Misty Morning Hike at Mt. Tampalias
This particular Mt. Tam trail starts near Mountain Theatre, in the summer the theatre hosts plays and concerts on weekends. We start our hike in the first parking past the venue, the hike is a 3-hour moderate hike and has several different types of environments.
We start our hike and follow the signs to the Potrero Meadow by way of Lagunitas Rock Spring Fire Road. So quiet you can hear the nearby stream and the wind blowing through the fall leaves that haven’t dropped yet. A variety of fungi and mushrooms spring up near the trail's edge as we make our way to the meadow a light fog rests on the meadow floor and leads to a quiet trail called Bernstein. I check in my head and notice it is making some kind of reference to the Bernstein Bears. That's good I won’t forget it if I’m lost!
The fog gets thicker and amplifies the greens and turns the forest into a light green color. I’m stuck inside a giant Bonsai pot with a perfectness that seems crafted by a giant human.
Following Northside / International / Miller Old Grade Road we finally reach West Point Inn, an old Inn that provides bathrooms, and an observation deck with picnic tables that look out to the hills. Hummingbirds dart around the feeder attached to the deck as we take in the view. You can rent cabins here Tuesday-Saturday and I fantasize about staying here for a day or even a few days and taking in all the beauty of the forest. Nowhere to go and nothing to do, the slowing down of time.
We finally head out using Rock Springs Trail as our exit, parts of it run through slippery serpentine rock and the manzanita with its shiny burgundy marbled bark sticking out in the newly sparser scenery.
There are many trails in Mt Tam that lead to West Point Inn and the Mountain Theatre, check out this map before you go. The loop we took was Mountain Theatre (second parking lot) / Lagunitas Rock Spring Fire Road/ Bernstein Trail / Northside / International / Miller Old Grade Road / Rock Springs. International Trail is off Northside, when you get to the top of the mountain where all the trails split be sure to continue on Northside you’ll see International a few yards ahead.