While you are welcome to join any of the MTIA guided hikes, you may wish to hike on your own. There are several hundred miles of trails in the State Park and adjacent areas such as the Marin Municipal Water District for you to explore.
If you’d like some suggestions for hikes, we have .pdf files of several to help you get started in the Hike Suggestions section below.
Because there are so many trails on Mt Tamalpais, we strongly recommend you bring a map with you. There is a map at the bottom of the Maps page of our web site, which you can get to by clicking here. You may purchase maps at the kiosk at Pantoll Ranger Station or at the East Peak Visitors’ Center. Or you may find them at your local camping store.
What do you need to bring on an MTIA (Mt. Tamalpais Interpretive Association), day or evening hike?
(It is recommend to be aware of, and have, the following items.)
- ON HOT DAYS BRING AT LEAST THREE BOTTLES OF WATER Most hikes do not pass by public drinking water sources.
- HEALTH & FIRST AID
Please be aware of your pre-existing health conditions that can be affected by exercising. Chest pains, problems with sugar, difficulties in hot weather will be accentuated by a day hiking. (Band-aids are essential for those blisters or sudden stumbles.)
- EXACTLY HOW LONG WILL THE HIKE LAST The exact time the hike will end cannot be predicted due to the variations in hiking pace of any hiking group and the conditions out on the trails. For Saturday hikes, especially your first one leave the afternoon open even though the hike will usually return before 2:30 PM. Being unfamiliar with the driving distances makes for a hectic day if you have to be somewhere shortly after your first hike with us.
Weekend hikes stop for lunch, a light sandwich and fruit are fine. Wednesday evening hikes stop for a snack.
- SUNSCREEN/SUNGLASSES/INSECT REPELLENT
Protect yourself, wear a wide brim hat – the hike may spend the day out in full sun. Ticks, mosquitoes, horse flies and yellow jackets are present, but not abundant.
- STURDY BOOTS
Your most important gear. The trails are uneven, very steep in places and rocky. To provide stable footing, at least mid-height, leather hiking boots with lugged soles, having plenty of tread are highly recommended. Sandals, sneakers or running shoes are not recommended.
Nice to have for Wednesday evening and/or moonlight hikes.
- CELL PHONE
If you have one bring it. It is a good idea to share your cell phone number with the hike leader. Ability to communicate before the hike on rainy days and fire danger days or if separated can be essential.
A map, like the 10th edition of the Olmsted map of the Mt. Tamalpais area hiking trials, and/or a guide book such as “Tamalpais Trails” by Barry Spitz, are an excellent way to increase your familiarity with the beautiful Mt. Tam areas. (A guided hike is a good time to practice hands-on use of the trail map and navigation devices, although you can depend on the hike leader to lead the way.)
- IF IT IS YOUR FIRST TIME, BE SURE TO TELL SOMEONE AT HOME WHERE YOU ARE GOING If it is your first time and no one knows you on the hike, we will not be able to identify you in case of an emergency or separation.
- DRESS IN LAYERS
- GUIDE DOGS ONLY ARE ALLOWED ON STATE PARK HIKING TRAILS