Marin County Hang Gliding Association (MCHGA)
Mt Tamalpais Site Description / Location
Mt. Tamalpais is one of the most scenic mountain sites in California. It has unobstructed panoramic views of the Pacific ocean, San Francisco, and the Bay and Delta waters. There are many popular hiking trails all around the mountain and Stinson Beach is below.
The Marin County Hang Gliding Association (MCHGA) maintains hang gliding and paragliding operations on the west side of Mt. Tamalpais. Mt. Tamalpais is located north of San Francisco between Mill Valley & Stinson Beach. See map and driving instructions, below. There are three launches facing south to northwest (~2000 ft. MSL). The landing zone is on the beach, near the north end of Stinson Beach. Check the Tide Table for high tides; especially during the winter & spring. The best season for Mt. Tam is during Winter & Spring as the storms bring instability for good soaring conditions. At times, conditions can become extreme. Once, we had a funnel cloud develop rapidly after what seemed to be good flying conditions.
In post-frontal conditions, the wind frequently turns to NW at Tam. Pilots should be aware that there is a persistent rotor that sets up at B Launch in NW winds. Please click here for more information about this rotor condition.
Landing Field Hazard/Obstacle: Normally, there is a 10 ft. high metal sign placed about 30 ft. from the alleyway in the middle of the beach. This is just beyond the (otherwise) most desireable spot to land. Be aware! This sign marks the boundary with the Seadrift private beach. Please land to the south of it.
A Hang III or P III (intermediate) rating is required to obtain a sticker to fly the site. P III pilots are also required to take a sponsored first flight. All pilots are required to pay a modest sticker fee, which goes to pay for insurance, State Park permit fees, the web site, the newsletter and general upkeep of stuff such as the wind-talker, sign-in box, first aid box, etc. MCHGA membership is optional and free to all "stickered" pilots. Check the "News and Newsletters" for the time and location of the next meeting. Refer to the "New / Visiting Pilots" page to obtain stickers.
|A Launch looking S to SF||B Launch at Mt. Tam|
|C Launch at Mt. Tam||LZ at Stinson Beach|
|Tam looking to SF||Rainbow at Stinson|
From Hwy 101 in Mill Valley, take the "Stinson Beach / Hwy 1" exit. Follow Shoreline Hwy and Hwy 1 about 1/2 mile to Tam Junction, where they will turn left at the traffic signal. Continue west on Hwy 1 for 2.7 miles. Then, look for the sign which directs you to turn right onto Panoramic Hwy for Mt Tam and Muir Woods. About 0.8 miles up Panoramic, you will come to a wide intersection shaped like a crooked pitchfork. Select the middle fork to continue across on Panoramic. Follow Panoramic for another 4.4 miles to its highest point. On your left, you will see the Pantoll Ranger Station, and on the right will be Pantoll Rd. Ahead of you, the highway will begin dropping down to Stinson Beach and the LZ. Pilots must sign in at the ranger station before flying.
To reach launch, take Pantoll Rd 1.4 miles to its end, at Rock Spring. Turn left onto W. Ridgecrest Blvd. From this point, "A" launch (not visible from the road) will be 0.4 miles up the road. "B" launch, which is plainly visible, right next to the road, is just 0.3 miles further. And "C" launch is 0.9 miles beyond that.
If you have a GPS, you can enter in the following coordinates:
|In degrees, minutes, seconds:||N 37° 54' 40.33"
W 122° 37' 27.94"
|In decimal degrees:||N 37.911203
Here is a MAP of the area.