You thought you knew, but you had no idea…. An iconic mountain bike destination in Marin County, the home of mountain biking, #Tamarancho is probably one of the more familiar loops to locals and visitors alike. Having lived in NorCal now for awhile and ridden some killer trails in Marin near China Camp, Annadale, Santa Cruz, Sierras, even local ripping East Bay hills, I keep coming back to Tamarancho. This loop has a little bit of everything and the possibilities to branch off and ride other trails through Mt Tam makes it a great starting point.
The loop can be done clockwise or counter, so just be aware of traffic heading the other way on tighter switchbacks. Mid way through the loop you hit the aptly named “flow trail”. Tamarancho flow trail when at its best is some killer bermed out perfection. While not quite on the loamy epic factor level of Demo in Santa Cruz, it is a stellar and well maintained trail, thanks to the boy scouts who do a wonderful job of keeping it all legit and flowy.
The entire area of Tamarancho is maintained by the boy scout camp, it is required that you buy a pass to ride there. The reality is there is not really much enforcement of this, none the less, a year pass is super cheap, buying the 2 year pass was somewhere along the lines of $60. It is well worth it to help support the boy scouts in all their efforts to maintain this beautiful and bike LEGAL trail in Marin. We need more of them!
The classic Tamarancho loop is under 10 miles and approx 1500ft elevation. With a few rock garden sections and a few tight switchbacks, Tamarancho isn’t a simple walk in the park, however even for novices this trail can still be incredibly fun and challenging in a good way, not in a “why did you take me here I now hate mountain biking” type of way.
Go check it out. Be sure to grab fish tacos after at the brewery in downtown Fairfax, nomnomnomnom.
Parking is a bit iffy around the Java Hut in Fairfax, however if you follow the bike path signs there is ample free parking along the streets in the neighborhood. Be kind to the neighbors as this area sees high bike traffic on weekends.