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Bootjack Loop

Mount Tamalpais State Park

Mount Tamalpais State Park Links:

June 21st, 1997

6.2 miles
1080 vertical feet
Total Time: 2:20

Rating: 7/10

Directions:   View Driving Map

Angie, Dave, Jennie, Randy, Reza, and I went to Mt. Tamalpais and hiked the Boot Jack Loop.

We parked at the Pantoll Ranger Station ($5 per car) and started off on the Alpine Trail. It stays close to the road for a bit less than a mile. But the entire area is beautiful -- surrounded by redwood and other trees, giving plenty of shade -- a great summer hike. Then we turned right onto the Bootjack Trail. All the while we're heading downhill, deeper and deeper into more isolated areas. The Bootjack Trail follows a creek down to Muir Woods. Along the way we spotted a snake, thousands and thousands of lady bugs in one area, but not much other wildlife.

Bridge in the forest

A nice addition to the hike would have been a loop in Muir Woods. Instead, we touched the back entrance to Muir Woods and stopped there for lunch on a nice bridge at the intersection of the Bootjack and Ben Johnson trails. Then we started the uphill climb up the Ben Johnson trail. It's steep (about 10% average grade, I'd say), but not too long. In fact, before we knew it, we were done. The hike is supposedly 6.2 miles according to my hiking book, but I think that's inaccurate. I'm guessing the true distance is about 4.5 - 5.0 miles. Since we stopped for lunch, we really only hiked 2 hours. We were going at a pretty good pace, but I doubt we were going 3 miles per hour.

Afterwards, we made the 4 mile drive up to the Mt. Tamalpais East Peak. Along the way we stopped and took in the great views of the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco. We then made the short (0.2 miles) hike up to the peak. Along the way there are great views of Bon Tempe Lake and Lake Lagunitas to the west. At the top there are great views of the East Bay, and Mt. Diablo clearly visible to the east, rising above all else.

Group picture from atop Mt. Tam. That's Richardson Bay and Angel Island on the right.

Me standing on top of Mount Tam on a previous trip.

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