Directions and Parking Information

Shuttle, Hike, Bike, or Drive!

Cushing Memorial Amphitheatre (named after historic Mt. Tam railroad owner Sydney B. Cushing) is situated on the southeast side of Mt Tamalpais State Park. Find directions for each of the different ways to arrive below. 

Parking is very limited on the mountain. Therefore, we encourage you to try other forms of transportation. By doing this you also help reduce vehicle impact on the fragile ecology. We suggest to hike, bike, or take our shuttle – the Mountain Play Express! The round trip cost to take the shuttle from Mill Valley is $5 per person. You can pay the driver as you board the shuttle.

Parking lots closest to the theater are reserved for members, patrons with disabilities (who have reserved through the Mountain Play office), volunteers, and bus arrival and departure. Otherwise, to Reserve Parking at the Air Force Lot 1 mile past the amphitheatre, CLICK HERE

Standing Ovation for Oliver

Shuttle riders enjoying the drive

Many people take advantage of the more ecologically friendly mode of Mountain Play transportation. Arrive in style aboard one of our festive yellow buses, which we affectionately call the Mountain Play Express.  There is a $5 fee for the morning arrival shuttle.

In the morning, express shuttles leave continuously from 10:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. from two locations in Mill Valley. Parking is free at both pick up locations.

1. Manzanita Parking Lot, opposite the Buckeye Restaurant. It’s located at the junction of Highway 101 and Highway 1. Click HERE for directions in Google Maps

2. Tamalpais High School, opposite the Safeway on Miller Avenue. Click HERE for directions in Google Maps

There is no security at these lots and the Manzanita lot can be subject to flooding. You can check the expected tides HERE. Patrons park at their own risk. Vehicles cannot be parked at either of these lots for more than 24 hours. Vehicles may be ticketed & towed by law enforcement for not obeying traffic laws. This includes parking restrictions, such as no parking along red zones or at no parking signs, or blocking transit or other vehicles.

Note: Shuttles do not make stops between the amphitheatre and shuttle parking lots.

Mountain Play hikers heading home after the show.

Patrons who want to take the scenic route to or from the theatre, hiking is a beautiful option. And there are several to choose from! Click HERE for trail head directions. For more information regarding each of the hikes, as well as a weather check on Mt. Tam, visit the Friends of Mt Tam website.

The most traditional hike is from the Mill Valley Depot. It’s 7 miles and can take 3-4 hours up and 2-2 1/2 hours going down. Please wear appropriate clothing and bring plenty of water.

We encourage you to research the route on your own beforehand and buy a map of the mountain. A great map to use is “Trails of Mount Tamalpais and the Marin Headlands“, available at REI online and in Corte Madera. 

HIKE DOWN UPDATE: 

HOORAY! We will be continuing our longstanding tradition to offer hike down belonging shuttles! This means that after the show, if you would like to hike down the mountain, we will bus your belongings down! After your hike, pick up your things in Mill Valley, and then we’ll shuttle you back to your cars.

2019 Hike Directions

If you take the shuttles up the mountain, you don’t have to wait in line to go back to Mill Valley. Leave all of your belongings at the bottom right of the amphitheatre, where we will load them into a van and shuttle everything down for you. Then start your hike down from the upper corner of the theatre towards the West Point Inn and down to Mill Valley. There, your stuff will be waiting for you. Hop onto a Mountain Play shuttle to take you to whichever parking lot you started your day from. The hike down can take 2-2.5 hours depending on how fast you walk. Best Part: you’ll see some beautiful sights and take part of one of the oldest traditions in Mountain Play history! 

2019 Hike Down Map

Arriving bikers satisfied at having made the long trek up the mountain(The following is excerpted from “Hiking, Biking, and More in Mount Tamalpais State Park,” by Christopher Arns, and Elizabeth Linhart Veneman, author of Moon Northern California)

To bike up to the peak of Mount Tam is a mark of local cyclists’ strength and endurance. Rather than driving up to the East Peak or the Mountain Home Inn, sturdy cyclists pedal up the paved road to the East Peak. It’s a long hard ride, but for an experienced cyclist the challenge and the views make it more than worthwhile. Just take care, since this road is open to cars, many of which may not realize that bikers frequent the area.

