Shaded Loop in Mt Tamalpais
7.3 miles     1600 ft
15 Jan 2012
Summary

A beautiful route through Mt Tamalpais and Muir Woods that is shaded throughout. Many sections are adjacent to creeks, which are full of water after winter rains.

Location: Mount Tamalpais State ParkMuir Woods National Monument

Elevation Profile
Trip Planning

Trail Maps

» Official Trail Map: Decent quality map. However, mileage information is missing. Not enough details of trail intersections, some of which have no signposs.

» RedwoodHikes Trail Map: Annotated trail map of Muir Woods National Monument and most of Mt Tamalpais State Park. An excellent quality trail map ($6.95 in Jan 2012) that is recommended for avid hikers. Mt Tamalpais has plenty of trails and trail intersections. This map shows them very clearly. Much better than official state parks map or GGNRA map.

Route

1) unnamed trail (0.3 miles): We climbed up the hill that lies behind the restrooms next to the visitor center at Pan Toll Ranger Station. Soon, we saw see an unnamed trail going down. We followed this trail for 0.3 miles to reach a bridge adjacent to an intersection with TCC Trail. Just before the bridge, we turned right. Within a few yards, the trail forked. The left branch was Stapleveldt.

2) Stapleveldt Trail (0.6 miles): A beautiful trail meandering through second growth redwoods. The first 0.3 miles are next to Redwood Creek.

3) Ben Johnson Trail (1.0 miles): A gently graded trail that connects with Hillslide.

4) Hillslide Trail (0.7 miles): Lies close to the entrance for Muir Woods National Monument and is heavily traversed. On weekends, you're likely to run into several large groups.

5) Main Trail (0.5 miles): Well maintained and heavily traversed, this trail meanders next to Redwood Creek. It goes through tall old growth redwoods. During our visit, we heard a 15-minute lecture by a park ranger. She described life lessons that we may derive by studying redwoods.

6) Fern Creek Trail and Camp Eastwood Trail (1.3 miles): The first 0.4 miles are next to Fern Creek. Then the trail climbs up, leading to Camp Alice Eastwood. We saw some unnamed trails in this area. Signs were sketchy. We had to consult our maps and ask a couple of hikers if we were headed in the right direction.

7) Bootjack Trail (1.3 miles): A beautiful trail next to Rattlesnake Creek and Bootjack Creek. Climbing up this trail entails an ascent of about 850 ft in 1.3 miles — good cardiovascular workout.

8) TCC Trail (1.4 miles): A gently winding trail.

9) Unnamed Trail (0.3 miles): The last section involves a climb of about 300 ft in 0.3 miles to reach the campsites behind Park HQ.

Trailhead

Location: Intersection of Panoramic Highway and Pan Toll Road, Mill Valley, CA 94941 . No street address. Parking area is visible in Google Maps if you zoom in sufficiently.

Directions:

The official street address is: 3801 Panoramic Highway, Mill Valley, CA -- this address maps to some strange location on Google Maps. Bing Maps shows it correctly.

From south bay: Go along Highway 1 and cross Golden Gate Bridge. Take exit 445B to merge onto CA-1 North towards Mill Valley / Stinson Beach. After 3.6 miles, turn right onto Panoramic Highway. Drive for 5.3 miles, following signs for Mt Tamalpais, to reach the park headquarters.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: $8 per vehicle (last visited: Jan 2012)

Capacity: Dozens of cars may be parked at Pantoll Ranger Station, the Park Headquarters for Mt Tamalpais.

Latitude: 37.904556     Longitude: -122.604010

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