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Astronomy Program

Join us in the 2018 Astronomy Lecture Series & Public Telescope Viewing at the Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre

FREE ADMISSION. Be on time for the start of the lectures. Park gate will close at sunset. You must exhibit a permit on your vehicle. Get your permit here: Mt. Tam Astronomy Permits

Dress in layers, bring a flashlight, and carpool if possible.

HOTLINE: 415-455-5370            

Oct 13, 7:00pm - Gravitational Waves and the Glow of Cosmic Gold - Dr. Adrian Liu, Research Associate Professor, UC Berkeley ---In October 2017, Earthlings detected gravitational waves — ripples in the fabric of space time — from the violent merger of two ultra-dense neutron stars. The signals showed that collision debris self-assembled into heavy elements, such as gold and platinum, providing an explanation for the cosmic origin of these special materials.

 

Guided Walks and Hikes

Join Mt Tamalpais hike docents for a hike along the trails of Mt Tamalpais. Enjoy outdoor exercise while learning about the cultural and natural history of the park. Hikes include a lunch/snack stop.

Come prepared! Wear good hiking shoes/boots. Bring plenty of water, lunch and snacks.

Hikes are limited to 20 people per leader. Be on time to allow for parking and getting on the hike!

Rain or winds above 30 mph will cancel.

Hikes Rating
Easy 3 to 5 miles, slower paced hike. With less than a 750' elevation gain.
Moderate, moderately paced, about 5 to 7 miles, 750'-1500’ elevation gain.
Strenuous, 7 to 9 miles, quicker paced hike. Over hilly, rocky terrain. 1,500' - 2,000' elevation gain.
Challenging, moderately paced hike, 9+ miles long, all terrain, with higher than 2,000 feet elevation gain.

No pets allowed unless otherwise stated.

September 2018

Sunday Sept 30 @9:30pm from Rock Spring--- It's Fall! with docent Robert Freinkel --- Let's walk and discover together how the plants are doing as we start the Fall season. Let's notice the subtle changes in the landscape, and the signs that announce the coming rains. Moderate.

October 2018

Sunday, October 7 at 9:30am from Rock Springs trailhead. " Health and Happiness " with Tracy Stuart . Enjoy your endorphin high and share it with other hikers while exploring a landscape of Ferns, Sargent cypress trees, Serpentine Rock, Douglas Fir and Free flowing creeks. Two dogs per hike, allowed with permits. Email to obtain a permit. Distance: 5.8 miles. Elevation gain: 1,044 ft. This will be a moderate hike and will take about 4 1/2 hours. Moderate.

Saturday, October 13 at 9:30am from Mt Home trailhead. " Redwoods " with Karen Ulring . You will learn how Mt Tam State Park came to be and what was William Kent's role in saving the towering redwoods in Muir Woods. Distance: 5.8 miles. Elevation gain: 1,037 ft. Moderate.

Sunday October 14 at 11am from Stinson Beach trailhead. " Trees of Mt. Tam " with Catherine Orland . State Parks Volunteer/Mt Tam docent, Catherine Orland will discuss the biodiversity of Mt. Tam through its trees and habitats. Distance: 7.1 miles. Elevation gain: 1,578 ft. This will be a moderate/challenging hike. Wear comfortable grippy shoes and if you have knee or ankle issues, consider using poles as there will be stairs. -Bring a lunch or snack to share, we'll take a short break mid-way through. -Bring plenty of water (2 Liters recommended). -Heavy rain cancels, but just sprinkles means: put on a windbreaker! -Bring your friends and make sure to arrive early to have plenty of time to find parking and get organized. We'll depart promptly at 11am from the Stinson Beach Parking Lot, by the Bridge that leads to the Parkside Cafe. Strenuous.

Sunday October 21 at 11am from Stinson Beach trailhead. " Trees of Mt. Tam " with Catherine Orland . State Parks Volunteer/Mt Tam docent, Catherine Orland will discuss the biodiversity of Mt. Tam through its trees and habitats. Distance: 7.1 miles. Elevation gain: 1,578 ft. This will be a moderate/challenging hike. -Wear comfortable grippy shoes and if you have knee or ankle issues, consider using poles as there will be stairs. -Bring a lunch or snack to share, we'll take a short break mid-way through. -Bring plenty of water (2 Liters recommended). -Heavy rain cancels, but just sprinkles means: put on a windbreaker! -Bring your friends and make sure to arrive early to have plenty of time to find parking and get organized. We'll depart promptly at 11am from the Stinson Beach Parking Lot, by the Bridge that leads to the Parkside Cafe. Strenuous.

