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The Gravity Car Barn on top of Mount Tamalpais/North Bay

Pros: A very cool interpretive exhibit
Cons: Where's the locomotive?
Best For: History buffs who like cliffside walks with vistas

Gravity Car Barn

A hundred years ago one could board an open air train and ride 8 miles, around 281 turns, arriving at the top of Mount Tamalpais. To the summit of East Peak at 2571 feet above sea level, local city dwellers and visitors from far away , came to experience the thrilling train ride on the "crookedest railroad in the world".

An afternoon of brisk mountain walks culminated in dinner at the Tavern of Tamalpais, right there below the peak. Then there was dancing in the pavilion and the Gravity Car ride back down the hill.

Unfortunately, two factors contributed to the demise of this charming railroad. First, a series of terrible fires, and ultimately, the rise of the automobile as the conveyance of choice. But in 2009 the Gravity Car Barn was inaugurated as a tribute to this piece of Mt Tam history. The exhibit, including a fascinating video is open to the public on weekends only.

Bring a picnic lunch, take a walk on the Vera Dunshee loop trail, and wish you could have come up the mountain in an open-air gravity car. Some very lucky folks between the years of 1896 and 1930, did just that.

Gravity Car Barn
East Peak, Mount Tamalpais
Directions: From SF take Golden Gate Bridge north and take exit for Route 1/Mill Valley/Stinson Beach
Stay on 1 until you turn right on Panoramic Highway
Turn right onto Ridgecrest and take it to the summit parking lot
Mount Tamalpais Interpretive Association website