For mountain bikers, a hard but satisfying trip up the mountain begins at Phoenix Lake (Lagunitas Rd.,) in Ross. From here you take the Eldridge Grade Fire Road (15.8 miles, strenuous) all the way to East Peak. The scenery is as beautiful as the ride is challenging and technical.

To make the trip into a loop, turn onto paved Ridgecrest Boulevard for a little over four miles. On the right is the Rock Springs Lagunitas Fire Road. Take it all the way back to the trailhead. To reach the peak when you are already up on the mountain, consider parking at the Pantoll Ranger Station and taking Old Stage Grade, then a sharp right on Old Railroad Grade Fire Road to East Peak (6 miles, moderate).

Make the ride into a longer loop by jumping on Eldridge Grade at East Peak, taking it to Wheeler Trail (where you will have to walk your bike a short distance), and then turning right on E-Koo Fire Road. After a couple of miles it will intersect with Old Railroad Grade (stay right), which will then meet Old Stage Grade. Turn left and head down to the trailhead.

Bikers: Stay Safe! Make sure to review right of way with cars, pedestrians, horses, dogs, and other bicyclists. 

There are racks behind the food booths for you to lock your bikes up to. Racks are provided by Mike’s Bikes!

Drivers keep their eyes on the road while the passengers can enjoy the views.

Parking on Mount Tamalpais is extremely limited. We provide Reserved Parking at the Air Force Parking lot for $15/car. This can be purchased online if you CLICK HERE – make sure you elect the correct number of parking tickets. 

Google Map directions to Air Force Base Parking Lot.

  • Take the exit for Route 1 / Stinson Beach and follow signs for Route 1.
  • When you reach Tam Junction in Mill Valley, turn left on Route 1 toward Mount Tamalpais.
  • Go 2.6 miles and make a right onto Panoramic Hwy. Follow signs toward Mount Tamalpais and Muir Woods.
  • Proceed straight on Panoramic Hwy. through the four-way intersection at the top of the hill.
  • Go past the Mountain Home Inn on the right, and the Bootjack Parking Lot on your right. About a half mile past  Bootjack you will see the Pantoll Ranger Station on your left. Turn right and enter Mount Tamalpais State Park.
  • Drive 1.4 miles, turn right at the Rock Spring Parking Lot.
  • The entrance of the Cushing Memorial Amphiteatre is .1 miles
  • If you have a reservation at the Air Force Lot continue past the theatre entrance and there will be signs and volunteers to direct you
  • Exit at Tiburon Blvd. / East Blithedale Rd., turn right.
  • Turn left on Camino Alto Rd.
  • Turn right on Miller Rd.
  • Turn left on Montford. This is a four-way stop and you’ll see the 2AM Club on the left.
  • Go right at the fork at Linden.
  • Keep going uphill and veer right at the fork onto Molino.
  • Go straight when the road turns into Edgewood.
  • Keep going uphill and go straight when the road turns into Sequoia.
  • Turn right on Panoramic Highway when you reach the four-way stop at the crest of the hill. You’ll see our our billboard on your right!
  • Go past the Mountain Home Inn on the right, and the Bootjack Parking Lot on your right. About a half mile past Bootjack lot you will see the Pantoll Ranger Station on your left. Turn right and enter Mount Tamalpais State Park.
  • Drive 1.4 miles, turn right at the Rock Spring Parking Lot.
  • The entrance of the Cushing Memorial Amphiteatre is .1 miles

If you have a reservation at the Air Force Lot continue past the theatre entrance and there will be signs and volunteers to direct you.

Volunteers greet everyone who disembarks our shuttles

Mountain Play Shuttle Express to and from Mill Valley

Many people take advantage of the more ecologically friendly mode of Mountain Play transportation. Arrive in style aboard one of our festive yellow buses, which we affectionately call the Mountain Play Express.  There is a $5 fee for the morning arrival shuttle.

In the morning, express shuttles leave continuously from 10:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. from two locations in Mill Valley. Parking is free at both pick up locations.

1. Manzanita Parking Lot, opposite the Buckeye Restaurant. It’s located at the junction of Highway 101 and Highway 1. Click HERE for directions in Google Maps

2. Tamalpais High School, opposite the Safeway on Miller Avenue. Click HERE for directions in Google Maps

There is no security at these lots and the Manzanita lot can be subject to flooding. You can check the expected tides HERE. Patrons park at their own risk. Vehicles cannot be parked at either of these lots for more than 24 hours. Vehicles may be ticketed & towed by law enforcement for not obeying traffic laws. This includes parking restrictions, such as no parking along red zones or at no parking signs, or blocking transit or other vehicles.

