Panoramic-Old Stage-Old Railroad Grade-Mt Tamalpais

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

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This mixed terrain route goes up through the redwoods for a clock-wise loop along Panoramic Hwy to the rocky dirt terrain on Old Stage Rd to West Point Inn. The rough terrain continues on Old Railroad Grade up to the summit of Mount Tamalpais. The remainder of the route follows the paved road atop of Bolinas Ridge on Ridgecrest Blvd to Fairfax Bolinas Rd before dropping down into the town of Fairfax. The return to Mill Valley includes a climb up to Corte Madera Ridge on Chapman Dr.

We head north on Miller Ave to the downtown area around Depot Plaza.

The turn on Cascade Dr takes us through the redwoods around Old Mill Park.

Marion Dr winds up along the canyon through a beautiful residential neighborhood with homes nestled in the woods. The climb up to Edgewood Ave has gradient ranges of 6-9%.

Edgewood Ave continues to climb up through the neighborhoods with an average grade of 5.5%.

We head south on Sequoia Valley Rd to Panoramic Hwy at Four Corners; the climb is 0.6 mile with an average grade of 6.3%.

Panoramic Hwy runs along the east edge of Muir Woods National Monument; the rolling terrain goes along the top of the ridge with gorgeous vistas of the wooded forests. The road snakes through the hillside neighborhoods up to Mountain House Inn with steep grades of 9-11%.

Panoramic Hwy continues winding along the ridge before gently dropping down into the redwoods around Mt Tam State Park

The road weaves up along the base of the mountain under a gorgeous canopy of pines and redwoods to Pan Toll Rd with an average grade of 6.5%.

At Pan Toll Rd, we make an immediate right turn onto Old Stage Rd; the paved road cuts through the woods above Panoramic Hwy to the junction at Bootjack Trail with fabulous views of SF Bay and beyond! 

Old Stage Rd continues on rocky dirt terrain for the next gentle 1.5 miles up to West Point Inn.

The mountain side views are fantastic!

There is one section of road with serpentine basalt rock formations; the surrounding scenery and landscape instantly brought up the memory of watching spaghetti westerns with cowboys riding through the mountains on horseback. 

The road winds up along the mountain side with some spring blooms to West Point Inn. Sit for a while and enjoy the scenery! 

We continue up to Mt Tam on Old Railroad Grade; this rocky dirt road gently climbs for 1.4 miles to Ridgecrest Blvd with an average grade of 6.3%.

From Ridgecrest Blvd, we take the paved Old Railroad Trail up to the summit. Enjoy the views from the Overlook Area at the Verna Dunshee Trailhead!

We descend Mt Tam East Peak from the upper parking lot onto Ridgecrest Blvd. The rolling short climbs lead up to the longer ascent up to the electrical post at the West Peak summit; it’s 0.4 mile with gradient ranges of 7-10%. 

The sweeping descent from the West Peak drops down to the Rock Springs parking area. We stay on Ridgecrest Blvd and head west for the fun rolling climbs atop of Bolinas Ridge. 

The ridge top views are spectacular even with the blanket of fog covering the coastal areas!

W Ridgecrest Blvd drops down through the redwoods to Fairfax Bolinas Rd. 

We descend Bolinas Fairfax Rd to Alpine Dam; it’s a twisty bumpy 2.5 miles to Alpine Lake.

Bolinas Fairfax Rd continues to gently climb out from the lake area before dropping down to the S turns through the gorgeous redwoods.

The road exits the woods and tilts up for a short bit before leveling out for about a mile to the base of the climb up Pine Mountain.

The climb up to the summit at Pine Mountain trail is 0.8 mile with an average grade of 6.3%.

The fast sweeping descent on Fairfax Bolinas Rd drops down pass The Meadow Country Club to Bolinas Rd. Bolinas Rd continues down through a residential neighborhood with many hidden driveways-use caution!

We meander our way through the town of Fairfax on Broadway Blvd to Center Blvd.

We wiggle along Bike Route 20 on San Anselmo Ave through San Anselmo to the residential neighborhoods along Shady Ln and Lagunitas Rd to Ross.

Kent Ave leads us out to Magnolia Ave and Old Downtown Larkspur.

The turn on Redwood Rd takes us onto Tamalpais Dr into Corte Madera. We climb our way around the hillside homes along Chapman Dr to Camino Alto; it’s 0.9 mile with an average grade of 5.3%.

Camino Alto drops down along the east edge of Camino Alto Open Space Preserve to E Blithesdale Ave into Mill Valley.

This route offers a nice variation to the all paved road ride up Mt Tam. The rocky dirt road on Old Stage and Old Railroad Grade is not too bad at all! If I can ride, you can ride it too! For me, the best part of this route is the ride along Bolinas Ridge-it’s an absolutely gorgeous run with spectacular views! 

Garmin Stats:
39 Miles with 4052′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 2492′
Max grade: 11%
Terrain: Extremely hilly

Weather: Patchy skies with dense coastal fog-brilliant sunshine inland. Temps ranged from the morning high of 57F to an afternoon high of 96F. Breezy NW winds with 73% humidity

Click here to view the interactive route map & elevation profile


Follow this route for today’s ride:


One Comment

  1. It was great seeing you and Michael today on Mt. Diablo. I’ve missed you guys.

    Your 2014 calendar is in the mail, better late than never.


    Good to see you too John! Email me if you want to get together for a ride. Nancy


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