March 8, 2009
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Reviewed by: XCARTELX
Cross Country Rider
fast, fun, frustrating and beautiful. I headed out here on recommendations from MTBR for a place in the area that would be beginner / intermediate friendly for my Wife and was told that this is pretty much it for Mt. Tam / Mill Valley with the exception of China Camp. We rode the camp the day before and wanted to try something new and thought why not. We actually got lost trying to find the Patoll ranger station and had almost given up on the trail until we decided to head down to the Stinson Beach overlook and stumbled upon the bottom trail head on HWY 1. Most people recommend to ride down and head back up, but I actually would prefer to have a nice climb to begin with with my reward being the downhill... You don't eat dessert first, right?
Anyway, although the trail was pretty short the views were incredible and the trail was in good shape - perfect to bring the Wife on after treating her to 3.5 hours at Annadale the day before.
This area is incredible, which is why I also found the trail to be frustrating. Once you get to the top you are teased by the "Dipson" trail heading north and south, perfectly hugging the side of the hill into more killer views and switchbacks. The only problem is those damn "NO BIKES" signs right at the trailhead. Lame. I imagine if I was by myself I would have just gone anyway and taken a chance missing the wrath of the walking stick. Maybe next time.
I'll give this trail 3 flaming turds... -2 for being so short.
Head down highway 1 or Muir Beach Rd to the "Muir Beach Overlook" in Muir Beach and head down the road (north) about another mile. You'll see a trailhead on the left side that looks like double track. Head up single track to the top, turn around and head back down. Do it again, or hell, even 3 times to get a good workout. Go back to the Muir Beach Overlook and have lunch in one of the old Turret shelters.
Other recommended trails in the same area:
Legal ones? China Camp, Annadale.
If you are "Jon Doe", anything is fair game.