February 6

Mount Tamalpais

On an unusually clear warm February day, we drive up to Marin county and head up to the top of Mount Tamalpais. I've always wanted to see the views from this vantage point and today was the possibly the best day to it! We were having usually warm weather for the dead of winter, with temps in the upper 70s, and the visability was crystal clear.

We head up north early that morning driving through the city and across the Golden Gate Bridge. We stop at the vista point on the Marin side of the bridge for beautiful views of the city.

After a quick restroom break we hop back in the car and drive the windy rode up the mountain passing numerous rode bikes along the way. Once at the top of Mt. Tam, we parked our car and headed to the small visitor's center for trail maps. Our first trail was to the very top of Mt. Tam and the Gardner fire lookout. From this vantange point we took in the spectacularly clear views of the entire Bay Area. The air was so clear that the snowcapped Sierra's were easily seen through Altamont Pass. We then walked along the Verna-Dunshee trail, a well paved trail that encircles the peak of Mt. Tam.

Now was time for our 'big' hike, we hiked down the steep Fern Creek trail until it ended at the junction with the Old Railroad Grade. This was our lowest descent about 800feet from the peak, from this point we walked along the mountain bike heavy Old Railroad Grade back up the mountain. This gradual grade made it easy to get back to the top. Along the way we stopped at this historic West Point Inn, once a midpoint stay for train travelers up the mountain. During our stop we had a late lunch to refuel ourself for the rest of the ascent. This day was a perfect day to visit Mt. Tam, it was also Superbowl Sunday! Traffic was easy heading back home since most people were glued to their television sets. (Green Bay beat the Steelers)

  • Crossing the Golden Gate to Marin County

  • Toby driving across the Golden Gate Bridge

  • At the Marin vista point

  • View of San Francisco from the vista point

  • Looking straight on the roadway of the bridge

  • Toby at the vista point

  • An old style plane flew over the vista point

  • The colorful Waldo tunnel as we enter Marin County

  • Looking up at Mount Tamalpais from our approach

  • A clear view of the Bay Area from the Mt. Tam parking lot

  • Bon Tempe Lake as seen from Verna Dunshee trail on Mt. Tam

  • The East Bay view from Mt. Tam

A panorama taken during the late morning hours from the top of Mount Tamalpais. The view stretches from the Oakland hills in the far left on the other side of the bay all the way to the headlands just past Pacifica. In the middle of the view is San Francisco. (image opens in separate window, double click image in new window to view full size)

  • Alan on top of Mt. Tam

  • Toby on top of Mt. Tam

  • Soaking in the dramatic view on this clear day

  • An East Bay view with Mt. Diablo in the distant background

  • The Gardner fire lookout at the very top, built in 1901

  • Toby and Alan at the top of Mt. Tam.

  • Toby on top of Mt. Tam

  • A replica of the gravity trains which once traveled down the mount

  • A view of the snow capped Sierras through Altamont Pass

  • From an observation platform along the Verna Dunshee Trail

  • FWEE

  • The sun is getting warm time to shed our sweaters

A panorama taken from near the top of Mount Tam, this view encompasses Mount Diablo in the left portion of the photo. (image opens in separate window, double click image in new window to view full size)

  • We hike down Fern Creek trail on the southern slope of Mt. Tam.

  • The trail went through dense growth

  • Fern creek produced numerous little waterfalls

  • Fern creek produced numerous little waterfalls

  • Jazz hands!

  • West Point Inn along the Old Railroad Grade

  • Views from the hike back up along Old Railroad Grade

  • The afternoon sun was in the upper 70s

  • Looking out toward Pacifica

  • FWEE

  • The afternoon sun shining on the city

  • Farallon Islands off in the distance