Cycling Mt. Tamalpais via Panoramic Highway South
View from Pan Toll Road South
Ride 10.3 miles gaining 2,724’ at 4.7% average grade.
This climb is one of the four primary routes in Marin County to the top of Mt. Tamalpais.
Mt. Tamalpais is the highest mountain in the Marin County and has two peaks: the East Peak (2,574') and West Peak (2,563'). The white radar dome that sits upon Mt. Tam's slightly lower western peak is quite discernible from afar. An exceptionally scenic and unique riding opportunity is to ride from the Golden Gate Bridge to the top of Mt. Tam (see details at GGB page).
This climb is divided into three parts:
- Highway 1/Panoramic Highway to Pantoll Road: This is the least strenuous of the three segments to the top of Mt. Tam at 7.3 miles, 1,718’ at 3.9%. Along this route we have views of the West Peak of Mt. Tam, the distant Pacific Ocean, a brief glimpse of the white radar dome we will end just below, and finally wooded borders to the roadway. We end this segment at Pantoll Campground and Mt. Tamalpais State Park. There is a Visitor Center here where information about the area and maps are gladly dispensed by the rangers.
Mile 2.2 (just after turning onto Panoramic Highway).
Working our way up the mountain.
Top left: Dome as seen from Ridgecrest Boulevard (from Alpine Dam and Fairfax-Bolinas routes)
Bottom left: Dome as seen from Panoramic Highway (north/south) and Muir Woods routes.
Bootjack Campground mile 7. Intersection of Shoreline and Pantoll Road at mile 7.3.
Turn right onto Pantoll Road at the intersection.
- Pantol Road to Rock Springs: The second leg is up Pantoll Road from its intersection with Panoramic Highway, to Rock Springs Parking Area (staging area for many television commercial shoots, often for cars and trucks). Along this route we have great views down to the Pacific Ocean and near the top of Mt. Diablo, San Francisco Bay, and San Francisco. This segment is 1.4 miles / 490' / 6.2%.
- Ridgecrest Boulevard East: The final leg along Ridgecrest Boulevard East is the easiest section, giving us more spectacular views of Mt. Diablo, San Francisco Bay, and San Francisco. This segment ends as Ridgecrest "crests" just east of the radio dome atop Mt. Tam’s West Peak and is 1.5 miles /510’ / 6.8%.
Make this climb part of your Bay Area vacation.
That’s a wrap!!