After hiking Cataract Falls, we discovered our favorite Bay Area view – from the top of Mt. Tam. This is a pretty popular spot, but we hadn’t had the chance to get up there as it’s tucked into the hills in Marin County and takes a while to get to from our home. While we were up there, it was absolutely worth the short trek.
While the Verna Dunshee trail that goes in a loop around the top looked nice, we didn’t have time to do both that and the Fire Lookout (or Plank Walk) trail, so we opted for the latter to get to the tippy top. We parked in the parking lot at the base and headed down the (very obvious) plank. It’s only .3 miles to the top, but it is rather rocky and somewhat steep, so I’d advise wearing solid shoes. It was quick but slightly longer than I expected for that distance (took us about 15 minutes with the 7-, 5-, and 3-year-olds all walking). It’s definitely NOT stroller-friendly, so plan to put any non-walkers in a carrier.
It was a quick hike up, and the sun was just getting low in the horizon by the time we got to the top for a spectacular 360 view of the entire Bay Area. It was clear that day so we spotted several bridges going across the bay, San Francisco, Oakland, North Bay, etc. It was beautiful.
Definitely make time to get up there on a clear day soon! Both the drive up and the views from up top were absolutely worth the time.