Just north of San Francisco and the Golden Gate, is Mount Tamalpais State Park (MTSP), 6,300 acres of redwood groves, oak woodlands, grassland slopes, chaparral and rocky ridges. Offering spectacular views of the nearby Pacific and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area, from its ridges, slopes and the 2,571-foot high, East Peak.
Combined with other lands in Marin County, California, bordering MTSP - including the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Marin County Open Space District, Marin Municipal Water District, Muir Woods National Monument, Audubon Canyon Ranch, and smaller privately held lands - Mt. Tamalpais itself is estimated to cover nearly 25,000 acres. Being one of the richest sites of endemic plant species in California, it is home to seventy-three species of plants found nowhere else in Marin County.
Located in the very heart of Marin County, Mount Tamalpais State Park (MTSP) offers a wealth of activities, including picnicing, California nature study, historic landmarks, hiking, biking, tent camping, horseback riding, group camping, overnight cabins, and two almost 100 year old inns (West Point Inn & Mtn. Home Inn), just over its boundary lines. With close by beaches for sunbathing and a dip, a tidal lagoon offering kayaking, as well as surfing in or just bordering the park, activities abound!
In addition, Mt. Tamalpais State Park offers through its cooperative organization, the Mount Tamalpais Interpretive Association (MTIA, sponsor of this web site), an optional - you may hike Tamalpais on your own at no cost when the mountain is open, which is generally between sunrise to sunset, though it may be closed during those times due to fire danger - full guided hiking program (from easy strolls, to rigorous multi-milers and everything in-between, including moonlight hikes and full moonrise viewing hikes). In the warmer months, weekly Wednesday night hikes for the work weary are offered. Schedules for these hikes can be found elsewhere on the web site. For a printable version of the 2009Q1 hiking schedule, .
Astronomy nights are offered monthly, April through September, with lectures and stargazing/star party events, and even public storytelling for children and the young at heart, at Rock Spring Parking Area and Mtn. Theatre. - all the above programs are free except parking fees at Pantoll Ranger Station, Bootjack Parking Lot and the East Peak Parking Lot, horseback riding charges, overnight accomodations and camping fees.
From mid-May to mid-June each year the Mountain Play Association offers a revival of a Broadway musical, featuring professional theatre personnel, recreating the great American musical theatre, high on Mt. Tam. Shows are presented in the 5000 seat, outdoor, Mountain Theatre.
An on-going MTSP history project, with periodic lectures at Mill Valley Library, recalls the activities of past generations in the Park, offering a perspective to the present.
(For the latest West Marin Stage Coach, bus schedule, serving Mt. Tamalpais State Park, call the West Marin Stage Coach, 415-526-3239 or visit their web site at www.marintransit.org/stage.html)