Mt Tamalpais: Panoramic-Pan Toll-Ridgecrest-Bolinas Fairfax

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

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This clockwise loop heads NW along Panoramic Hwy to Pan Toll Rd for the climb up to the summit of Mt Tamalpais. The route continues along the top of the beautiful Bolinas Ridge followed by a twisty descent under the redwoods to Alpine Lake. It climbs up to Pine Mountain before dropping into the town of Fairfax.

Take the Multi-use path off Hamilton Dr through Hauke Park and cross Pickleweed Inlet onto Sycamore Ave.

Cross Camino Alto and turn right on Miller Ave. Meetup at Mill Valley Safeway.

Miller Ave turns NW through Mill Valley to the Depot Plaza and Throckmorton Ave.

The turn on Cascade Dr takes you through the redwoods around Old Mill Park to Marion Dr. Marion Dr winds up along the canyon through a beautiful residential neighborhood with homes nestled in the woods; it climbs up to Edgewood Ave with gradient ranges of 6-9%.

Edgewood Ave continues to climb up through the neighborhoods with an average grade of 5.5%. 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%. The top of Sequoia Valley Rd opens up to magnificent views of south Marin!

The next 4+ miles on Panoramic Hwy goes along the ridge as you weave your way through the residential neighborhoods. There is a short section of steep climbing with grades of 9-11% before you reach Mountain Home Inn.

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

The road continues to twist and turn as it gently climbs underneath the canopy of pines and redwoods to Pan Toll Rd.

Pan Toll Rd continues to climb up toward Mt Tam for the next 1.4 miles with an average grade of 5.5% to the Rock Springs parking lot.

E Ridgecrest Blvd to the summit is 3 miles long with an average grade of 6% as it snakes up around the mountain.

At the gated Air Force Station, the road kicks up with steep grades of 9-15% up to the first high point! E Ridgecrest continues for another 1.6 rolling miles.

The road descends to a Y junction, the steep climb on the left leads to the upper parking lot. You can also opt to take onto Old Railroad Grade Trail which also leads up to the summit on a much gentler grade.

Stop at the summit picnic area. (13.5 miles with 2747′ elevation gain)

Descend Mt Tam East Peak from the upper parking lot onto Ridgecrest Blvd; it regains 250+ feet on the climb back up to the West Peak summit with gradient ranges of 6-10%.

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

The road drops down through the beautiful redwoods to the junction at Bolinas Fairfax Rd.

Bolinas Fairfax Rd descends 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 Bolinas Fairfax 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!

Meander through the town of Fairfax on Broadway Blvd to Center Blvd. The wiggle along Bike Route 20 on San Anselmo Ave goes through San Anselmo to the residential neighborhoods along Shady Ln and Lagunitas Rd to Ross. Kent Ave leads out to Magnolia Ave and Old Downtown Larkspur.

The turn on Redwood Rd drops 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. Take the multi-use path through Hauke Park for the return to the parking lot.

This is one of my favorite rides in the Bay Area; the effort spent on all the climbs is greatly rewarded with the phenomenal natural beauty this area provides!

Garmin Stats:
40.21 Miles with 4416′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 2487′
Max grade: 15%
Terrain: Extremely hilly

Weather: Cloudy-partly sunny with coastal fog. Temps ranged from the mid 40’s to the mid 70’s with SW winds.

View the interactive RGPS route map & profile

Follow this route for today’s ride:


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