed lands on Mt. Tam. It also includes portions of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and several Marin County open space preserves, including Gary Giacomini, White’s Hill, Cascade Canyon, Bald Hill, King Mountain, Blithedale Summit, Camino Alto, Haffee Hill, and Bothin Marsh.

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General Information

More than 200 miles of trails lie within the TLC area and many of these trails cross federal, state and local agency boundaries. Watch for posted information about trails use, as regulations for bicycles, dogs, and horses vary by jurisdiction.

Hours
Mt. Tam is open from 7 am to sunset, year round.

Camping
Reserve your space at one of Mt. Tam’s five campgrounds.

Parking Fees
There is no entrance fee to Mt. Tam but some trailhead parking lots require a fee.

Public Transit
Golden Gate Transit and the West Marin Stagecoach provide access to many Tam trailheads. Or visit Transit and Trails to locate Mt. Tam trailheads, and get directions and public transportation information.

Trails and Hikes

Take a hike on one of these trails to see what’s been accomplished through collaboration and get a look at some of the areas the TLC plans to focus on the coming years.

Photo by Paul Myers
Redwood Creek Watershed
TrailheadMountain Home Inn
Distance3.7 miles
DifficultyModerate
about this trail >

Skip the crowds at Muir Woods, and explore the Redwood Creek watershed from Mount Tamalpais State Park. Begin the hike at the north end of the Mountain Home Inn parking lot and head down Camp Alice Eastwood fire road. A short distance down the road, take the Troop 80 Trail about 0.4 miles to the Sierra Trail, which goes down to the Alice Eastwood group campsite. Pick up the Lower Fern Trail here and continue to the Lost Trail, which takes you back up to the Panoramic Trail. The Panoramic Trail will take you back to Panoramic Highway, just a short walk from the parking lot.

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Dias Ridge Trail
TrailheadMuir Beach
Distance5 miles
DifficultyStrenuous
about this trail >

Start at the charming 17th-century style Pelican Inn at Muir Beach in Marin and head up the chaparral-covered Dias Ridge. The five-mile trail loops across former dairy ranches and rises 700 feet. At every turn there is another dazzling panorama of the Pacific and the Marin Headlands. Parking is available at either end of the Dias Ridge Trail along Panoramic Highway at the top and Shoreline Highway at the bottom. Completed in 2010, the Dias Ridge project removed the old, eroded road, and created a new multi-use trail segment that better protects the Redwood Creek watershed below.

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Bootjack Trail
TrailheadBootjack parking lot
Distance7 miles
DifficultyStrenuous
about this trail >

This climb up the steep slopes of Mt. Tam reveals beatiful vistas of the Bay Area and the Pacific Ocean. The redwoods of Muir Woods gradually give way to Douglas-fir, bay laurel, and tanoak as the trail wends upward. From the Bootjack Campground, established in the early 1920s, continue to the Mountain Theater.  After a storm in 2012 threatened to undercut a portion of the trail near its Rattlesnake Creek crossing, a new rock wall was installed and the existing footbridge removed and replaced. The renovated Bootjack Campground opened in 2013. 

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Photo by Carl Sanders
Cataract Trail
TrailheadRock Spring
Distance6.5 miles
DifficultyModerate
about this trail >

Located on the mountain’s wild northern slope, this hike starts on Cataract Trail, passes the Laurel Dell picnic area, then veers on to the High Marsh Trail and on to peaceful Potrero Meadows via the Kent Trail. The loop finishes with the Benstein Trail. With varied terrain, terrific views, places to picnic and spectacular waterfalls, this hike is a gem. When funding is available, the TLC plans to stabilze eroded tail segment in this area to reduce the amount of sediment entering the creek and make other enhancements to improve water quality, visitor experience and wildlife habitats.

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Photo by Gary Yost
West Peak Loop
TrailheadMountain Theater
Distance2.5 miles
DifficultyModerate
about this trail >

For a look at the old Air Force station, start at the Mountain Theater overflow lot and cross Ridgecrest to start on the Rock Spring-Lagunitas Fire Road. Continue to Potrero Meadow and on to Rifle Camp. From there, cross the dry creek to the Arturo Trail and hike up to the Air Force station property. Continue southwest to the Mountain Top Trail, then head down to the car. Many would like to see West Peak restored, but how and to what condition remains in question. When funding is available, the TLC plans to conduct a feasibility study, charrettes and public workshops on design options.

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Dipsea Trail
TrailheadOld Mill Park, Mill Valley
Distance7.5 miles
DifficultyVery Strenuous
about this trail >

Stretching from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach, the famed Dipsea Trail is for hikers looking for a challenge. It begins in Mill Valley, climbs over a Mt. Tam ridge, passes through Muir Woods, and descends to Stinson Beach. When funding is available, the TLC plans to address serious drainage and erosion issues on the intertwined Dipsea Trail and Deer Park Fire Road and replace a set of decaying wooden stairs with beautiful Civilian Conservation Corps-style stone ones.  The TLC also plans to increase stewardship and weed management efforts in the area, to reduce threats to the Oakland star tulip and other native plants. Note: A portion of the Dipsea Trail on National Park Service land will be closed intermittently this fall for maintenance. The trail is expected to remain open for a majority of the project, including every Friday-Sunday, but there may be circumstances that require closure. Trail users will be detoured to Deer Park Fire Road at those times. The work will take place starting end of September 2016 to late January 2017. See https://www.nps.gov/goga/blogs/Park-in-Progress.htm for more information.