Saturday October 27 at 9:30am from Dias Ridge trailhead. " Green Gulch " with Franklin Young . Come for the spectacular views of the Bay & the Pacific, stay for an introduction to the Green Gulch community and to the Soto zen. Moderate pace with some sustained climb. Distance: 8.5 miles. Elevation gain: 1,453 ft. Miwok to Middle Green Gulch to Muir Beach/Hwy 1 to Dias Ridge trail to Miwok. Strenuous.

Saturday October 27 at 7:30pm from Pantoll trailhead. " Moonrise " with Franklin Young & Maria de la Fuente . Walk along Old Stage Road to the West Point Inn and back for great nocturnal views of the Bay Area. We will share inspirational stories along the way. Bring a flashlight, water and a snack. Hiking poles recommended. Kids friendly. Waning Gibbous, Illumination: 91%, moonrise time: 8:52 pm, direction: 65° NE Distance: 4 miles. Elevation gain: 308 ft. Old Stage Road to West Point inn and back. Easy.

Sunday October 28 at 11am from Stinson Beach trailhead. " Trees of Mt. Tam " with Catherine Orland . We will discuss the biodiversity of Mt. Tam through its trees and habitats. Distance: 7.1 miles. Elevation gain: 1,578 ft. This will be a moderate/challenging hike. Dipsea to Steep Ravine and return via Matt Davis. -Wear comfortable grippy shoes and if you have knee or ankle issues, consider using poles as there will be stairs. -Bring a lunch or snack to share, we'll take a short break mid-way through. -Bring plenty of water (2 Liters recommended). -Heavy rain cancels, but just sprinkles means: put on a windbreaker! -Bring your friends and make sure to arrive early to have plenty of time to find parking and get organized. We'll depart promptly at 11am from the Stinson Beach Parking Lot, by the Bridge that leads to the Parkside Cafe. Strenuous.

November 2018

Saturday November 3 at 9:30am from Rock Spring trailhead. " Fall Changes on the Mountain " with Robert Freinkel . Let's walk and discover together how the plants are doing in the middle of the Fall season. Let's notice the changes in the landscape, and the signs that announce the coming rains. Distance: 4.4 miles. Elevation gain: 627 ft. Rock Springs. Simmons, Benstein, FireRoad, Rifle Camp, Meadow trail to Potrero, Music Stand, Back Door, Old Stove Laurel Dell, Cataract return. Modifications depending on weather and participants. Easy

Sunday November 4 at 9:30am from Bootjack trailhead. " Redwood Trees " with Maria de la Fuente . We will discuss strength and balance in nature. We all need strength and balance to live a good life and we can find some great examples and similarities in nature. Let’s hike and find some meaningful connections between us and the surrounding trees. Distance: 6.1 miles. Elevation gain: 1,410 ft. Starting at Bootjack to Muir Woods to Hillside trail -Spur-Pelvic Cut-Camp Eastwood (lunch) -Sierra Trail-Troup 80-Bootjack. Moderate.

Sunday November 11 at 9:30am from Bootjack trailhead. " Mt Tam History " with Karen Ulring . You will review the history of the TCC and their invaluable contributions to Mount Tamalpais State Park. Distance: 9.7 miles. Elevation gain: 2,608 ft. Take Bootjack down to TCC, Stapelveldt to Pan Toll and down Matt Davis to Stinson. Back up the Dipsea to Pan Toll and Bootjack. Challenging.

Monday November 12 at 10am from East Peak trailhead. " Who Was Verna Dunshee? " with Nancy Benjamin . A short hike with spectacular views, learn about Verna Dunshee's life and legacy and her work to protect Marin's open space. Distance: 0.7 miles Elevation gain: 0 ft. A short loop around the East Peak on the Verna Dunshee trail. Easy, Accessible.

Sunday November 18 at 9:30am from Rock Spring trailhead. " Connect with Mt.Tam " with Santi Abascal . Learn about diversity in the Park: Culture, Nature, Leisure. Distance: 5.1 miles. Elevation gain: 850 ft. Theater, Rock Spring, Nora, M.Davis, Old mine and back to RS Parking lot. Moderate.

