(Phoenix Lake- Shaver Grade- Connector- Bald Hill- Yolanda- Phoenix Lake)
I miss this trail. This was one of my first trail runs with Tamalpa... my introduction to trail running. (Fx: sighs nostalgically)
This trail starts from the Natalie Coffin Greene parking lot, like Bon Tempe, which means that your mileage will be adjusted accordingly depending on where you find parking. Today I ran at noon, which meant I actually found parking in the Natalie Coffin Green parking lot, but be prepared to add anywhere from half a mile to almost two miles more, depending if you park at the tennis courts or back at Ross Commons.
This trail starts out like the Bon Tempe trail-- I ran on the Phoenix Lake trail until the intersection of several trails, at which point I headed up Shaver Grade again. When I got to Five Points (six, actually), I took the short connector just to the right of Shaver Grade. It heads straight up, but it's very short.
Note: According to the sign, Shaver Grade will be undergoing some renovations starting in July of this year, so if you want to take this trail after July, bring a map of the area and be prepared to adjust your plans.
Once up the connector, the trail runs along a flat section for about half a mile before ending up at Six Points. From here, it's possible to add some more running (and some very steep hills) to run up to the top of Mt. Baldy and then down Worn Springs. I will do this run some day, but today I just took Yolanda in the the Phoenix Lake direction. This trail reminds me a lot of Santa Barbara--dry hillside with varying chaparral and oak trees, while running somewhat technical single track.
After a quick descent with some switchbacks, Yolanda ends up back on the Phoenix Lake trail, and then back to the parking lot. A good midweek run, some hills and, as always in Marin, beautiful scenery.
You can bring your dog on this trail, but they have to be on leash. However, during the week there aren't a lot of people past Phoenix Lake... I'm just saying. You DO need to make sure you have your dog on a leash during the weekends though--this is one of the most popular areas for hiking in Marin.