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Pine Mountain Loop

Average Rating:    (4.21 of 5)

No. of Reviews: 28

Long, rocky, steep, granny-abusing uphill. Then a long, fast, big ring, roller-coaster downhill. Followed by another long climb back out. All wide, rocky fireroads. Connects to famous Repack trail
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Latitude
37.9697787090168
Longitude
-122.62596130371094
Trail Directions
From San Francisco, take 101 north to Sir Francis Drake exit. Follow Sir Francis Drake to town of Fairfax. Turn left into Fairfax downtown area past a large "island" to Broadway or Center Blvd. (same street) which parallels Sir Francis Drake, then turn left onto Bolinas Rd. up, past golf course, to trailhead.
Trail Length
13 miles
Trail Level
Advanced
Trail Type
Fire Roads
City/County
Fairfax
Web Address
   


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Reviews 1 - 5 (28 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

Review Date
July 8, 2016

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 3 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: Travis ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Pine Mountain Loop is a varied ride with sections of smooth packed road and other sections with significant rock gardens. There are few very short steep climbing sections when taking the typical loop direction, but the overall grade is moderate, Some sections are made more challenging by trail conditions. There are some very steep descents (or climbs if you do it backwards). The views are spectacular throughout the ride.

Depending on the chosen route, the loop can range from about 3,000ft vertical ascent to over 4,000ft. I highly recommend brings plenty of fluids and some fuel. A tube and basic tools are a must as much of the ride is extremely remote.

It's not an easy ride, but I just completed the 4,000ft loop with my 13 year-old daughter and she made it, so it's doable by moderate riders with ample preparation.

Recommended Route:
First, I recommend a clock-wise route unless you want a serious climbing challenge.

The "standard" loop begins at Fairfax-Bolinas road which is a total ascent of about 3,000 ft and is the easiest route.

I have never done that ride. I start at the end of Glen Drive and take Old Northern Pacific Coast Railroad under Sir Francis Drake to connect with Porcupine Trail (aka Sherwood Forrest Trail). Porcupine merges with White Hill Road (go right at Y). Take White Hill Road to San Geronimo Ridge, go left and start the loop, returning via White Hill Road following path back to starting point.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Loma Alta Back-side Loop, Eldridge Grade from Phoenix Lake to Summit, Rock Springs



Comments
Travis McOuat (07/08/2016)
Map out this ride carefully and bring a map or GPS
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Review Date
August 19, 2009

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

Visitors rate this review
4.00 of 5, 2.00 votes

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Reviewed by: timmywb ,  Weekend Warrior

Summary:
Rode Pine Mountain recently after an unusually long absence. Seems like the MMWD has removed almost all of the rocks on the climb from Azalea Hill, and ground them into a loose, soft mess. The technical aspect of rocky climbing has been replaced by impossible traction/spinouts. Just not fun anymore.

The worst kept secret is still there--watch your noggin as many good sized trees have fallen and must be ducked to miss.

Bummer. Hope the winter rains will create a more interesting surface (btw, the San Geronimo Ridge side seemed fine.).

Recommended Route:
Shafter is more fun than Azalea Hill, if you've got the time.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Rocky Ridge, Tamarancho



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Review Date
July 5, 2009

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 4 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: tacomike ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
I read 2out of 5 review below, which is in poor form, and had chime in with my thoughts! I first rode this trail during the Thanksgiving Day ride of 1990 and yes it is it is a lung buster of a ride. Let put it this way, if you are not in shape or do not like to work hard while riding, this is not the trail for you. It is one of the longer and more aerobic rides in Marin, but it is truly one of the best. The Pine mountain loop trail itself is steep, loose, and technical for a fire road! There are many ways to start this trail, you can start from the trail head off of Bolinas road, you can connect to it from one of the few trails the link to it. The best way to go, is to contact a bike shop in the area and talk to them about your skill level ask which is the best way for you.
1) This is a trail for those of you that want to work on aerobic capacity
2) This is a trail for those of you that want to work on endurance
3) This is not a trail for those of you that just want an easy going ride

Recommended Route:
Contact local ship such as Sunshine Cyclery for directions



Comments
Travis McOuat (07/08/2016)
There will always be those who want to give poor reviews for no reason. Clearly jervana prefers trail rides, which is fine, but that shouldn't take away from this ride. A little research would have discovered that the loop is 100% fire road. Thanks for jumping in with this review!
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Review Date
October 26, 2008

Overall Rating
 2 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 5 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Ridden Once

Visitors rate this review
2.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: jervana ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
This loop is strictly for the mountain biker who loves fireroads and has a set of bionic legs. I connected the loop with Tamarancho, completed about 25 miles and about 5k of climbing, and left very disappointed. There's a very, very low fun factor for the amount of work you put in, and I was hoping for some spectacular views but wasn't impressed. Also, several trail junctions didn't have signage, so I was lucky to have both a map and a GPS unit to help me out, AND still I was worried that I might have made a wrong turn. Let's just say that it was a long day. If you're a lover of rolling singletrack who wants a challenge of both body and mind, then steer clear of this one.

Other recommended trails in the same area:
Camp Tamarancho, China Camp, Annadel State Park



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Review Date
August 29, 2005

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Aerobic Difficulty
 4 of 5

Technical Difficulty
 3 of 5

Ridden Trail:
Every few months

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Reviewed by: mustbsuicidal ,  Cross Country Rider

Summary:
Some tough climbs on loose rock/gravel spread out through the whole trail but you may want to warm up before starting as you get these really early. The views are unbelievable & it's relatively uncrowded, esp late in the afternoon. Make sure to bring layers for changing weather & lots of water/fuel.

Recommended Route:
Some ppl have posted about off-piste trails... if you can find them they are well worth the effort tho you may want to get better health insurance.



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Reviews 1 - 5 (28 Reviews Total) View All | Next 5

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