Note: Shuttles do not make stops between the amphitheatre and shuttle parking lots.

Hikers entering the amphitheatre can refresh at any of the water fountains

Go Traditional – Hike or Bike

Patrons who want to take the scenic route to or from the theatre, hiking is a beautiful option. And there are several to choose from! Click HERE for trail head directions. For more information regarding each of the hikes, as well as a weather check on Mt. Tam, visit the Friends of Mt Tam website.

The most traditional hike is from the Mill Valley Depot. It’s 7 miles and can take 3-4 hours up and 2-2 1/2 hours going down. Please wear appropriate clothing and bring plenty of water.

We encourage you to research the route on your own beforehand and buy a map of the mountain. A great map to use is “Trails of Mount Tamalpais and the Marin Headlands“, available at REI online and in Corte Madera. 

HIKE DOWN UPDATE: 

HOORAY! We will be continuing our longstanding tradition to offer hike down belonging shuttles! This means that after the show, if you would like to hike down the mountain, we will bus your belongings down! After your hike, pick up your things in Mill Valley, and then we’ll shuttle you back to your cars.

2019 Hike Directions

If you take the shuttles up the mountain, you don’t have to wait in line to go back to Mill Valley. Leave all of your belongings at the bottom right of the amphitheatre, where we will load them into a van and shuttle everything down for you. Then start your hike down from the upper corner of the theatre towards the West Point Inn and down to Mill Valley. There, your stuff will be waiting for you. Hop onto a Mountain Play shuttle to take you to whichever parking lot you started your day from. The hike down can take 2-2.5 hours depending on how fast you walk. Best Part: you’ll see some beautiful sights and take part of one of the oldest traditions in Mountain Play history! 

 

2019 Hike Down Map

Click Here to Reserve Parking at the Air Force Lot

Driving Yourself

Parking on Mount Tamalpais is extremely limited. We provide Reserved Parking at the Air Force Parking lot for $15/car. This can be purchased online if you CLICK HERE – make sure you elect the correct number of parking tickets. 

Google Map directions to Air Force Base Parking Lot.

 

  • Take the exit for Route 1 / Stinson Beach and follow signs for Route 1.
  • When you reach Tam Junction in Mill Valley, turn left on Route 1 toward Mount Tamalpais.
  • Go 2.6 miles and make a right onto Panoramic Hwy. Follow signs toward Mount Tamalpais and Muir Woods.
  • Proceed straight on Panoramic Hwy. through the four-way intersection at the top of the hill.
  • Go past the Mountain Home Inn on the right, and the Bootjack Parking Lot on your right. About a half mile past  Bootjack you will see the Pantoll Ranger Station on your left. Turn right and enter Mount Tamalpais State Park.
  • Drive 1.4 miles, turn right at the Rock Spring Parking Lot.
  • The entrance of the Cushing Memorial Amphiteatre is .1 miles
  • If you have a reservation at the Air Force Lot continue past the theatre entrance and there will be signs and volunteers to direct you
  • Exit at Tiburon Blvd. / East Blithedale Rd., turn right.
  • Turn left on Camino Alto Rd.
  • Turn right on Miller Rd.
  • Turn left on Montford. This is a four-way stop and you’ll see the 2AM Club on the left.
  • Go right at the fork at Linden.
  • Keep going uphill and veer right at the fork onto Molino.
  • Go straight when the road turns into Edgewood.
  • Keep going uphill and go straight when the road turns into Sequoia.
  • Turn right on Panoramic Highway when you reach the four-way stop at the crest of the hill. You’ll see our our billboard on your right!
  • Go past the Mountain Home Inn on the right, and the Bootjack Parking Lot on your right. About a half mile past Bootjack lot you will see the Pantoll Ranger Station on your left. Turn right and enter Mount Tamalpais State Park.
  • Drive 1.4 miles, turn right at the Rock Spring Parking Lot.
  • The entrance of the Cushing Memorial Amphiteatre is .1 miles
  • If you have a reservation at the Air Force Lot continue past the theatre entrance and there will be signs and volunteers to direct you.