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  1. #1
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    Mt Tam Parking and Advice

    Hello,

    I have not done much riding in Marin and don't know it very well. The only trail I ride regularly in Marin is Tamarancho. I want to do a ride to the top of Tam this Sunday and have no clue where to park and what trail to use. I want the most interesting route, seeing as the whole mountain is just fireroad.

    Any suggestions would be very appreciated. I'm looking for a straight forward answer with an address that I can just stick in a gps. (for the parking)

    Thanks in advance for anybody who can help.

  2. #2
    jrm
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    Park where W Blithedale Ave turns into Ralston Ave. in Mill Valley. It'd be more fun to park at the Larkspar Ferry Terminal and ride up Tam one way and return another way using this map. http://www.marinbike.org/Map/SideA.pdf
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  3. #3
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    start in downtown Mill Valley, ride up Tenderfoot trail to Mtn Home Inn, take Railroad Grade to West Point Inn (continue up to the summit and come back down to WPI, if you want), over to Pantoll ranger station and catch the Coastal Trail down to Muir Beach, then up Middle Green Gulch, ride back to Mtn Home via Pipeline trail and down Tenderfoot back to your car. use jrm's map to fill in the exact route.

  4. #4
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    @hardboiled has it dialed. I will add that you are getting into a solid 4,500 foot day. There is water at Pantoll, at the top of the mountain and in the Zen Center before Middle Green Gulch. Climbing Diaz Ridge instead of Middle Green Gulch will save you a few hundred feet of climbing.

    Park in downtown Mill Valley but read signs, some are 2 hour parking some aren't. There some really fun trails in there and may more single track then you are expecting.
    Previously known as mttamrnr.

  5. #5
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    If you have a bike, park anywhere and ride from there.
    It don't mean a feng if it ain't got that
    shui.

  6. #6
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    Re: Mt Tam Parking and Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by hardboiled View Post
    start in downtown Mill Valley, ride up Tenderfoot trail to Mtn Home Inn, take Railroad Grade to West Point Inn (continue up to the summit and come back down to WPI, if you want), over to Pantoll ranger station and catch the Coastal Trail down to Muir Beach, then up Middle Green Gulch, ride back to Mtn Home via Pipeline trail and down Tenderfoot back to your car. use jrm's map to fill in the exact route.
    Did you mean up Diaz ridge instead of middle green gulch?

    -slide

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  7. #7
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    Re: Mt Tam Parking and Advice

    Quote Originally Posted by etuck View Post
    @hardboiled has it dialed. I will add that you are getting into a solid 4,500 foot day. There is water at Pantoll, at the top of the mountain and in the Zen Center before Middle Green Gulch. Climbing Diaz Ridge instead of Middle Green Gulch will save you a few hundred feet of climbing.

    Park in downtown Mill Valley but read signs, some are 2 hour parking some aren't. There some really fun trails in there and may more single track then you are expecting.
    Right, going up Diaz instead and that route ends up at about 20 miles and 3k if I remember correctly.

    -slide


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  8. #8
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    I like that route.

    If that's a little too much climbing, the other thing you can do is cut out the Mill Valley side. Drive to Muir Beach and go up Dias, then the paved road to the fire station, Railroad Grade to West Point Inn and optionally the summit, and down Coastal View.

    The whole south side is pretty exposed. Sunday's weather should be good for it but if it was going to be really hot I'd suggest doing Eldridge (from Ross) instead.

  9. #9
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    hardboiled's route is a good one.

    when i lived in the bay area, i would ride this route:

    start at deer park, climb to five corners, and then eldridge grade to the top of tam. fun stuff. plus, since you ride tamarancho, deer park should be easy to find (from downtown fairfax, take fairfax bolinas road toward bolinas, turn left on porteous ave, and park at the end of the road).

    i always enjoyed riding eldridge, it's a lot of fun for a 'fire road'.

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  10. #10
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    Some friends and I were planning on going to Tamarancho on Sunday, mainly lured by the Flow Trail. This will be our first time there and I assumed we'd be parking in Fairfax and eating at Gestalt Haus afterwards. I've ridden all the paved roads in the area, but never MTB.

    I'm looking at the marinbike.org map, and it looks pretty straightforward to ride from Fairfax up Deer Park Rd and then Eldridge to the top, and I see only one chevron for steepness on the route. Anyone able to compare that climb to anything in Auburn? Also, Google Maps looks like it is all tree covered ... is it anything like the forested road climb (Fairfax-Bolinas Rd?) from Alpine Lake up to the ridge?

  11. #11
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    Eldridge is a pretty steady 6-7% grade except for a few short steep spots, most notably the very bottom and the very top. The upper part has lots of loose rocks. It's not at all what I would call technical, but it takes a bit more energy than the slope itself would suggest. From what little I've seen of Auburn, you should be fine.

    It's partly tree-covered and partly not. If you go in the afternoon you'll spend a lot of time in the shade of the mountain, especially higher up.

    The best way to get from the top of Deer Park to Eldridge is to go up Shaver, turn left on Sky Oaks (paved), go to the Lake Lagunitas parking lot, then follow Lakeview to Eldridge. By the time you get to the junction with Eldridge, you've knocked out the steepest climbs you're going to run into.

  12. #12
    Uncle
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRandomRider View Post
    Eldridge is a pretty steady 6-7% grade except for a few short steep spots, most notably the very bottom and the very top. The upper part has lots of loose rocks. It's not at all what I would call technical, but it takes a bit more energy than the slope itself would suggest. From what little I've seen of Auburn, you should be fine.
    I'm a fan of climbing Eldridge Grade from Deer Park. To be safe, pick the line with the best sight lines up the trail, and be ready to make some noise -especially when approaching blind curves. It's a fun descent, but I've had a few very close calls with folks coming down, thus the recommendation. Be seen, be heard, have fun.
    Eat, ride, eat, rest, repeat.

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