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Dad O’Roarke’s Bench

Length 0.6 miles • Climbing 30 feet
California > San Francisco Bay Area > Muir Woods and Mt Tam

View east from Dad O’Roarke’s bench

More of a brief stroll than a hike, this short trail offers some of the best ocean vistas on Mount Tamalpais. Dad O’Roarke’s bench is a stone structure in the shade of a large tree that overlooks the glittering Pacific Ocean, the Marin Headlands, San Francisco, and the San Francisco Bay. In the summertime the view may be hidden by a massive fog bank below you, which can also be pretty impressive.

View south from Dad O’Roarke’s bench

Hike description

Here’s the trailhead location in Google Maps and Google Street View.

Dad O’Roarke’s bench can be reached from the Rock Spring parking lot, but for a more scenic walk drive a half-mile west on Ridgecrest Blvd to the first pullout. An unmarked trail leads past a picnic area and makes its way to a tree-capped little knoll which was formerly a hang glider launching point. Before you get to the knoll, look for a much fainter trail that branches off to the left. Follow this faint trail over a grassy hillside to Dad O’Roarke’s bench.

The hillside below the bench is crisscrossed by a network of unofficial trails, many of which lead to picnic spots.

Click map to show all trails and roads
Part of the Bay Area Trail Map: Mount Tamalpais (Redwood Hikes Press, 2017)

Summer fog, Dad O’Roarke’s bench



© 2006, 2016 David Baselt