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February 17, 2024 10:50am
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Bike: Sausalito to East Peak of Mt. Tamalpais

Ride to the Top of the North Bays Iconic Mountain!

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For cyclists in Sausalito looking for a challenge, the towering presence of Mt. Tamalpais beckons each and every time they look up from the North Bay cities. It’s difficult, if you are an exercise cycling enthusiast, to see the slopes and peaks of Mt. Tam and not want to eventually climb it on your bike. If you are ready for a challenging ride near Sausalito, and don’t mind a workout to get to some of the most impressive views in the San Francisco Bay Area, then plan a ride up to the East Peak of Mt. Tam and get ready for a ride you won’t soon forget!

This ride is approximately 21 miles each direction, and involves steep climbing throughout most of the ride going out, so plan your timing accordingly. While the climbing is difficult, the views are definitely worth the trip up – many Bay Area residents make this journey in a car just for the views.

Note: There is traffic along most sections of this route, and it gets busier during the summer months. Be cautious and don’t get too distracted by the views, particularly on your way back down.

Getting to the Top of Mt. Tam

From downtown Sausalito, you are going to head out of town on Bridgeway headed north. Ride along the bay’s shore and merge onto the Mill Valley-Sausalito Path and head across the marshlands where Highway 101 veers over toward Strawberry and Tiburon. Once you get out across the marshlands, you’ll want to head straight onto Miller Ave and continue out to Throckmorton to begin heading up the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais.

After a series of turns through residential neighborhoods (see map), you will come to Panoramic Highway, where this ride takes an out-and-back to the East Peak Summit. Follow this road through turns and up the last of the incline being watchful and careful of passing traffic on the narrow, but heavily traveled at times, road.

Once you have achieved the summit, you will be rewarded with magnificent views of the region and the Pacific Ocean. This is one of those “top of the world” vistas that the Bay Area is well known for, and is your reward for the effort of getting up to the peak.

Heading back down to Sausalito is notably easier on the legs than the ascent, and you will have moments of perfect vistas on your trip back down the mountain as well. Taking the opposite direction when you reach the junction at Panoramic Highway and Sequoia Valley Rd, you will descend back into downtown Sausalito via the Shoreline Highway and wind up repeating the small section just north of town.

Although strenuous, this ride out and back to the East Peak is a favorite amongst locals and has been consistently on the “top-lists” of many Bay Area cyclists for some time.



View Bike: Sausalito to Mt. Tam in a larger map
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Photos copyright by Jay Graham Photographer
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