Mt Tamalpais

Peak Summited2020 Mount Tamalpais
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadDipsea Trail on Panoramic Highway near Stinson Beach
EncounteredWildflowers blooming
Hiking CompanionsHiked with a partner
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusBugs were not too bad
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

I signed up for the challenge with 3 of my Girl Scout backpacking leader friends. Two of us were lucky to have done our 3rd hike, Mt Sizer, right before the lockdown was imposed. Since then we obviously have not been able to hike together due to social-distancing. We also have been trying to hike, and remain in general, close to home. But finally I got restless  and figured it was time to go for one more peak before the weather gets to hot. So I talked my husband into joining me. We set out from home very early and were on the trail by 6:45am. The Steep Ravine Trail was glorious, will all the lush ferns – such a constrast to the dry conditions on the peninsula.  We didn't see a soul until the West Point Inn. The morning fog kept us quite cool and comfortable until we emerged above it somewhere beyond the Pantoll campground. Where we were pleasantly surprised to find the bathrooms open and water available. The hike to the summit was surprisingly easy since the grade was very gentle beyond the Steep Ravine Trail. The summit area of course was busy so we donned our masks. For the return we took the Fern Trail and Tavern Pump Trail back to the Old Stage Coach  fire road. Which was a nice, shady route but more steep and rugged than we were expecting. We were anticipating an easy descent so probably would have been happier staying with the fire road. Better also for social-distancing since these trails were busy and narrow.

From the Pantoll campground we took the Matt Davies trail back to Stinson beach. This actually climbs for quite a while, albeit gradually, before a long, switchbacking descent to Stinson Beach which seemed to take way longer than it should have. This trail was also busy. We were more than  ready to be done when we finally emerged on the Shoreline Highway for the short hike back to the car.  The round trip took us almost 8 hours, which included a few stops for geocaches.

In summary I'm definitely happy to get this gorgeous but challenging hike under my best, but I'd love to go again with my Six Pack friends if we get the chance. A big thank you to my husband Andy for keeping me company yesterday and taking the photos.


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