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Photo by Paul Myers
Redwood Creek Watershed
TrailheadMountain Home Inn
Distance3.7 miles
DifficultyModerate
about this trail >

Skip the crowds at Muir Woods, and explore the Redwood Creek watershed from Mount Tamalpais State Park. Begin the hike at the north end of the Mountain Home Inn parking lot and head down Camp Alice Eastwood fire road. A short distance down the road, take the Troop 80 Trail about 0.4 miles to the Sierra Trail, which goes down to the Alice Eastwood group campsite. Pick up the Lower Fern Trail here and continue to the Lost Trail, which takes you back up to the Panoramic Trail. The Panoramic Trail will take you back to Panoramic Highway, just a short walk from the parking lot.

close X
Dias Ridge Trail
TrailheadMuir Beach
Distance5 miles
DifficultyStrenuous
about this trail >

Start at the charming 17th-century style Pelican Inn at Muir Beach in Marin and head up the chaparral-covered Dias Ridge. The five-mile trail loops across former dairy ranches and rises 700 feet. At every turn there is another dazzling panorama of the Pacific and the Marin Headlands. Parking is available at either end of the Dias Ridge Trail along Panoramic Highway at the top and Shoreline Highway at the bottom. Completed in 2010, the Dias Ridge project removed the old, eroded road, and created a new multi-use trail segment that better protects the Redwood Creek watershed below.

close X
Bootjack Trail
TrailheadBootjack parking lot
Distance7 miles
DifficultyStrenuous
about this trail >

This climb up the steep slopes of Mt. Tam reveals beatiful vistas of the Bay Area and the Pacific Ocean. The redwoods of Muir Woods gradually give way to Douglas-fir, bay laurel, and tanoak as the trail wends upward. From the Bootjack Campground, established in the early 1920s, continue to the Mountain Theater.  After a storm in 2012 threatened to undercut a portion of the trail near its Rattlesnake Creek crossing, a new rock wall was installed and the existing footbridge removed and replaced. The renovated Bootjack Campground opened in 2013. 

close X
Photo by Carl Sanders
Cataract Trail
TrailheadRock Spring
Distance6.5 miles
DifficultyModerate
about this trail >

Located on the mountain’s wild northern slope, this hike starts on Cataract Trail, passes the Laurel Dell picnic area, then veers on to the High Marsh Trail and on to peaceful Potrero Meadows via the Kent Trail. The loop finishes with the Benstein Trail. With varied terrain, terrific views, places to picnic and spectacular waterfalls, this hike is a gem. When funding is available, the TLC plans to stabilze eroded tail segment in this area to reduce the amount of sediment entering the creek and make other enhancements to improve water quality, visitor experience and wildlife habitats.

close X
Photo by Gary Yost
West Peak Loop
TrailheadMountain Theater
Distance2.5 miles
DifficultyModerate
about this trail >

For a look at the old Air Force station, start at the Mountain Theater overflow lot and cross Ridgecrest to start on the Rock Spring-Lagunitas Fire Road. Continue to Potrero Meadow and on to Rifle Camp. From there, cross the dry creek to the Arturo Trail and hike up to the Air Force station property. Continue southwest to the Mountain Top Trail, then head down to the car. Many would like to see West Peak restored, but how and to what condition remains in question. When funding is available, the TLC plans to conduct a feasibility study, charrettes and public workshops on design options.

close X
Dipsea Trail
TrailheadOld Mill Park, Mill Valley
Distance7.5 miles
DifficultyVery Strenuous
about this trail >

Stretching from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach, the famed Dipsea Trail is for hikers looking for a challenge. It begins in Mill Valley, climbs over a Mt. Tam ridge, passes through Muir Woods, and descends to Stinson Beach. When funding is available, the TLC plans to address serious drainage and erosion issues on the intertwined Dipsea Trail and Deer Park Fire Road and replace a set of decaying wooden stairs with beautiful Civilian Conservation Corps-style stone ones.  The TLC also plans to increase stewardship and weed management efforts in the area, to reduce threats to the Oakland star tulip and other native plants. Note: A portion of the Dipsea Trail on National Park Service land will be closed intermittently this fall for maintenance. The trail is expected to remain open for a majority of the project, including every Friday-Sunday, but there may be circumstances that require closure. Trail users will be detoured to Deer Park Fire Road at those times. The work will take place starting end of September 2016 to late January 2017. See https://www.nps.gov/goga/blogs/Park-in-Progress.htm for more information.

close X