Saturday November 24 at 9:30am from Mountain Home Parking Lot. " Thanking the Redwoods " with Nancy Benjamin . Hike into Muir Woods and learn about the important part redwood trees play to mitigate climate change and the current health of Mt. Tam's redwoods. Distance: 3.7 miles. Elevation gain: 876 ft. From Panoramic, to Canopy, Fern Creek and Lost Trail. Moderate.

Sunday November 25 at 9:30am from Pantoll trailhead. " Owls " with Joan Lamphier . We will talk about the endangered, carismatic northern spotted owl. You will discover what Mt Tam represents an important area for its population and conservation efforts in Marin County. Distance: 4.3 miles. Elevation gain: 571 ft. West Point Inn, Nora, Matt Davis Trail. Easy.

December 2018

Saturday December 1 at 9:30am from Pantoll trailhead. " Mindfulnes in Nature " with Alexandra Jurasin . Explore your senses in nature while being guided through mindfulness practices. Finish the hike feeling like you've just had a cleansing shower for your mind. Distance: 4.3 miles. Elevation gain: 571 ft. Easy: Old Stage, West Point Inn, Nora, Matt Davis, Old Stage. Easy.

Sunday December 2 at 9:30am from Mt.Home Inn trailhead. " Mt.Tam 360 " with Santi Abascal . Learn about Mtt.Tam's history, how different generations used the mountain and the Tamalpais railroad. Distance: 4.2 miles. Elevation gain: 1,617 ft. East Peak via Hogback Rd, Old Railroad Grade & Fern Creek trail. Somewhat intense but short. Strenuous.

Sunday December 9 at 9:30am from Rock Springs trailhead. " Health and Happiness " with Tracy Stuart . Enjoy your endorphin high and share it with other hikers while exploring a landscape of Ferns, Sargent cypress trees, Serpentine Rock, Douglas Fir and Free flowing creeks. Dogs allowed with permits. Two dogs per hike, allowed with permits. Email to obtain a permit. Distance: 4.1 miles. Elevation gain: 735 ft. Rock Springs, Cataract, High Marsh, old Stove, Laurel Dell, Barrths rettreat, Simmons Trail, look for the Throne, Back to Rock Springs. Easy.

Saturday December 15 at 9:30am from E. Ridgecrest Blvd & Miller trailhead. " Mt Tam History " with Robert Feist . We'll begin on the second highest official trailhead on the mountain. Our loop will have us descend to the north side with the views that area offers. Great opportunity to get in some rewarding excercise before the holidays! Distance: 8.2 miles. Elevation gain: 1,876 ft. International, Collier, Lower Northside, Cross-Country Boys, Kent, Benstein, Mountain Theatre (lunch), Old Mine, Riding & Hiking Trail, Bootjack, Matt Davis, Nora, Old Railroad Grade, Miller. Strenuous.

Sunday December 16 at 9:30am from Pantoll trailhead. " Inspiration " with Lizzy Silverstein . Nature influences us in profound ways. Let's explore this and beautiful Mt. Tam together. Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain: 692 ft. Starting from Pantoll take the Matt Davis Trail to the Bolinas Ridge trail. Return on the same route. Moderate.

Saturday December 22 at 9:30am from Rock Springs trailhead. " Mindfulness in Nature " with Alexandra Jurasin . Explore your senses in nature while being guided through mindfulness practices. Finish the hike feeling like you've just had a cleansing shower for your mind. Distance: 6.1 miles. Elevation gain: 1,070 ft Regular: Cataract, Laurel Dell, High Marsh, Potrero Meadows, Kent, Benstein. Moderate.

Sunday December 23 at 9:30am from Rock Spring trailhead. " Winter Fungi, Decay, and Rebirth " with Robert Freinkel . Explore multiple microclimates and plant communities on various sides of the Mt Tamalpais watershed via multiple trails in both shade and sun including differint soil conditions Distance: 6.5 miles. Elevation gain: 1,250 ft. Rock Spring, Mountain Top, Arturo, International to Rifle Camp. Down to Music Stand, Back Door Trail, Simmons Triangle Return. Moderate, slow pace, moderate elevation gain. Possible modifications depending on circumstances. Moderate.

Saturday December 29 at 9:30am from Stinson Beach trailhead. " Meditations in Nature " with Rosalind Gottfried . We will stop to appreciate, and meditate on, the sounds and smells of the trails, particularly the Steep Ravine trail, and admire the ocean views from the Matt Davis trail. Distance: 7.1 miles. Elevation gain: 1, 578 ft. Stinson -Dipsea- Steep Ravine - Matt Davis loop. Moderate.

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