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Recommendations for scenic drives & route for Marin Headland

canada
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Recommendations for scenic drives & route for Marin Headland

We will have a rental car for 1 day to do Marin Headlands and hopefully Twin Peaks (if not foggy) I am wondering if there are other scenic drives people would recommend? I am not much of a city person (many of the attractions that other people like in big cities are usually not of much interest to me) but I love taking scenic drives.

Does anyone have a route to suggest for Marin Headlands? I assume there much be a map somewhere with the best lookouts noted. I'm not sure how far to go or how long this would take. I'd be happy spending most of a day driving around it it is worth driving a fair distance for nice views.

San Francisco
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1. Re: Recommendations for scenic drives & route for Marin Headland

You might consider heading up to Point Reyes as well. Hiking in these areas is a big draw and you see more when you get onto the trails. Does that appeal?

http://www.nps.gov/goga/marin-headlands.htm

http://www.nps.gov/pore/index.htm

canada
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2. Re: Recommendations for scenic drives & route for Marin Headland

Yes moderate hiking (no more than an hour? or several shorter ones) sounds good. I guess I can find out more at the visitors centre. Is there any other drives that would be recommended? Or once we've done Marin Headlands we've seen the best and anything else isn't worthwhile?

Menlo Park...
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3. Re: Recommendations for scenic drives & route for Marin Headland

well, yes, the view from the headlands back over the city is lovely and worth lots of photos. Over the Bridge take the first exit and a sharp left turn at the stop sign. Now you are headed back south over the Bridge, but take the turn off to the right and head up the steep hill to the fortifications and the bridge view.

I'd also suggest a short drive north out hwy 1 to see some coast and more lovely views. Just head back to the main highway amd up the hill through the tunnel down the hlll and exit on hwy 1 to the right. This drive is better taken in mid-afternoon when the fog has likely receded.

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4. Re: Recommendations for scenic drives & route for Marin Headland

The links in my #1 have links to the Park maps which show all the trails. (It's an online version of what is available at the visitor center.) And the staff at the Visitor Center can answer specific questions as to distances and difficulty. Some trails in the Headlands have more elevation change than others.

There's a nice loop from Rodeo Lagoon up to Wolf Ridge and back down the MiWok Trail. But if I recall that's about 5-7 miles.

The Tennessee Valley trail is flatter and shorter but you access it from Highway 1.

The online trail map gives an indication of the topography.

canada
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5. Re: Recommendations for scenic drives & route for Marin Headland

Yes I looked at the maps, had looked at them before posting too but thanks for that.

Dhauk - is there any turnout point you would recomment when going up hwy 1 (i.e. how far is it worth going)?

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6. Re: Recommendations for scenic drives & route for Marin Headland

Sorry, from your comment it didn't sound like you had viewed the trail maps.

Point Reyes is IMO more scenic than the Headlands (not that the Headlands are shabby) but it's further away.

To get to the scenic part of Highway 1 is 10+ miles past the Headlands, some of it on a winding road. And that gets you to Muir Beach, which is currently closed for restorations. (The overlook may be open.) Point Reyes is another 20 miles past Muir Beach (and that's just the beginning of PR ... the area is enormous).

Menlo Park...
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7. Re: Recommendations for scenic drives & route for Marin Headland

for coastal scenery along hwy 1 north, there's no need to go beyond Stinson Beach. Sure there's lots to see after Pt Reyes yada yada. But for max scenery per mile, you could turn uphill at Stinson Beach and climb Mt Tam over the back way. Views and then more views and then the redwoods start. At the junction you can continue up Mt Tam or take the back way and see where all those car commercials are shot. From the summit you have a view of the entire Bay Area. Plus out to the Farallon Islands on a clear day. And you can see the curvature of the earth.

canada
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8. Re: Recommendations for scenic drives & route for Marin Headland

RamblinSal - you're right, my initial question sounded like I hadn't looked at the maps, I think I looked at them right after or maybe just before but was still a bit confused as there were so many. I thought maybe on here somewhere somebody had laid out a route with comments on each lookout (which were best).

Dhauk - thanks for your suggestion, sorry but I don't follow when you are saying to climb Mt Tam. I am looking at google maps (as that seems to be beyond the maps I was looking at on the NPS site). Doo you recommend the Panoramic Hwy up Mount Tamalpais and then continuing on that hwy until it connects back with the #1?

I just scored last minute tickets to Alcatraz which is great but unfortunately the only ones available were for the same day we are doing this drive, so now we only have around 3-4 hours (have alcatraz tickets for 2:10pm) so we may not spend as much time as I originally had hoped and may not want to hike too much to save a bit of energy for alcatraz. But if it's foggy or if we want to go back the next day then we could always keep the car a second day.

Edited: 22 August 2013, 19:32
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9. Re: Recommendations for scenic drives & route for Marin Headland

Since you plan on leaving early am from

SFO take 101 to 280 and then 35 which is skyline blvd and follow it all the way to the coast to Fort Funston and then to the Great Highway to Landsend and then to the presidio and then over the GG bridge to Marin headlands Just a more fun but longer drive than the 19th ave drive to the GG bridge IMHO

Hard for me to see it on maps on a phone but if you map it out you on google maps you will see what I mean Sal may know the route ;-)

Edited: 22 August 2013, 19:51
Santa Clara...
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10. Re: Recommendations for scenic drives & route for Marin Headland

Something like this belo? http://goo.gl/maps/9rGL7

Many quick stops along the way. Don't miss a photo op along Land's End. http://goo.gl/maps/lRvL8

I haven't been over at the GGB area the last few weeks. Are the diversions for Doyle Drive any different?

Edited: 22 August 2013, 20:06