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Camp Tamarancho Loop

Difficult
 4.6 (160) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Camp Tamarancho serves up some of the most technical and advanced singletrack in the area.


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Map Key

11.3

Miles

18.1

KM

70%

Singletrack

958' 292 m

High

113' 34 m

Low

1,425' 434 m

Up

1,425' 434 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

16%

Max Grade (9°)

Dogs No Dogs

E-Bikes Allowed

Features -none-

Overview

An excellent local favorite in Marin County. The Marin Council, Boy Scouts of America, operates Camp Tamarancho in the hills above Fairfax.

Need to Know

Riding in Camp Tamarancho requires a one-day permit that costs $5. The permit can be purchased in Fairfax from Sunshine Bicycles. An annual permit is also available for purchase online from the Boy Scouts of Marin. The trailhead is about a mile and a half from parking in the town of Fairfax.

Description

Riding to the trailhead - Head west on Center (turns in Broadway) for several blocks, and then take a Left at the Bike Route sign at Azala. Follow the Bike Route signs for a few blocks until you take a left on Rockridge which then becomes Iron Springs Road (about 1 mile from Java Hut). Climb about 1 mile up Iron Springs, during which you'll gain about 475' in elevation, until you see a very obvious trailhead on your left. That's the start of the Alchemist Trail.

Alchemist is switchback singletrack with some roots and rocks. It's not too technical, but there's a decent climb uphill and requires you to be on your toes in the descent.

After a little over a half mile on straightforward trail, Alchemist will take you to Goldman Trail. Goldman is fairly straightforward as well. There aren't any serious technical features, and the trail cruises up and down gently for a little over a mile before it hits a fire road.

You'll cross the fire road and immediately come to Serpentine Trail, which starts just across the road. This is where the riding starts to become more difficult. The first 3/4 of a mile along this trail is a consistent climb - not too challenging or steep, but steady. Then, the trail adds in some big features, including one known quite simply as "the rock," a big rideable boulder (with an optional bypass) that adds a nice challenge for more experienced riders.

The last 1/4 mile includes a bunch of climbing switchbacks, and the trail eventually ends at another obvious dirt road. Cross this road, and you'll be on Wagon Wheel Trail.

On Wagon Wheel, the difficulty increases another notch or two. This trail consists of steep and challenging rocky singletrack. It's not constantly technical, but there are some significant rock gardens that less advanced riders will want to walk.

You'll come to yet another fire road, then continue on a very short section of fire road until you see a hard right onto B-17 Trail. The riding on B-17 mellows out quite a bit, and you can relax as you cruise through the forest.

Barely before emerging from the densest portion of the redwoods on B-17 Trail, you reach a fork where you're forced to choose between B-17 Extension Trail and Broken Dam Trail. If you pick Broken Dam Trail, you follow the original path of the loop at Tamarancho.

This particular route follows B-17 Extension Trail, which is the option that allows you to sample the newer Endor Trail.

As you start on B-17 Extension Trail, you'll almost immediately reach a clearing where numerous log rides and similar stunts are available (which, I believe, were built along with Endor Trail). This is a spot where Endor Trail comes literally within a couple of feet of B-17 Extension Trail. This ride follows the latter trail uphill in order to start Endor Trail from its beginning.

Endor is a downhill-only trail and is the first "flow trail" built in the Bay Area. For anyone who hasn't tried this type of a trail before, it's quite a different beast. To give an oversimplified summary, the idea is to maintain your speed by "pumping" the trail through the numerous sharp humps and tight curves with extra high berms, without having to pedal at all or even brake much. Unless you're used to this kind of biking, you're likely to find yourself having to pedal at least a little bit over some of the humps.

Next, you'll arrive at Broken Dam Trail. This trail is also not very technical, but it starts off with a fun fast descent through the trees. There are a few mildly technical spots to keep things interesting, but it rolls well for most ability levels. After the initial descent, the trail climbs consistently, but not particularly intensely up to its end at Goldman Trail.

Enjoy this short fun section of Goldman Trail, and stay left to rejoin Alchemist, which you rode at the beginning of the ride. This time, you'll be riding downhill on Alchemist which is the more fun direction, and a nice way to finish out the ride!

Contacts

Shared By:

Lost Justpastnowhere with improvements by Christopher Hogg

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 160 votes

#9

Overall
  4.6 from 160 votes
5 Star
63%
4 Star
33%
3 Star
4%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
1%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in California

#9

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77,781 Since Nov 5, 2018
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Photos

Yuri Hauswald shows you around one of his favorite local trail systems.
Nov 15, 2016 near Fairfax, CA
Camp Tamarancho
Jan 21, 2019 near Fairfax, CA
Great riding on berms and doubles!
Dec 9, 2013 near Woodacre, CA
Wagon Wheel Trail Section, counter-clockwise
Nov 10, 2014 near Fairfax, CA
Coming back to this one soon!
Jan 2, 2018 near Woodacre, CA
Dropping into Camp Tamarancho for a good time!
Jul 4, 2019 near Fairfax, CA

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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All Clear 4 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Sep 20, 2020
Jad Elkhoury
Sep 8, 2020
Justin Krogue
9.4mi — 1h 22m
Aug 30, 2020
arturo lara
Great trails, great views 13.8mi — 2h 03m
Aug 9, 2020
Bergren Antell
Jul 12, 2020
Jacob Witsch
Jun 14, 2020
Fanny Dong
Rode from the house. Slow going when you aren't good, but that endor trail was so fun had to loop back for a second lap. 15.2mi — 3h 00m
Jun 14, 2020
Lucian Novosel
12mi — 1h 30m
May 22, 2020
Kevin C