Cycling Mt. Tamalpais - 6 routes to the top

Mt. Tam from Marion Ave
Mt. Tam from Miller Ave
Mt. Tam via Hwy 1 South
Mt. Tam via Alpine Dam
Mt. Tam via Fairfax-Bolinas Road
Mt. Tam via Muir Woods
Mt. Tam via Panoramic Hwy North

Climb List: Mt. Tamalpais
(sort by distance, difficulty, elevation and more)

Cycling Mt. Tamalpais

Bike parked next to California State Parks sign for Mount Tamalpais State Park

There is no fee to enter Mount Tamalpais State Park.

There are 6 mountaintops you can cycle to in the San Francisco Bay Area that offer dramatic and sweeping views:

  • Mount Tamalpais (Marin County; six routes to the top);
  • Mt. Umunhum (Santa Clara County; two routes to the top and the hardest climb in the Bay Area);
  • Mt. Diablo (Contra Costa County; two routes to the top)
  • Mt. St. Helena (Napa County; one primary route to the top + gravel the last five miles);
  • Mt. Hamilton (Santa Clara County; two routes to the top);
  • Bald Mountain (Sonoma County; one route to the top + gravel for the last half mile).

We consider Mount Tamalpais the Monte Grappa of the United States.  Monte Grappa in the Italian Alps has the most HC routes to the top of any mountain in the world.  Although not a world leader, Mount Tamalpais has more routes to its top than any other mountaintop in the US.  

Before heading to the bay area on your cycling adventure, be sure to rely on our list of Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip, and use our interactive checklist to ensure you don't forget anything.


  • Six fantastic routes to the top.

signs along the route, intersection of Panoramic Highway and Shoreline Highway; intersection of Marion and Cascade

  • Varying scenic surroundings.

Alpine reservoir

A lake (Alpine Reservoir).

Aerial view of cyclist climb on switchback along roadway, Pacific Ocean in background

The Pacific Ocean.

Roadway snaking across mountain ridge top, fog over Pacific Ocean in background

Ridgetop views.

Bike parked against sign for Ridgecrest Boulevard, surrounded by redwood trees

Thick forest and redwood groves.

photos from the Mt. Tam finish at West Peak, two PJAMM Cyclists stand with bikes on mountaintop, San Francisco bay and city views in distance

Some of the greatest views of San Francisco and the bay anywhere in the Bay Area.

Photos are from the finish at West Peak.

  • East Peak

Ride past the customary finish at West Peak for 1.5 miles (there are two significant descents on that segment) to the jewel of Mount Tamalpais - East Peak.  At East Peak there is a visitor center, historic train museum and a short hike to the lookout at the top of the mountain.

Bike parked against Gravity Car Barn at finish of East Peak Route

Gravity Car Barn and Visitor Center at the finish of the East Peak route.

Bike parked against informational signs at finish of East Peak Route

East Peak Route finish - bathrooms, bike rack, and water

Water, bathrooms and bike rack at the finish.

Cycling Mt. Tamalpais - PJAMM Cyclists carry their bikes over large rocks and stairs

PJAMM Cyclists stand with their bikes at base of stone tower at Gardner Lookout

PJAMM Cyclist stands on stones at mountaintop finish, overlooking the San Francisco bay and city skyline

  • Views of some other mighty mountains in the area

Views from summit looking down on Mt. St. Helena and Mt. Diablo

Views of Mt. St. Helena to the north (left) and Mt. Diablo to the east (right).