Decided to take a run at the Marin High 5 route yesterday. This aesthetic point-to-point route links up the 5 highest points in Marin country while circumnavigating the Mt Tam watershed. Its a great local route for those who enjoy bagging high points swiftly by foot :)
This was my first time on many of these trails, much time was lost double checking maps along the way, but the route finding is easy going.
Started at ~4:50 am from the Depot in Mill Valley. Made it to the East Peak of Tam in ~1 h, with great views of the bay area lights twinkling below. Continued to bag the Middle Peak, but then was not able to get up the East Peak as the road is closed with no trespassing signage (see picture above). I was tempted to go anyway, but as this is a public route, decided it was best to obey park rules. This variation to the original route cuts off ~0.8 miles with a couple hundred feet of gain/loss. Not sure when this closure was put into effect, as the last report was in 2018.
From there, made my way down Bolinas Ridge to enjoy the sunrise. This section ends on a few miles of single track before ultimately joining the Bolinas Ridge Trail, where you'll be on jeep roads for the rest of the run. Heading around Kent Lake, there are a few stream crossing that could be potential water sources for an unsupported effort (depending on time of year) - this the only section where I saw natural waters sources on route.
The last few climbs up Pine Mountain, Loma Alta, and Big Rock Ridge are relatively short and the descents lend themselves to running at a good clip. Great views looking back at Tam from each.
This was a supported effort, as my lovely crew (thanks Celia!) provided water at miles 20 and 35. I was joined by a good friend Ian for the last 10 or so miles.
Ended at the stop sign at Nave and Alameda del Prado - 10:20:06. Kudos to those who put up the original route (and a stout time) - it should be a bay area classic.
This route can easily go faster - get after it!