Another gorgeous sunny day in the Bay Area.. perfect day to climb mountains! We parked at the Phoenix Lake trailhead and climbed to the summit. It took us 3 hours to reach the top, and 5 hours for the round-trip. We measured round-trip trail length to be around 12 miles. Take plenty of water with you - there are no sources until the summit!
I spent one year at UC Berkeley law school and once I bked up Mt. Tamalpais which was pretty nice. All the way from SF over the Golden Gate Bridge to the top. The views of the city are quite impressive (perhaps I'll do some scans, I have the negatives somewhere).
How often do you get the summit of Mount Tam all to yourself? When there's no view and it's raining ;-) I don't remember why I was so insistent to do this but I was the only one in the parking lot that day, there was about 25 foot visibility, it was raining, and I didn't have any waterproof gear - just a nylon jacket. I made it up almost to way up to the top when I couldn't figure out where the trail went so I started crawling through the wet bushes. After making it to the top, I didn't want to get lost coming down so I crawled through the bushes out again. Interesting trip - haven't made it back yet though I've been to Muir Woods and Point Reyes several times which I like better. There's a reason why they are "Muir Woods National Monument" and "Point Reyes National Seashore" :-) I'll read the page in a bit and maybe it will inspire me to go again. I've heard Mount Tam is primarily good for mountain biking which I'll have to try out some time - of course it will be different than Utah slickrock ;-) The Slickrock Trail ... mmm ... I'll have to go back and do that again someday.
Not much of a hike from where we started. I remember basically traversing from the parking lot to a crowded, hot, and built-up summit. Views weren't great that day; par for a stagnant August day. I had just moved here, and I recall that Muir Woods was FAR more inviting on this day.
However, we recently (February) explored the area north of Tamalpais, and were impressed. The lakes, though man-made, really are a nice addition. Nice forests, vegetation variations. This is a big, complex mountain.
Use to live up in San Francisco and this was always a great place to go hiking. We headed up to the east peak on a super clear, cool winter morning last feb, and got amazing views all the way down the bay! Amazing how far you can see from up there on those days when the fog stays away.
At the time I was in college at the Univ of Illinois and was visiting a buddy in Oakland on Spring Break and interviewing for jobs after graduation. We took one morning and mountain-biked to the summit and enjoyed great views of the Pacific. Saw my first banana slug on the trail too. (BTW, best college mascot EVER in my opinion).
About the best views you can find on earth. Beautiful weather year-round.