Just north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Tamalpais State Park rises majestically from the heart of Marin County. Its deep canyons and sweeping hillsides are cloaked with cool redwood forests, oak woodlands, open grasslands, and sturdy chaparral. The breathtaking panorama from Mount Tamalpais’s 2,571-foot peak includes the Farallon Islands 25 miles out to sea, the Marin County hills, San Francisco Bay, the East Bay, and Mount Diablo. On rare occasions, the snow-covered Sierra Nevada can be seen 150 miles away.
The park offers superlative hiking, picnicking, wildlife watching, and mountain and road bicycling. Up top, a visitor center provides information, snacks, and souvenirs, and a “gravity car barn” celebrates the old Mount Tamalpais Scenic Railway. Down below, the 3,750-person capacity Mountain Theater hosts outdoor plays and astronomy programs. Visitors may camp in several locations or stay in rustic view cabins at Steep Ravine and (on private property) at West Point Inn.