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Upcoming adventure: Oh, the views from Mount Tamalpais

For spectacular views of the Bay Area and thePacific, there is no better time than fall. And a premierplace to enjoy these views is from the trails onMount Tamalpais. On Nov. 5, Wayne Luney of theMother Lode chapter of the Sierra Club is to lead avigorous, eight-mile trek to the top of "Mount Tam,"which tops out at 2,571 feet. The outing is free andopen to the public.

Luney's loop route will begin on the mountain atthe Pan Toll ranger station and ascend through thewoods and by the historic West Point Inn. (A story initself, this 1904 inn on the upper southern slope hasfive cabins that rent for $35 a night; the caveat is thatit's a two-mile walk-in, with shared facilities.)

Hikers can hope for a day clear enough to see beyondthe Marin County hills to the Farallon Islands,which are 25 miles west of the Golden Gate Bridge, aswell as the bay and Mount Diablo in Contra CostaCounty.

Those interested should meet Luney at 8 a.m. at11th and O streets in downtown Sacramento, or at8:30 a.m. at the Davis Park & Ride. Participants willneed to dress in layers for changeable weather andbring lunch, water and cash for carpool drivers. If itrains heavily, the outing iscanceled.

No reservations arenecessary, but more informationis available at (916)383-9393

On your own

You don't need an organized outing to enjoy Mount Tamalpais State Park. The 6,300-acre park has more than 50 miles of trails, several picnic areas and a visitors center at the summit (to which you can drive if hiking is not in your plans).

The park is north of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. From Highway 101 in Marin, take Highway 1 toward Stinson Beach and follow signs up the mountain.

For more information about the park:, go to Mount Tamalpais State Park.

Mount Tamalpais hike

When: Nov. 5

Meeting time and place: 8 a.m. at 11th and O streets in Sacramento, or at 8:30 a.m. at the Davis Park & Ride, near the Mace Boulevard exit.

Difficulty: Vigorous, eight-mile walk with 1,000-foot elevation gain

What to bring: Sunglasses, lunch, water, first-aid kit and cash for carpool

What to wear: Dress in layers for changeable weather and wear good hiking shoes or boots

Cost: Free (but chip in for the carpool)

Weather footnote: Heavy rain will cancel the outing

Information: (916) 383-9393 or e-mail