MTB Project Logo

World class views, 1,600-foot drop and climb, loop, edge of wilderness.

Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key







1,705' 520 m


486' 148 m


1,796' 548 m


1,801' 549 m



Avg Grade (3°)


Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Features Views


Beautiful loop around the Pine Mountain watershed. Because of the extreme climb, few people go beyond the first few miles. The reward is immense views to the San Francisco Bay to the east and views to Tomales Bay to the west.

It is a doubletrack fire road nearly the whole way with some parts overgrown to the point of feeling a bit narrower. Some shorter parts are steep, up to 20%+, and can be technical because of grade - whether up or down. Occasionally ruts in the road, caused by winter flooding, can come up by surprise if you are not watching your speed.

Word of caution: At the time of writing, the MMWD has put up a few orange pylons and construction A-Frames. If you see these, it usually means there is a rough part of the road coming up (clockwise).

During the week, you are unlikely to see more than a few people on the trail (in great contrast to the Tam Watershed just a few miles away). During the weekend, the first few miles are a busy access route to the popular Carson Falls Hike.

Need to Know

Azalea Hill parking lot gets full on weekends.


This loop is certainly accessible for gravel bikes, but those on a full suspension MTB will have more speed and resilience. Some sections will require picking carefully through rocks and boulders for those on thinner tires.

The most accessible access is from the Azalea Hill parking lot off Bolinas Road outside Fairfax. Alternative access points are from White Hill Road or Conifer Road in Woodacre. This description assumes you start from Azalea.

You could ride the loop in either direction. I recommend clockwise because, after an initial steep climb, the loop then offers a long steady descent to Kent Lake and then a winding ascent with beautiful views. I don't find the downhills or views in the other direction as rewarding.

From the Azalea Hill parking lot, there is a meandering climb with some steep rocky sections. This first part is popular with hikers and provides bike access to the White Hill area and Cascade Canyon Fire Road (aka Repack Road) for bikers.

At about 0.5 miles, you'll come to a shady level area with a Y-junction - go left here on Pine Mountain Fire Road (clockwise). This is also where the loop converges, and the first part and last part are the same. The road on the right is San Geronimo Ridge Road, and you'll descend this road on your way back from the ~11-mile loop.

Following Pine Mountain Fire Road up is a winding climb with a few short, steep sections to test your balance and muscles. You'll find several beautiful views looking down to Kent Lake, back to the San Francisco skyline, and forward toward Tomales Bay.

At 2.5 miles, you'll come to a meadow overlook with a pipe. The following section will be the long, winding descent - making this an excellent place for a rewarding food and water break before the descent.

As you descend, the first big turn around the hill to the right is an "ET curve" where some riders have been known to wipe out or fly off. The curve is loose gravel, and the camber goes in the wrong direction. I recommend speed caution here.

You'll lose about 1,000 feet in the following fun 2.5 miles. At about four miles into the ride, watch out for MMWD pylons or signs warning you of steep or rutted sections. There is one ~20% grade section - watch your speed as the road narrows and descends through the trees. Note: you are also heading further away from civilization if you need it - Strava Beacon is a good idea.

From mile four to mile five, you are at the lowest point of the loop, deep in the wilderness and unlikely to see many people. Enjoy the winding fire road. At 5.6 miles, there is a turn to the left into a surreal world of flora. In the summer months, this area is fed by streams and springs and is green, while the rest of the landscape is brown.

Now you start the climb out. It is about two miles of switchbacks at a steady 5% grade. You'll ford a few streams that are usually only about 3-4" deep.

At mile 7.5, you'll come to a T-junction with San Geronimo Ridge Road, where you'll go right to complete the climb. This is a rocky road that has clear paths through, and it may be technical for some folks, especially without suspension and thinner tires. At about 7.8 miles, there is a beautiful view back down into the valley you just climbed out of.

At about 8.5 miles, the rocks disappear, and it is mostly a muddy or dusty fire ridge road with some beautiful views to either side all the way back to the Y-junction.

You may see horses, hikers, bikers accessing the trails from Woodacre. A rider once asked me to spread the word "always slow and say 'Hi' when riding up to a horse - horses are unsure what to make of a helmeted rider - the human voice calms them down."

You'll pass White Hill Fire Road and Repack Road on the left.

Some sections can be muddy puddles in winter. Often there are bypasses to the right. The last descent to the original Y-junction is a rock garden with tempting views of the SF skyline to the left.

At the junction, turn left to return to the lot. Enjoy the ride!

History & Background

This area is unceded Coastal Miwok territory. The missionaries forcibly brought the natives to the local missions as slave labor. For a while, natives were confined to villages near Novato (Olampali) and Pt Reyes (Kule Loklo).

Less than a hundred years ago the area was full of encampments and homesteaders. Some ruins remain.

The roads are maintained by the MMWD - one of the only self-sufficient California coastal water systems.

Each Thanksgiving there is a Pine Mountain MTB Rally around this loop.

This area has the distinction of being the (drum roll): birthplace of mountain biking!
On Oct 21, 1976, ten riders raced down a gnarly fire road on the northeast side of the mountain later officially named Repack Road. Sporting traditional balloon tire one-speed "clunkers" they descended 1,300' in about 5 minutes. Alan Bonds was the only finisher! The name Repack came from the fact that they had to repack the hubs afterward because the brakes would overheat.


Shared By:

Kristian Simsarian

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 8 votes


  4.0 from 8 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Recommended Route Rankings


in California


157 Views Last Month
3,898 Since Jan 6, 2021



looking south towards Mt Tam from high atop Pine Mtn
Oct 5, 2015 near Woodacre, CA
Near Repack
Apr 6, 2021 near Woodacre, CA
View toward Pt. Reyes
Apr 6, 2021 near Woodacre, CA
Taking a break at the Repack Road and San Geronimo Ridge Road intersection.
May 3, 2017 near Woodacre, CA
Steep Rocky Climb
Oct 5, 2015 near Woodacre, CA
The start the iconic Repack Trail
Dec 27, 2014 near Woodacre, CA


Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Mar 6, 2023
Harvey Simon
Very muddy and lots of standing water 12.7mi — 1h 52m
Jul 20, 2021
Natan Liberman
Jul 12, 2021
John Browne
21mi — 3h 00m
Jun 6, 2021
James Bishop
Bonus singletrack miles! 19.2mi
Jun 6, 2021
Meghan Cahill
12.3mi — 2h 14m
Jun 2, 2021
Joe S
Some very pebbly sections beginning and end. Need to swap pedals for non-clips. — 2h 45m