Area: Marin County/Mt Tam
Distance: ½ mile
Type: Out-and-back
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation gain: 230ft (from 2,340 - 2,572ft)

Hikes don't get much shorter or much better than this half-mile round trip trail to top of Mt. Tamalpais, just North of San Francisco. Known to locals simply as Mt Tam, Mt. Tamalpais State Park is the perfect day-trip and once you're here it's hard to believe you're just a stone's throw away from the second biggest city on the West Coast.

The trail to the peak begins on an easy boardwalk and continues up timber steps before leading to a more rugged and rocky path towards the summit. We've labeled this as an easy hike, though there are some occasional isolated steep steps and scrambles which may challenge the less mobile.

The views are what make this such a highly rated hike in our opinion, which stretch out across the entire northern part of the San Francisco Bay area in good weather.

Be sure to leave enough time for the free Gravity Railroad Museum which memorializes the historic scenic mountain railway and the free-wheeling return journey back to Mill Valley.

- Trailspotting Images: Mt Tamalpais East Peak on Flickr