Results 1 to 13 of 13
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    115

    Alpine Dam Loop from SF

    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.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    501
    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.
    Halt! Do not post all threads in the General Forum. Please post in the correct specific forum.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    338
    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
    Last edited by slow.climber; 04-26-2013 at 11:40 PM.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    115
    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

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    300
    Quote Originally Posted by philipw33 View Post
    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

  6. #6
    Ya, what ATP said...!
    Reputation: Fogdweller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,194
    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.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    338
    I'm glad that I'm not the only one who thinks it's much easier in the clockwise direction.

    I sort of didn't want to bring it up. Figured it was just me being an old fart.

  8. #8
    Ya, what ATP said...!
    Reputation: Fogdweller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,194
    Quote Originally Posted by slow.climber View Post
    I sort of didn't want to bring it up. Figured it was just me being an old fart.
    The sisters are steep... and besides, my Sunday crew is known as the FOG (Fat, Old Guys). You're not alone, my friend...

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    115
    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.

    im excited!!!

  10. #10
    Ya, what ATP said...!
    Reputation: Fogdweller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,194
    Quote Originally Posted by philipw33 View Post
    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.
    Fat Angel is the former pastry chef from the Bovine Bakery in Pt Reyes Station, another favorite destination for cyclists. You pick your spots well!!

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    115
    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?

  12. #12
    Ya, what ATP said...!
    Reputation: Fogdweller's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,194
    Quote Originally Posted by philipw33 View Post
    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=37.87905...,,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=37.90440...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=37.98462...17.22,,0,-2.75

    Have a great ride.

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    115
    Just did Alpine Dam this past Sunday.

    Thanks everyone for all your help.

    Here's my blog:
    Never-ending mile

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 09-28-2012, 10:23 AM
  2. Soon, Alpine Loop Gran Fondo bound!
    By champamoore in forum General Cycling Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-17-2012, 08:11 AM
  3. Anybody else doing Jeremiah Bishop's Alpine Loop Gran Fondo?
    By champamoore in forum Endurance Riding
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-10-2012, 06:39 AM
  4. Alpine Loop- Utah Valley Ut
    By altamira47 in forum Rocky Mountain
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-01-2012, 03:40 PM
  5. Alpine Loop, southwest Colorado, lots of dirt, not so much air
    By Pablo in forum Commuting, Touring and Ride Reports
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 09-05-2008, 05:24 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Sea Otter Classic

Hot Deals

Contest


Latest RoadBike Articles


Latest Videos

RoadbikeReview on Facebook