Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm planning in doing Alpine Dam Loop this summer. It will be my first time, along with a few others first-timers. So i got a few questions. Any suggestions on clockwise or counter clockwise? Places to stop for food/lunch, or must stop places to check-out? Any other tips and advice you can offer for a better experience would be helpful. Thanks in advance.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts
If you are starting your ride from SF and riding over the bridge, I can't advise you on the approach. It's pretty common to start somewhere in Marin, like Ross or Fairfax, if you do the standard loop. I'd ride counter-clockwise, so I can move closer to traffic speed going downhill on the busier roads coming back into Mill Valley. Once you leave Fairfax & head up there's no water until you get to Pantoll, so fill up in town.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
389 Posts
I'd ride the loop in the clock-wise direction.

I've mapped it here -> Mt. Tamp Alpine Dam Loop

Bikely has some issues. The Elevation Profile seems to be OK but the elevations in the Que Sheet are bogus. I've made notes in the Ques about the true elevation of some critical points.

If you're starting from San Francisco, check out the map for the San Francisco to Hawk Hill ride -> San-Francisco to Hawk Hill and Marin Headlands Loop

That loop is a great little ride all in its self.

Cibo on Bridgeway in Sausalito is a good option for food. It's very bike friendly, has optional out door seating, an OK menu, and not too expensive. In general I don't recommend the places on Bridgeway because they're tourist traps but Cibo is an exception. Cibo of Sausalito

FWIW, the locals tend to eat at places one block west of Bridgeway (Caledonia St.).

There are lots of decent options in Mill Valley near the intersecton of Miller Ave and Throckmorton.

If you'd like to picnic, you can always pick up some thing at the counter in Mollie Stones Market,
Mollie Stones Market Sausalito

or Whole Foods in Mill Valley (on Miller Ave),
Whole Foods Market, Miller Avenue, Mill Valley
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks guys. ive done the hawk hill loop and paradise loop a few times already. i havent gone past corte madera in a while. i rode to fairfax once with a friend to go to a bakery, but that was it. ive heard great things about alpine dam loop thought i give it a try. thanks again
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
283 Posts
I'm planning in doing Alpine Dam Loop this summer. It will be my first time, along with a few others first-timers. So i got a few questions. Any suggestions on clockwise or counter clockwise? Places to stop for food/lunch, or must stop places to check-out? Any other tips and advice you can offer for a better experience would be helpful. Thanks in advance.
I don't know about most people, but the people I know call the Alpine loop the counter clockwise one. I call going clockwise "reverse." For this post, I'm calling starting in Fairfax and going counterclockwise to be the normal way, and starting in Mill Valley and going clockwise to be "reverse."

Having said that, IMO doing it reverse is DEFINITELY easier. if you are doing it the first time, go that way. The reason is that on the ridge between Mt Tam and BoFax you have the 7 sisters. They are uphill all the way if you go counterclockwise. The other climbs also seem steeper. Effectively, if you go cloclwise (reverse) you have 2 longer climbs. If you go counterclockwise, you have 2 steeper climbs and the 7 sisters.

The normal places to stop are at Pan Toll station (sort of top of the first climb and there are good restrooms there), at the dam, then in Fairfax. You won't really find food along the way, but I personally like fat angel bakery in Fairfax when the ordeal is done. Fat Angel Bakery
 

·
Ya, what ATP said...!
Joined
·
2,140 Posts
My Sunday group does this about every other month and we do it from clockwise. The reason is that we start in Fairfax and starting a climb on cold legs is no fun, so we ride to Mill Valley first and climb Marion to Panoramic to Pantole Ranger Station to Rock Springs then down Ridgecrest to Alpine and back. I'd say that climbing up Seven Sisters (Ridgecrest) going counter clockwise makes it a harder ride since it's steeper but it does make the best views of the ride last longer. You really can't go wrong in either direction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks again guys. i guess ill go clockwise the first time around. then we can stop at fat angel, i've been there once, pretty good stuff. now all i gotta do is write down the turn by turn so i dont get lost. :D

im excited!!!
 

·
Ya, what ATP said...!
Joined
·
2,140 Posts
Fogdweller, i assume Mill Valley is going to be the last stop for water before Pantoll? Any places you recd i stop at in Mill Valley?
Three that I can think of... HWY1 in Mill Valley has a 7-11 at the corner of Laurel Way if you want to buy a 1/2 liter before the climb.
https://maps.google.com/?ll=37.8790...xVe4hOTchfeh17bNg&cbp=11,265.68,,0,-4.85&z=20

Pantoll Campground has a drinking fountain in the parking lot. This is where you keep right and climb to Rock Springs/Ridgecrest:
https://maps.google.com/?ll=37.9044...=kl-P6MKB9zCrgq1D5l7fQQ&cbp=11,180.53,,0,4.04

There is also a 7-11 in Fairfax, Bolinas Road that you'll ride by if you stretch it that far or need more water for the trip back to the city.
https://maps.google.com/?ll=37.9846...=Ni_gmL5KI8DAImWntr_Udg&cbp=12,17.22,,0,-2.75

Have a great ride.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top