Camp Tamarancho

Marin County

Easily the best singletrack riding in Marin County, the birthplace of mountain biking.

Mountain Biking Moderate

Distance
16 km
Ascent
524 m
Descent
524 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
39 m
High Point
299 m
Gradient
Camp Tamarancho Map

Camp Tamarancho is one of only two significant bike-legal trail systems in Marin County, the purported birthplace of mountain biking. But not only that, it’s arguably the best mountain bike trail in the entire San Francisco Bay Area!

Description

The singletrack through Tamarancho is narrow, smooth, and mostly quite flowy. It begins with a respectable climb up from the road, switchbacking and climbing high into the hills on beautiful singletrack beneath a canopy of towering redwoods.

Higher up, the singletrack breaks out into some beautiful mountainside meadows, and the drier terrain offers up some moderately-challenging rock gardens that intermediate riders should love. The most difficult rock gardens tend to have ride arounds for those not interested in challenging their bike handling skills.

The crowd-favorite trail segment at Tamarancho is the newly-built Endor flow trail. Featuring rollers, berms, and tabletop jumps, Endor is a top-tier flow trail that’s received high acclaim from riders all around the Bay Area. Unfortunately, the fun is over quickly after just half a mile, but due to where the flow trail was built in the network, it’s easy to pedal back up to the top and do a few laps on Endor before moving on and completing the ride.

The Camp Tamarancho trail defies the general animosity to mountain bikes in the Bay Area because the trail was built on private land. According to BayAreaRides.com, "Camp Tamarancho is the private property of the "Marin Council" of the Boy Scouts of America. Riding here requires the purchase of a permit. A one-day pass costs $5 as of this writing. Alternatively, you can buy an annual pass, which is priced at $45 for 2015. You can purchase both types of permits (among others) online. Mountain bikers are required to have one of these passes present on their person any time they are riding on the trails here. If you happen to forget to purchase one online, passes may also be purchased in person from Sunshine Bicycles on the day of your ride, though it's worth double-checking that they still do that. Sunshine Bicycles is in downtown Fairfax, a couple of blocks southeast from the starting point of this ride.”

Be sure to respect the Boy Scout Camp and buy a pass, but that small purchase will pay off handsomely with a top-notch mountain bike experience!

Sources: https://bayarearides.com/rides/tamarancho/

Difficulty

Moderate

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability, with unavoidable obstacles 8in/20cm tall or less. Other obstacles such as rock gullies and steep sections may exist. Ideal for lower intermediate riders.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Flow
  • Roots
  • Tabletops
  • Rock Slabs

Guidebooks in this area