The “Sleeping Maiden,” or Mount Tam, as she is affectionately called, is a Bay Area treasure, the peak closest to San Francisco, and the heart of Marin parkland and open space. This hike is like the “best of Mount Tamalpais,” featuring the diverse habitat of the 6,300-acre park, starting with incredible views of the bay, cities, foothills, lakes, and ocean. Enjoy thick, quiet woodland of coast redwood, Douglas fir, oak, bay, and madrone trees, as well as trickling waterfalls and cascading streams in moist ravines and canyons. Step out in wide, sloping, grass-covered meadows and along hillsides of gnarled manzanita and coyote brush. Pass by statuesque outcroppings of green serpentine and white chert stones and by tall banks of red, sunburnt soil and mossy green growth. These trails also walk you through Mount Tam history, from popular East Peak, down Railroad Grade, where the old steam engines used to run, to the tavern at West Point Inn. Walk right off a trail into an outdoor amphitheater with stone seats built in traditional Greek style. There are camps, picnic areas, and facilities at several locations along the way. The weird aspect of this hike is that you start at the top and hike down and back up again. This eTrail also includes suggested nearby attractions, camping & lodging, restaurants, and local outdoor retailers.
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