Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd

Mount Tamalpais State Park

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Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd

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  • Traversing the west-facing slopes of Mount Tamalpais, the Coastal Trail is not to be missed. - Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • Nature's layers give way to a view of the San Francisco skyline from the Coastal Trail.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • Appearances aside, you will not fall into the ocean if you continue down the trail.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • Patches of shaded evergreen forest break up the open hillsides along the Coastal Trail.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • Stinson beach and Bolinas Lagoon from the Coastal Trail.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • Coastal Trail. Mount Tamalpais State Park.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • Coastal Trail. Mount Tamalpais State Park.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • Fresh life along the Coastal Trail.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • Coastal Trail.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • Western rattlesnakes sometimes reside in this permanent trailside fixture, so watch carefully as you pass.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • Coastal Trail. Mount Tamalpais State Park.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • Coastal Trail contouring the flanks of Bolinas Ridge.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • Stinson Beach, Bolinas Mesa and Bolinas Lagoon.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • Numerous draws intersect the trail.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • Coastal Trail. Mount Tamalpais State Park.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • California bay tree (Umbellularia californica).- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • Coastal Trail. Mount Tamalpais State Park.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • California poppy (Eschscholzia californica). Coastal Trail.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
  • Additional parking a mile above Pantoll Station on Pantoll Road provides an alternate access to the Coastal Trail.- Coastal Trail, Pantoll to W Ridgecrest Blvd
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Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Views, views, views. Less traveled than other Mount Tamalpais trails.
Cons: 
Small chance of encountering a trailside rattlesnake.
Region:
Marin, CA
Congestion: 
Low
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
Not Required
Total Distance: 
5.40 mi (8.69 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
1,850 ft (564 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
200 ft (61 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Dogs allowed: 
No

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Rain throughout the day.
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Rain in the morning and evening and breezy starting in the evening.
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Rain throughout the day.
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Light rain throughout the day.
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Partly cloudy in the morning.
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Wed

Clear throughout the day.
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Partly cloudy overnight.
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

If panoramic ocean views are what you’re after, the section of the Coastal Trail running between Pantoll Station and W Ridgecrest Blvd in Mount Tamalpais State Park might just be the perfect trail for you. Traversing approximately 2.5 miles along the upper flanks of Mount Tam’s western slopes, this breathtaking section of California's Coastal Trail is relatively flat, allowing you to focus your energy on the surrounding scenery rather than catching your breath.

The trail can be approached from either direction, though a convenient parking area is located at Mount Tam's central Pantoll Station. Heading out from Pantoll, take the Matt Davis Trail west, which doubles as the Coastal Trail. The Matt Davis Trail splits off from the Coastal Trail at the 1.4-mile mark). The trail contours along expansive grassy hillsides interspersed with wooded ravines and offers continuous birds-eye vantage of the Marin Headlands, Stinson Beach, Bolinas Lagoon, and the great blue Pacific. At the split with the Matt Davis Trail, continue straight.

About halfway along the route you’ll pass the rusting remains of a trailside car wreck where rattlesnakes are sometimes spotted (keep a watchful eye as you pass). Continue across a few more draws and follow the trail past Willow Camp Fire Road to link up with West Ridgecrest Boulevard. Once you reach the road, take the same trail back to where you parked. Try and time this hike on a clear fall or winter day to get the most of the spectacular views.

Note: if parking near Pantoll Station is crowded, there is also an alternate access point located on the south side of Pantoll Road about a mile above Pantoll Station. The parking pullout is across the street from a connector trail (equally panoramic) that connects with the Coastal Trail.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(5 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(99 within a 30 mile radius)

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