Posted by: Sandy Steinman | April 15, 2010

Mt. Tam Wildflowers, Hiking, Views and Astronomy

Mount Tamalpais is 2571 feet high and has two peaks.  It includes Mount Tamalpais State Park and Muir Woods National Monument.  It includes Redwood groves, Oak woodlands and Chaparral.  There are many trails; popular with both hikers and mountain bikes.  There are views of the Pacific  Ocean, Marin, San Francisco, and the Bay.

An excellent source of organized day hikes and astronomy nights is the Mount Tamalpais Interpretive Association: http://www.mttam.net/ On April 17 they are holding the annual MTIA Wildflower walk with wildflower experts at Rock Springs area: http://primaveraexpert.com/wildflowers-mttam_state_park__adjacent_lands

My favorite hiking book is Mt. Tam a Hiking, Running and Nature Guide by Don and Kay Martin

It not only lists the trails but also tells which ones are best for different interests and for each season. It also has drawings and descriptions of common wildflowers and plant communities.

The most comprehensive book for wildflowers is the Marin Flora by John Thomas Howell, Frank Almeda, Wilma Follette, and Catherine Best (Complete Flora of entire Marin County)

Popular wildflower trails include Steep Ravine, Benstein (near Rock Springs), Pumpkin Ridge and Deer Park area.

Two good websites for trails are

Mt. Tamalpais Trails: http://www.trails.com/activity.aspx?area=13911

Marin Trails: http://www.marintrails.com/

Mt. Tamalpais State Park Website: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=471

Muir Woods National Monument Website: http://www.nps.gov/muwo/index.htm

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