Cross the Golden Gate and enter the enchanted cycling world of Marin County. This page contains the top bike climbs in Marin County. Cycling, riding and climbing the top, most difficult, hardest, challenging, extreme, best, scenic, inspiring, bucket list climbs in the Marin County. Wonderful views of Alpine Dam, Pacific Ocean, redwood forest and THE best views of San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay anywhere - in our opinion. Cycle from San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge to the top of Mt. Tamalpais - it really does not get any better than that. These climbs can be viewed via the map below (scroll in to view climbs in particular areas), or by a detailed list of the climbs that can be arranged by difficulty, distance (longest climbs in the county), altitude gained, highest elevation (highest summit), average grade (sort the grades by varying distances), lowest start point, etc. You can also view the Top 10 in the county. Click on "Climb Page" to jump to the detail page for that particular bike climb.
Cycling Marin County, Mt. Tamalpais
Mt. Tam is the centerpiece of all road bike climbing in Marin County
View of San Francisco from Mt. Tam’s West Peak
Marin County is an exceptional place to climb hills and a mountain by bike. This county has it all for cycling: the Pacific Coast, riding through redwood trees past lakes, and on up to Mt. Tamalpais which offers views of San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay that beat any other location.
THE MOST POPULAR ROUTE TO THE TOP OF MT. TAMALPAIS
We have plotted five routes to the top of Mt. Tam (Alpine Dam, Muir Woods, Fairfax-Bolinas Road, Panoramic Highway, Panoramic Highway North), and Alpine Dam is the most popular by a good stretch. This climb begins at serene Alpine Reservoir in western Marin County, rides through the redwoods, along a ridgeline with the Pacific Ocean to our right, and on up to Mt. Tamalpais’ West Peak with the greatest views of San Francisco anywhere.
THE MOST DIFFICULT ROUTE TO THE TOP OF MT. TAMALPAIS
Cycling Mt. Tamalpais from Panoramic Highway North, View from Mt. Tam’s West Peak
Most difficult bike climb in Marin County
Ride 6.6 mile gaining 2,378’ at 6.8% average grade.
Boasting an impressive 5.02 FIETS index, Mt. Tamalpais from Panoramic Highway North is by far the most difficult bike climb in the area. This climb begins at the popular coastal town of Stinson Beach, and is divided into three legs: The 3.6 mile stretch of Panoramic Highway from Stinson Beach, onto the 1.4 section of Pantoll Road, and then the final stretch of 1.5 miles along Ridgecrest Boulevard.
THE MOST SCENIC START TO THE TOP OF MT. TAMALPAIS
Cycling to Mt. Tamalpais West Peak from Muir Woods
Ride 8.9 miles gaining 2,484’ at 5% average grade.
THE MOST RUSTIC AND AGRICULTURAL BIKE CLIMB IN MARIN
Cycling the Marshall Wall East, Marin County, CA
2.8 miles gaining 553’ at 3.7% average grade.
Don’t seek this climb out for a significant challenge, as using the term "Wall" to describe this ascent is a bit of a misnomer. That being said, there is much to be seen on this climb by way of a landscape composed of almost exclusively rugged pastureland with some views of Tomales Bay, the Pacific Ocean and Marin County's Arroyo Sausal Reservoir.
THE MOST REMOTE BIKE CLIMB IN MARIN
Mt. St. Helena center photo
This is an "outlier" climb by Marin County standards -- only 1,030 Strava segment attempts as of August 29, 2015 versus over 30,000 for climbs closer to "civilization" and the very popular Mt. Tam routes. However, this is an enjoyable and unique climb in a remote area of Marin where you are likely to encounter no one during your 4.4 mile trek to the top. There are great views of the Pacific Ocean and coastline to the west and one spot where we have a great view of Napa County's Mount St. Helena some 50 miles north.