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New trail, new guides for Mount Tamalpais hikers.

New trail, new guides for Mount Tamalpais hikers Navigating your way around the extensive trail network of Marin County's Mount Tamalpais is now easier and more enjoyable with the recent publication of two excellent guides and improved access near West Peak.

A new trail connection through the formerly off-limits West Peak Air Force Station lets you hike directly from picnic sites on the mountain's north face to historic West Point Inn on the south. A pleasant loop hike that takes advantage f this new connection begins at the Rock Springs parking area, where Pantoll Road meets Ridgecrest Boulevard. Depending on which picnic area on the north face you choose to visit, the total distance will be 5 to 6 miles, with an elevation gain and loss of about 600 feet.

From the Rifle Camp picnic area, the Arturo Trail climbs to the deactivated Air Force station at the crest. Then the Alice Eastwood Trail drops you steeply down to the West Point Inn for a cold lemonade and a sweeping view from the front porch.

En route to the hike, pick up a copy of A Rambler's Guide to the Trails of Mt. Tamalpais and the Marin Headlands, a newly revised map published by Olmsted Bros. Map Co. (it sells for $5.95 at the ranger station on Panoramic Highway near the Pantoll Road turnoff). Colorfully shaded relief vividly depicts the mountain's ridges and ravines. The thorough index of place and trail names is a lesson in local history.

For other hiking choices, consult Mt. Tam: A Hiking, Running and Nature Guide (Martin Press, San Anselmo, Calif., 1986; $10.95). Authors Don and Kay Martin describe and rate 32 round-trip outings, each traced on a detailed map. Illustrated listings of the mountain's trees, wildflowers, and geological formations help you choose the trails where the best examples of each can be found.

Both map and book are available at Marin County bookstores.
COPYRIGHT 1986 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1986 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Nov 1, 1986
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