Camp Tamarancho Loop

 52 votes
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Featured Ride
Trail

10.6 Miles 17.1 Kilometers


70%

Singletrack

1,483' 452 m

Ascent

-1,487' -453 m

Descent

986' 300 m

High

108' 33 m

Low

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

27%

Max Grade (15°)

Bad / Closed

18 days agoUpdate

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

Mike Ahnemann

Overview

Requires use permit.
And 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. It's

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!

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4.4 from 52 votes


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Check-Ins

Apr 22, 2017
Josh LOCKWOOD
Apr 15, 2017
carey ballard
Apr 4, 2017
Esfand Nafisi
Second trip here in three days. Hit the Endor flow trail this time -- it's outstanding and worth the short detour on B-17. 10.6mi
Apr 2, 2017
Esfand Nafisi
My first ride here. Had a blast. The fact that it's a loop kept me focused on the ride and not a map. Awesome trail! 10.6mi
Mar 17, 2017
Jesse Lash
Dec 22, 2016
Shiloh Lewis
Dec 3, 2016
Kevin Doiron
10.6mi
Nov 15, 2016
Keao Caindec

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Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 52 votes

#1

in Marin County

#47

Overall
  4.4 from 52 votes
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Rankings

#1

in Marin County

#5

in California

#47

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1,021 Views Last Month
25,979 Since Jul 3, 2013
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Conditions


Bad / Closed 18 days ago
Muddy: Please stay off if you can. The mud is in all the right spots to show disrespect to trail builders and repair crews
Update ConditionsHistory

Getting forecast...

Doug Mann Where would you say are two or three of the best technical and advanced trails in the bay? May 13, 2016


Anyone know of a shuttle or group that heads up there from the city? I'm staying in SF at union square for a few days with my bike, but haven't been able to figure out a way up there besides renting a car - or riding. Jun 9, 2016


Passes can be purchased online here: https://boyscouts-marin.doubleknot.com/Form/takeSurvey.asp Perhaps this can added to the description? Dec 7, 2016


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