[A note about directions to avoid confusion: Because the link between Meetup.com and Google Maps is very difficult to work with, I have to use the name, Deer Park Fire Road Trailhead, as the trailhead name shown above. But experienced hikers and hiking literature knows this trailhead as the Frank Valley Trailhead. The Google map is correct except for this naming error.]
Today's six mile hike, (returning before 1:45pm) meets at the Frank Valley Trailhead. Follow the directions given at this link for the, Frank Valley Trailhead, http://friendsofmttam.org/hiking/hike-meetings-direction.html
- Meetup time: 10:00am
- Meetup location: Frank Valley Trailhead (click link below)
- Distance: 6.0 to 6-1/2 miles
- Duration: 3.75 hours
- Pace: Moderate
- Difficulty: Moderate (If you've done some walking recently?)
- Hills: We will do some hill climbing. One good one. (500'elev.gain overall.)
WHAT TO BRING:
- Regular mid to regular hiking boots for men and for those a little overweight. Low rise boots are okay if not overweight.
- Water & Lunch: At least two bottles, or more as your needs determine. Something to eat for lunch on the trail.
- Goals, learn about where we are hiking, sociability, make new friends and get some exercise.
SO HOW FAST ARE WE WALKING?
Pace or speed, of a group hike is relative to the individuals feeling, of whether the hike is too slow, or too fast. In the end the Hike Leader who sets a pace you like is just the right pace for you.
Today's hike meets at the Frank Valley Trailhead. Follow the directions given at this link for, Frank Valley Trailhead , http://friendsofmttam.org/hiking/hike-meetings-direction.html
On today's hike we'll start hiking in the lowest elev.area of Mt.Tam State Park. We'll climb the Heather Cutoff with 21 graded switchbacks, providing for a little exercise to make the hikers happy with a little climbing workout. We'll gently, gain 380 ft. in elevation. With the payoff of spectacular views overlooking the Pacific, San Francisco and to the south, along the coast. Behind us beautiful view from afar of the upper part of Mt.Tam.
After marveling at the views we just earned, we'll head over to Slide Ranch and hike south on the Owl Trail, with more spectacular views; then to Muir Beach Overlook, where we'll have lunch.
After lunch, going on a path among the houses on the hills above Muir Beach and passing on down through the grounds of the Muir Beach Community Center and on to the beach itself (Muir Beach), then alas, back on the Redwood Creek Trail to the cars.
Barry Spitz in his landmark book, "Tamalpais Trails", says about the Owl Trail, "For dramatic ocean-view scenery, few trails can match this one."
For detailed general information about the hikes, go to the Friends of Mt.Tam web site, hiking section, http://www.friendsofmttam.org/hiking.html
Registered, Mt.Tamalpais State Park volunteers, also called, "Friends of Mt. Tam" volunteers, lead hikes every Sat.& Sun., year around, such as this hike. But this can be a harder Trailhead to find. By carefully following the directions given in the first link above, you will be able to find the Frank Valley Trailhead.
Meet at the trailhead by no later then 10:00am sharp. If you are five minutes late you may miss the start of the hike. If this is your first time coming to this Trailhead, please leave some extra time.
In the event of a severe Pacific Storm, with strong winds, the hike will be cancelled. If light rain, bring rain gear, the hike will not be cancelled.
More about footwear: The Tamalpais hiking trails are rocky, root crossed, uneven and sometimes steep. Hiking boots, low to high cut, are recommended for comfort and to lessen the chance of knee, ankle or a foot injury. Sandals, tennis shoes, running shoes, flip-flops and clogs not at all recommended for hiking on Mt.Tam trails.
Go to http://www.friendsofmttam.org/hiking.html (http://www.mttam.net/hiking.html), Hiking section for the Hike Schedules and trailhead meeting locations for other hikes on Mt.Tam. Hiking mileage to be expected, etc. is listed there. All hikes take place in, and/or around Mt.Tamalpais State Park.
For potpourri of MTSP photos go to; http://www.www.friendsofmttam.org/gallery.html Look there a photo of the Heather in the foreground, framing the East Peak of Mt.Tamalpais. taken from the area of this hike.