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Mount Tamalpais, a.k.a. Mount Tam, is known as the birthplace of mountain biking. It put Marin County on the mountain bike map back in the late 1960s and 1970s. This large state park is also good for hiking, horseback riding and scenic driving. The park has a visitor center high up on East Peak where a short hiking trail leads up to the 2571 foot summit. Trails and old fire roads meander in all directions inside the park boundaries and outside the park on the slopes of Mt. Tam.

Mt. Tam State Park also touches the Pacific Ocean between the small towns of Muir Beach and Stinson Beach (those two beaches are not in the park, but close). The beaches in the state park are small sandy coves hidden below the steep hillside where Shoreline Highway (Highway 1) twists and turns as it moves tourists up the Marin County Coast. See the map above and list below of the beaches.

ID:134466506Sunset from Mount Tam

There are several campgrounds in the park. Pantoll and Bootjack Campgrounds each have about 15 sites that can’t be reserved (first come, first served). Steep Ravine Beach on the coast has several tent camp sites and nine rustic cabins that can be rented (reservations required). The park also has a group camp for groups of 25-50 people and a horse camp too.

SteepRavineStinson-Bryce-April2015 (10)Steep Ravine Cabins at Mt. Tam State Park

Mt. Tam’s sister park, Muir Woods National Monument, is completely surrounded by the state park and has its own visitor center with exhibits to entice you into hiking their various groves of trees.

There are many animals to look out for on your adventures here. Most are welcomed sights, but there are mountain lions too. Birders can spot any of over 150 species of birds that have been identified at Mount Tam. Be aware as you hike around these parks as this area has ticks. These tiny arachnids carry lyme disease and are hard to see. To avoid them don’t go off trail and if you do, check yourself for ticks afterwards.

If you don’t plan to camp, then consider staying in a hotel nearby. The best places are Mill Valley, Stinson Beach, Muir Beach, and Sausalito which has more options and isn’t far away. West Point Inn offers an excellent overnight experience. It is right on the slopes of Mt. Tam, but you have to hike or bike to get there!

Consult the state park map to see which users are allowed on each trail.

Beaches on this map

  • Stinson Beach

    Stinson Beach (the beach) is a large public beach within Golden Gate National Recreation Area located in the town of Stinson Beach, California. It’s a popular getaway about an hour […]

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  • Red Rock Beach

    Red Rock Beach is a clothing-optional beach just south of Stinson Beach, CA. The trail access is steep so be prepared with good shoes. This remote beach is part of […]

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  • Steep Ravine Beach

    Steep Ravine Beach is a small secluded beach at the bottom of a steep canyon below Highway 1 south of Stinson Beach, CA. This is a rocky beach with drift […]

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  • Slide Ranch Beach

    Slide Ranch Beach is located at Slide Ranch, a non-profit farm for education that is situated on national park property north of Muir Beach, CA. The grounds are open to […]

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  • Muir Beach

    Muir Beach (the beach) is part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area and located in the small town of Muir Beach, California. Redwood Creek flows down to the ocean here, […]

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Hotels on this map

  • West Point Inn

    West Point Inn is a backcountry hotel on Mount Tam. It was once a stop on the Mount Tamalpais Scenic Railroad that connected the mountain to the beaches below. The […]

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Attractions on this map

  • Muir Beach Overlook

    Muir Beach Overlook is on a hidden prominence north of Muir Beach, California in Marin County. It’s an attraction that most travelers drive right by without noticing. From the trailhead […]

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  • Muir Woods National Monument

    Muir Woods National Monument is a unique pocket of unmolested old-growth trees on the southern slopes of Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County. The trees are gargantuan redwoods that will blow […]

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Other locations on this map

  • Visitor Center at East Peak

  • Pantoll Ranger Station & Campground

  • Bootjack Campground