Short hike to the panoramic summit of of Mount Tamalpais.


Analysing terrain data

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The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.

Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

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

High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Low ExposureThe path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


This short but somewhat steep loop leads from the state park visitor center to the top of Mount Tam’s East Peak.

Along the trail you will get great views in all directions around the mountain.

The trail is named for the boardwalk at its beginning, but this soon leads to a regular dirt and rock path that ascends more steeply. This trail is a great tour of the mountain’s ecology and geology, even on a foggy or hazy day when views are limited.

The vegetation type is chaparral, dominated by hardy shrubs like manzanita and sturdy trees like madrone and oak.

In spring you’ll see wildflowers like the blue lupines and yellow monkey flowers.

You’ll notice many rocks along the trail are greenish in color, meaning they contain serpentine, a certain kind of metamorphic rock.

The unique configuration of serpentine that occurs on Tamalpais is the state rock of California. On a clear day, views stretch over green rolling hills all around, blue reservoirs to the northwest, the Pacific Ocean to the south, San Francisco Bay, and the city skyline to the east.

The trail leads to the mountain’s summit, where a historic fire lookout stands.

The tower is still staffed in order to spot fires and is not open to the public, but you’ll get quite a commanding view from its base. Sources: