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Riding up Mt. Tam(3 posts)

Riding up Mt. Tammsbendle
Mar 24, 2003 10:03 AM

As a mtn. biker I know my way around Tam well....I have just started getting into Road Biking and am looking for good loops around/up/on Mt. Tam...leaving from Mill Valley/fairfax....what is the best way to do it, when etc...

thanks...also Bolinas Fairfax road...which direction is better?

re: Riding up Mt. TamCFBlue
Mar 24, 2003 12:30 PM
Since I live in San Rafael, I always ride from Fairfax up. The backside of Fairfax/Bolinas Road unnerves me a bit in a car, off camber turns, cattle grates, steep hairpens on top of which you can add lousy pavement, I've never tried it on two wheels. But I've seen a number of cyclists use the route and have been told it is not so bad, up or down, as I think it is.

So what I usually do two or three times a year is up to Ridgecrest from Fairfax, then Ridgecrest towards the summit and decide wether to go down to Stinson Beach and return home via highway 1 and Olema/Sir Francis Drake (my favorite) or down through Mill Valley fior a much less picturesque ride with a lot more traffic, both pedal and gas.

if you want to hook up for a ride up the hill with me, my addy is until the end of the week, then I get a new ISP

Many waysmass_biker
Mar 24, 2003 2:30 PM
Easy way - start in Mill Valley, go up to Four Corners and then go up Panoramic Highway until Pan Toll and then up Pan Toll until Ridgecrest and then up to the summit. Descend the way you came.

A little harder - same as above, but when you get to Four Corners, descend down to Muir Beach, and then pick up Highway 1 (north) towards Stinson Beach and then take a right up Panoramic Highway until Pan Toll and then take Pan Toll up to Ridgecrest and then the summit. Descend back down Panoramic, go through Four Corners, and take Panoramic all the way down to Tam Junction.

A bit harder still - go from Mill Valley over the grade to Corte Madera, and then up through Ross, San Anselmo, Fairfax etc. and take a left up towards Alpine Dam. Climb up to Alpine Dam and then keep climbing until you hit Ridgecrest. Left on Ridgecrest over the "Seven Sisters" (more climbing) until you get to where Pan Toll hits Ridgecrest, and then continue up to the summit. Descend down Pan Toll to Panoramic and then back down Panoramic to Four Corners and Mill Valley or Tam Junction.

And a bit harder still - start in Mill Valley, go up to Four Corners, descend down to Muir Beach, and then take Highway 1 north to Stinson Beach. Pass through Stinson Beach and then keep going until you are well north of Stinson on the way to Bolinas. Pick up Bolinas Fairfax road and take the right off Highway 1 onto Bolinas Fairfax and climb from the coast up up up to where it hits Ridgecrest. It is an awesome climb, but would make a stressful descent. Not many cars, but the road surface is not that great (not that much of an issue on a climb). Nicely shaded though almost all the way up. When you hit Ridgecrest, take a right and take it over the Seven Sisters to Pan Toll and the beginning of the final push to the summit. Take Pan Toll and Panoramic back down.

The last one is my favorite. You get to climb over the shoulder of Tam, descend down to Muir Beach, ride north on Highway 1, descend down into Stinson, keep rolling towards Bolinas and then take the Bolinas Fairfax road back up to the ridgeline with the capstone being the hump over the Seven Sisters.