Hiking Mt. Tam’s Eastern Peak: 10.1 miles, ~2,000 ft elevation gain

Last week, Tish and I finally made time to get out on the trail again and checked Mt. Tam’s highest point off our NorCal hike bucket list. We started at the Pantoll Ranger station and followed the Matt Davis Trail for just over 2 miles to the Hoo Koo e Koo Trail. The first 4ish miles were beautifully mellow trail over rolling hills through Redwood groves and Eucalyptus trees. We linked up to the Tamalpa Trail by way of Old Railroad Grade and Vic Haun Trails, at which point the trail gained about 1,000 feet of elevation over 1 mile. It was a steep climb, but offered amazing views the entire way up. We decided to follow a spur trail 400 ft to a vista, and despite the overgrown brush and obvious underused nature of the trail, we were rewarded with the best view on the entire hike!

We could see out over the bay, and follow all of the switchbacks we had just come up. After a fun little photo session, we continued onward and upward! About 1/2 mile from the summit, we reached a paved path loop that provides summit access from a nearby parking lot (yes, we could have driven to the summit, but what fun would that be?!). Following this path was a little anticlimactic, but gave us reprieve from the steep climbing which was welcomed. We decided to have lunch on top of the summit, took some more photos and then headed back down the mountain. The descent was much less noteworthy, the trails we used had no views, and at one point we were just walking down a fire road for awhile…..however we found an amphitheater called the Mountain Theater which was quite a sight! I would love to see a performance here sometime, the view from the seats looks out over the bay, simply gorgeous. We were fortunate to have perfect weather and a (mostly) clear view all day!

Fog hovering over the bay at the start of our hike

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