Bay Area Hikes: Hiking the Rock Spring Trail on Mt Tamalpais to the West Point Inn - Breathtaking Views & Easy on the Kids

Views from Rock Spring Trail of the San Francisco Bay and Marin Headlands

Hike: Rock Spring Trail in Mount Tamalpais State Park, California
Length: @ 2.8 miles round trip
Location: Mount Tamalpais State Park, near the Mountain Play Amphitheater, just over the bridge from SF
Difficulty: Gentle, rolling trail, great for energetic families.
Dogs: Welcome on leash!

Are you ready to have your breath taken away? 

This hike is a heart-stopping vista extravaganza. Our jaws drop each and every time our lucky feet plod plod plod along this trail.

Map of Rock Springs Trail
A few Sundays ago, we grabbed the kids and headed up, up, up the monolith of green Mount Tamalpais towering over the Bay, and into Mount Tamalpais State Park, just minutes away from Mill Valley and the gateway of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Parking next to the entrance to the Mountain Play Amphitheater - look for parking lots above and below if the tiny lot is full - we head into the amphitheater for the first incredible vista of the hike where there are convenient "real" bathrooms at the base of the amphitheater.

The kids leap up and down the hundreds of rock seats and catch a few tiny lizards as we head east into the single track of the Rock Spring Trail.
Kid Friendly Hike!

Following it along, we are rewarded with - Hey, Mom, it's Serpentine! - a giant, 10+foot vein of California's green state rock that we tromp over and admire. Cool.

We stop to take photo op after photo op of the Bay below and the San Francisco skyline and bend around the corner to see the famous West Point Inn tucked into the rolling hills ahead of us. Smells of BBQ chicken from their giant grill waft up to us, drawing us faster and faster to our destination. (It's a members only work-day, chicken's not for us - dang!)

Approximately 1.4 miles in, excited kids and we land at our destination - "welcome for the public to use" picnic tables in front of the private Inn. Where we snack on final-season apples from our backyard, some cheesy cheese, and we relax and enjoy the view while the girls pick acorns to crush and make a Miwok Mash (not for eating).

A half hour later, we turn around and head back along the same trail. Spotting different views now headed west along the same ridge.

Manageable with smaller kids or kids in backpacks. A fantastic family hike or hike to get a quick, easy, gorgeous taste of the Bay Area.

Get out and enjoy!

Namaste & Three Cheers - OM

For more information, check out these links:
Mount Tamalpais State Park
More @ West Point Inn
Map of Mt Tam State Park
More Bay Area Hikes


  1. Nice trail, the mountain is great. Good place for hiking with kids too. For toddlers 2.5 y/o + up to 60lbs, you can also try Piggyback Rider standing child carrier and you'll surely enjoy your adventure. :) Thanks for sharing !

  2. I really loved reading your blog. It was very well authored and easy to understand. Unlike other blogs I have read which are really not that good.Thanks alot! trails near me