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East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail

Marin, California

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East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail
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  • The Throckmorton Fire Station sits near the trailhead. East Peak (2,571') is in view above the station.- East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail
  • Hogback Fire Road connects the Panoramic Highway with the Old Railrad Grade Fire Road on Mount Tamalpias' southern slopes.- East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail
  • A steep section up Hogback Fire Road.- East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail
  • Old Railroad Grade Fire Road is used by both hikers and mountain bikers.- East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail
  • Fern Creek Trail.- East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail
  • Common manzanita (Arctostaphylos manzanita) covers the Mount Tamalpias hillsides along the upper Fern Creek Trail.- East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail
  • The Gardner Fire Lookout sits on top of East Peak (2,571'). - East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail
  • Panorama looking south from East Peak with Mount Diablo (3,864'), the East Bay, San Pablo Bay, the San Francisco Peninsula and the Pacific Ocean in veiw from left to right.- East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail
  • Gardner Fire Lookout on the summit of East Peak (2,571').- East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail
  • East Peak.- East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail
  • Angel Island and the East Bay.- East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail
  • Marin Headlands lie adjacent to Mount Tamalpias to the south.- East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail
  • Bon Tempe Lake lies to the north.- East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail
  • Descending Fern Canyon Trail with the Muir Woods valley below.- East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail
  • The Old Railroad Grade Fire Road.- East Peak via Hogback + Fern Creek Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Panoramic Bay Area vistas. Most direct route from Panoramic Highway,
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
Marin, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
Not Required
Total Distance: 
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
970 ft (296 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
1,600 ft (488 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Dogs allowed: 
No
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Partly cloudy throughout the day.
68°F
48°

Thu

Rain overnight.
61°F
59°

Fri

Partly cloudy throughout the day.
62°F
54°

Sat

Partly cloudy in the evening.
66°F
53°

Sun

Clear throughout the day.
71°F
58°

Mon

Clear throughout the day.
77°F
60°

Tue

Clear throughout the day.
81°F
66°
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

A moderate half-day hike, the Hogback Fire Road to Fern Creek Trail route provides some of the most direct access to East Peak, the true summit of Mount Tamalpais. Winding up Mount Tamalpias' south facing slopes, the route ascends open fire roads before splitting off on the Fern Creek trail en route to the summit. East Peak, and much of the trail itself, offers spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, the surrounding Marin hills, San Francisco Peninsula and San Pablo Bay.

The trail begins a few hundred feet north of the Panaromic Highway parking area located across the street from Mountain Home Inn. Cross the Panaromic Highway and head up the road marked by the “Marin Country Fire Dept” and “Mt. Tamalpais Watershed” signs (note: there is also another gravel road to the right here that takes you to additional parking). Pass the Throckmorton Fire Station and continue up the steep Hogback Fire Road. 

Just over a half mile up Hogback you’ll run into Old Railroad Grade Fire Road, a popular mountain biking trail. Make a left heading uphill and continue until you reach the Fern Creek Trail junction a third of a mile ahead. Follow the Fern Creek Trail uphill to the Summit Ridge and visitor center, where restrooms and drinking water are available, and continue to where the trail ends just below East Peak. To reach the summit take the Plankwalk Trail, and enjoy the vistas afforded at the top.

Be sure to pack a jacket, as East Peak can be much windier and cooler than the trails that lead to the summit.

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(8 within a 30 mile radius)

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