Mt. Tam Cam - Tamalpais
Mount Tamalpais State Park webcam
Mt. Tam Summit Cam - elevation 2,339 ft.
San Rafael Temp
San Francisco Cam - on a clear day you can see Mt. Tam
San Rafael Cam - looking towards San Anselmo and San Rafael Hill.
Bay Area Fog - Mt. Tamalpias weather
Temperatures - 6 to 10 day outlook
Temperatures - 6 to 10 day outlook
New video by Gary Yost
Mt. Tamalpais Weather - Summit Current Conditions
Big Rock Ridge live weather station
Novato live weather station
North Fire Satellite with infrared
Heat signature showing
Mt. Tam hiking trail photos
Kunst Brothers Painting Marin
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The Invisible Peak from Gary Yost
|RECREATIONAL RESOURCES: Within the park, more than sixty
miles of trails meander through the Park's landscape and connect with a
200 mile trail network through adjacent public lands. The 3500 seat
Cushing Memorial Theater, 2,000 feet above San Francisco Bay, has been the
site of the annual Mountain Play since 1913. For information, contact the
Mountain Play Association at (415) 383- 1100. Group camping is available
at Alice Eastwood Group Camp and the Frank Valley Horse Camp. Reservations
through Reserve America at (800) 444-7275. Adjacent to the Pantoll Ranger
Station are 16 individual walk-in campsites (available on a first come
first serve basis). The beautiful Steep Ravine area, located on a rocky
headland two miles south of Stinson Beach, offers primitive overnight
camping. There are six environmental campsites and ten rustic cabins.
Steep Ravine is a very popular campground and reservations are required
(Note that Steep Ravine is listed under Environmental Camping for Mt.
Tamalpais, when you call Reserve America).
HISTORY: Many people believe that the 2,571-foot peak is the remains of an extinct volcano. Geologists have decided that Mt. Tamalpais was created by the process of buckling and folding within the earth's crust. The San Andreas Fault lies offshore to the west, marking the division between two large pieces of the Earth's crust: the North American Plate and the Pacific plate. The Pacific plate is moving eastward and down under the North American plate, thus uplifting Mt. Tam and the Coast Range.
NATURAL RESOURCES: Home to several rock-types; sandstone(graywacke), shale, greenstone, chert, quartz, tourmaline, and the green serpentine, which is the state rock of California. Mt. Tam is also a host to a number of plants; more than 750 species, including both the Coast Redwood and the delicate Calypso Orchid, Oak, Chaparral, Douglas Fir and California Laurel Tan Oak. Mt. Tam's hillsides are sprinkled with California poppies, many species of lupine, all shades of Douglas iris, blue-eyed grass, goldfields, shooting stars, spotted coral root, fetid adder's tongue, Pacific trillium. Home to many animals; raccoons, gray foxes, squirrels, bobcats, coyotes, mountain lions, and black-tailed deer. Red-tailed hawks, turkey vultures, great horned, spotted, barn and screech owls, woodpeckers, Steller's jays and black ravens..
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Mt. Tamalpais Scenic Railroad was completed in 1896 and ran from Mill Valley to the East Peak summit. A hotel, restaurant, and dance hall followed shortly to make Mt. Tam a popular destination around the turn of the century until 1930, when automobiles became to favored mode of transportation. Called the ‚ÄúCrookedest Railroad in the World‚Äù, the ride up the mountain was only surpassed by the ride down the mountain in a Gravity Car. These 30-passenger cars had only a brakeman to control the roller-coaster descent back to Mill Valley or Muir Woods.
West Point Inn
Secluded amongst the trees on the upper south slope of Mt. Tamalpais, in Marin County is the historic West Point Inn. Built in 1904 as a stopover and restaurant on the Mill Valley/Mt. Tamalpais Railway line, this rustic inn offers panoramic views of the East Bay, San Francisco, the Marin Headlands, and one tower of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Inn is now under the jurisdiction of the Marin Municipal Water District but is operated by a non profit organization, the West Point Inn Association. The Inn consists of 5 rustic cabins, a communal fully equipped kitchen, a large living area with fireplace, a deck with phenomenal views, a single use restroom on the deck with a roll-in shower, and seven additional guestrooms upstairs in the main lodge.
To reach the Inn, the general public has to hike in, however, if you are not able to hike in, you are allowed to drive in down the two-mile dirt road. The cabin is basically a place to sleep and not spacious enough for just hanging out.
There is no electricity and you will need to bring your own food, towels and sheets/sleeping bag. On the weekend there is a throng of bicyclists and hikers on the trail adjacent to the inn. Part of the Inn is open to the public during the daytime so it ends up not being so private. During the week it is much less crowded and the evenings are extremely peaceful.
General information: 415-388-9955
Reserve three months in advance
* Cost is either $35 or $50 per person (for nonmembers) depending on the season and whether it's a weekend or not.
* Children under 18 are half price.
* No Pets.
* Closed on Sunday and Monday.
* No weddings or receptions
* The Inn may be rented for private parties up to 20 people for $700 or $1,000, depending on the season.
* The hike from the Pantoll Ranger Stations is two miles.
Construction of the "Crookedest Railroad in the World" began on February 5th, 1896. There is no clear account of when engineering and surveying began, but undoubtedly that occurred some time before. The last spike was driven on 18, August 1896. The first passenger train with Mill Valley citizens aboard went up the mountain on 22, August 1896. The Grand Opening took place 26 August primarily for the press.
The original railroad road bed was 8.25 miles long with 22 trestles and 281 curves. The longest straight stretch was in the middle of the Double Bow Knot, a distance of 413 feet. The rails were 57 pound steel with redwood ties. The cost of construction was reported to be $55,000, with another $80,000 for equipment. Original equipment consisted of one Shay engine of 20 tons, one Heisler engine of 30 tons, six open canopied cars, one San Francisco cable car and two flat cars. Regular operations began 27 Aug. 1896. The grade averaged 5% while the steepest part, just down the grade from the summit a short distance was a modest 7%.
The Gravity Grade to upper Muir Woods from Mesa Station was 2 1/2 miles with a grade varying from 4% to 7%. One of the primary motivations for building the Gravity Car Grade was the Muir Woods Inn proposed by Mr. Kent (not yet Congressman Kent). Financing delays caused a change in plans and the Inn was later constructed by the Railroad. Operation of this segment officially began in 1907, but not on a regular basis. Shuttle service began in 1908 not long after President Teddy Roosevelt accepted title to Muir Woods for the Federal Government and it became a National Monument. This provided the impetus for heavy use of the Gravity Cars during 1908. Additional cars and engines were purchased at regular intervals and some of the first equipment was sold later to find use in Northwest logging operations. A 25 passenger railcar was purchased to aid in the shuttle operations.
Click here: for Mt. Tam Fire Lookout photos
Mt. Tam hiking trail photos
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Question about Mount Tamalpais Cam - Doug Kunst