West Point Inn Hikes ($100)

A 45-minute trek on relatively flat Easy Grade Trail to historic West Point Inn (above), which has been in operation since 1904 and was once served by the World's Crookedest Railroad. Here we'll relax on the the most awe-inspiring wrap-around porch in California (below), hear a tale or two from the innkeeper, marvel at photos from yesteryear in the inn's private parlor (we get the VIP treatment) and share some backpack snacks as we revel in the stunning view of  San Francisco Bay 1,500 feet below. Then it's on to the Verna Dunshee Trail -- an all-time favorite of photographers -- as we circumnavigate the Mount Tam's East Peak.

Distance: 4 or 7 miles (same price)

Rated: Easy to mildly strenuous


Redwood Hikes ($100)

Coastal redwood trees exist only in a few narrow bands on the planet, and none are more renowned than California's. Virtually all of the redwoods in the Bay Area were harvested in the mid-19th century to build booming San Francisco. But Mount Tam's second-growth redwoods, some aged 170 years, tower majestically above  the town of Stinson Beach and some of the most awe-inspiring trails you'll ever traverse. Don't forget that picture beside Mount Tam's signature waterfall ladder. This hike has it all -- deep woods immersion, sunny meadows and stunning natural rock formations as we climb and descend 1,500 feet above the Pacific and Bay.

Distance: 7.5 miles

Rated: Solid workout


Mount Tam Fire Lookout marin county fire

Peak Hikes ($150)

Standing 2,571 feet above the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, the east peak of Mount Tamalpais (above) isn't the most daunting summit hike in the Bay Area. But because Tam stands free of any local mountain range and rises on all sides from sea level, it ranks second in prominence (behind Mount Diablo) in the nine-county area. That, coupled with the lush natural resources of a fog-shrouded redwood microclimate, makes for some of the most spectacular hiking sight lines on the West Coast. The Peak Hike combines all the elements of the West Point and Redwood Hikes -- and then some. If you're ready to see all Mount Tam has to offer -- bottom to top -- this is your hike.

Distance: 10 or 14 miles (same price)

Rated: Strenuous in duration, but nicely graded without any steep sections


All prices include water supply & a boxed lunch. Backpack and hiking poles $10 each/$15 for both.

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"A rollicking tour-de-force of history, geography and belly laughs." -- SF Examiner (2018)

Bay Area adopted son John Muir said it best: "In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks." My job is simply to facilitate your full immersion in this extraordinary place: pointing out the coyote skulking through the trees; answer questions about the age of the trees or the earthquake fault line beneath our feet; or cracking a joke at the prospect of an uphill surge. And, of course, to find the best beer to celebrate our experience.

~ Brian Patrick Higgins

Here's to hops!

The best way to celebrate your day on the mountain? By sacrificing all those burnt calories to the beer gods! We'll put our heads together and figure out the idea post-hike watering hole for your group at one of the Hills & Hops-friendly brewpubs in Marin County. Loosen your boots and raise a toast to a day you and your colleagues or friends won't soon forget.