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East Peak, Mt. Tamalpais State Park

The best panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay Area are just a half-mile hike away atop Mt. Tamalpais.

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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 0.5 miles
Duration: Less than 1 hour
Family Friendly

Overview:  Hikes don't get much shorter or much better than this half-mile round trip trail to the top of Mt. Tamalpais, just North of San... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Trailhead

Located between the restroom and the concessions is the trail, which can be immediately identified by the wooden boardwalk proceeding in a Northerly direction.

The hike up the plankwalk is a pleasant and only slightly uphill grade, leading on to a number of steps before giving way to terra firma.

2. Rocky Path

Wooden walkways and paths give way to bare rock. Although only a short trail, the route to the top isn't without an occasional steep step or brief scramble that might challenge the less mobile. However, there are plenty of opportunities to stop and appreciate the views and take a respite from the hike.

3. Mt. Tamalpais East Peak (2,572ft)

After only a quarter of a mile of hiking and a couple of switchbacks, you've reached the summit of Mt. Tamalpais!

You're surely not the only one up here at this popular destination, but the views are well worth braving the crowds for. Plus, there are many unobstructed points from which to admire the scenery - whether it's San Francisco to the... More

4. Gravity Railroad Museum

Just behind the ice-cream stall you'll find the free Gravity Railroad Museum which memorializes the former Mt Tamalpais Scenic Railway from Mill Valley.

Back in the day the tourist would reach the top of the mountain by locomotive, and then gradually descend again on the free-wheeling Gravity Railroad. Check out the You Tube video linked to... More

5. Restrooms

6. Concessions Stand

Whether you're looking to satiate a sweet tooth or simply looking for hydration, this is the place to look. Oh, wouldn't it be great you could buy an ice-cream treat on the top of every mountain?

Also, a drinking water spigot is located just to the left of the concessions stand.

7. Parking

Turn off Panoramic Highway at Pan Toll Ranger Station and head uphill past the open gates towards the mountain summit.