Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Fun Day Trip Part 2: Mt. Tamalpais Lookout and the Golden Gate Bridge

Happy Wednesday! Today I'm bringing you part 2 of our fun day trip a couple of weeks ago. We hiked up to the Mt. Tamalpais lookout and visited the Golden Gate Bridge. Both places are destinations you don't want to miss if you're in the area.

After visiting Muir Woods and Muir Beach overlook (if you missed part 1 you can check it out here) we drove out to Mt. Tamalpais. Hubby, when we were at the Visitor Center at Muir Woods, saw from the map that you could drive almost to the top, so we decided to check it out. We weren't sure what to expect when we drove there but was happy to see there was a short trail to a lookout. I love lookouts. They are my favorite hikes because I know they are only put at places where there are fabulous views.

There is a parking lot that does require a fee. The fee is $8 and you do need exact change for the envelope. There are bathrooms and a visitor center. There is also an old Gravity car barn that you can check out. We did not spend time to look at them because we were more interested in the short hike up to the lookout. The trail is the Plank Walk trail. I believe there are other ways to the top, but this is the shortest. It is only .3 mile to the lookout.

Mt. Tamalpais Plank Walk Trail
The trail is short but does have some steep sections.
Mt. Tamalpais Plank Walk Trail
The hike is perfect for kids. Just make sure they stay on the trail.  It's short yet still challenging for all. 
Mt. Tamalpais Plank Walk Trail
The views from the lookout are pretty amazing! You can see San Francisco and the Bay, the East bay, and other surrounding areas.
View from Mt. Tamalpais
The fire lookout tower is pretty neat to see at the top too. However, it is locked up and surrounded by barbed wire. You can see from the sign that the elevation is 2,571 feet.
Mt. Tamalpais Lookout
We had to get a good family pic at the top.
Here's a cool view of the lookout from lower. There are lots of fun rocks to climb. If with kids, watch them because it can be dangerous. Our kids loved climbing the rocks but there were times when I was nervous for them, so please keep your eyes on them.
Mt. Tamalpais Lookout
Heading back done was pretty easy and fast.
The Plank Walk Trail is one I definitely recommend! It has stunning 360 degree views and it is very short (.6 mile total) which makes it very doable for kids. It is something great to add on to your itinerary if visiting Muir Woods and Muir Beach Overlook.

Our day was not even over after this amazing hike. 4 year old wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge. We checked on Google Maps how far it would be to go there and it was about a 34 minute drive. We all figured we could handle that. We headed to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (it was the last exit I believe before getting on the Golden Gate Bridge) and is part of the Marin Headlands. There is a road where you can drive and stop at the many overlooks of the Golden Gate Bridge. That is pretty much what we did. It's very popular so parking can be very tricky. We had to wait a bit for a spot and we were also very lucky at some spots too. The pics are worth it though. It's a very cool bridge. Here are some of the pics from a couple of overlook view points.
Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
I think it was the first view point where there were some old bunkers or forts. 
Checking out the Golden Gate Bridge is a must if you are in the San Francisco area! 

I hope you enjoyed our fun day trip.

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