Mount Tamalpais State Park

A Hiking, Camping, Sightseeing and Wildlife Watching Paradise

Head out of San Francisco in any direction and you’re virtually guaranteed to see stunningly beautiful scenery. If your travels take you north out of the city, you should definitely take a day, a weekend or a week and enjoy the camping, hiking, biking, sightseeing, wildlife watching and other outdoor activities at Mount Tamalpais State Park in central Marin County. Long a favorite (and close) getaway for Bay Area residents wanting to get away from the noise and asphalt of the big city, Mount Tamalpais features more than 50 miles of hiking trails, two campgrounds, a natural stone amphitheater and many other amenities, such as:

  • Redwood groves
    Hiking among these majestic giants is simply good for the soul and is a marvelous way to shed whatever may be troubling you. The wildlife that lives on and around these groves isn’t too bad either.
  • Waterfalls
    Cataract Falls alone is well worth the hike but there are also many smaller waterfalls on the trail that will inspire you to take the occasional break and listen to the music of water falling.
  • Beach access
    Depending on the route(s) you choose, it can either be a relatively short hike down to Stinson Beach or a more challenging workout down to the beach and back up to your car or campsite.
  • Great camping
    Whether you choose the longtime favorite Pantoll campsite or the brand-new Bootjack Camp, you’re certain to have an unforgettable camping experience and great views either from your campsite or a short distance away. For those that like a slightly less rustic camping experience, the Bootjack Picnic Area features picnic tables, stoves, piped drinking water and flush toilets.
  • Spectacular views
    Gardner Lookout located on the east peak of Mount Tam provides what has been called one of the prettiest views in the US. On a clear day, visitors can see across San Francisco Bay, with generous views of the city and the greater Bay Area. If the timing is right and the fog takes a day off, visitors in other areas of the Park can cast their glance to the west and see the Farallon Islands 25 miles off the coast. Oh, and the views inside the park aren’t bad either!

Mount Tamalpais State Park is open from 7:00 a.m. to sunset all year round and camping is first come, first served. With a little research and a visit to the Park’s official site at, visitors can plan their visit, learn where to snag a map with most of the hiking trails, check out the lineup of events at the beautiful Mountain Theater and learn much more about this gem of the California coast. Parking can be quite limited, depending on the time of year and the time you arrive, but the Park can also be reached via mass transit by taking the #70 or #80 bus to Marin City and then hopping on the #61 Stagecoach Shuttle. No matter how you get to this magnificent place, make sure to arrive early, pack out what you pack in and don’t be in a hurry once you get there!