10 Best Hikes in Marin County

10 Best Hikes in Marin County

  • Radhi Ahern & Scott Kalmbach
  • 07/21/21

10 Best Hikes in Marin:

One of the most unique parts of living in Marin County is the ability to go on incredible outdoor adventures right in your own neighborhood. The top 10 hikes in Marin each have their own incredible views along pristinely maintained trails. Check out our top picks below: 

  1. Cataract Falls: Located near Fairfax, the Cataract Falls trail is a beautiful 7.7-mile loop through the Mt. Tamalpais Watershed. With waterfalls and incredible wildlife, you’ll forget that you’re still in The Bay Area. There is no better way to unwind on a beautiful weekend than to sit and listen to the sound of rushing water along Cataract Creek. Bring your kids for a waterside picnic or the family dog for a beautiful nature walk.

  2. Tennessee Valley: Tennessee Valley is a must-see on any day rain or shine. Part of the Marin Headlands, Tennessee Valley has a plethora of trails of all different lengths and difficulties so you can go for a fun bike ride with the family or a more intense mountain bike excursion with friends. The views of the Valley are breathtaking and all trails lead to an unobstructed view of the Pacific Ocean. Pack a picnic and find the right trail for you; there’s no way to go wrong.

  3. Phoenix Lake: The Phoenix Lake trail is the perfect place for a walk before brunch with friends or a morning run with the dog. Located on the Mt. Tamalpais watershed, Phoenix Lake is an ideal location for calm water views and beautiful foliage. For any history buffs out there, check out the historic lakeside log cabin along the trail built in 1894! Plus what better way to finish off a day of hiking than by taking a short drive to Comfort’s in San Anselmo for their famous Chinese Chicken Salad.

  4. Ring Mountain: Located between Tiburon and Corte Madera, Ring Mountain offers breathtaking 360º views of the Bay Area. If you’re lucky enough to call either of these beautiful Marin towns your home, Ring Mountain might be accessible from your very own backyard! But if not, there’s still plenty of ways to access the incredible views. Head to the end of Taylor Ridge Road to check out remnants from the Cold War military installation, or to the Phyllis Ellman Loop Trail for a beautiful walk through the wildflowers. No matter where you end up, you will be struck by the beauty of the vast bodies of surrounding Marin and San Francisco.

  5. Muir Woods: Muir Woods has been protected as a national monument since 1908 for good reason. The vast woods are home to countless California Redwoods, many of which are over 100 years old. You’ll want to plan your weekend trip in advance to beat the crowds of people vying for a peek at the prehistoric-looking trees and foliage expanding over 550 acres. 

  6. Rodeo Beach Coastal Trail: A favorite of surfers and hikers alike, Rodeo Beach is the perfect beach to visit on a hot day or a cool afternoon at sunset. The sound of crashing waves along the California Coast creates the perfect ambiance as you walk along with countless perfect photo opportunities. 

  7. Bolinas Ridge Trail: Both the Bolinas Ridge Trail and the drive to access it are enough to take your breath away. The area feels like a portal to another world, which cannot be done justice with words. You feel as though you’re on the edge of the world itself as you stand above the clouds and look out at the Pacific Ocean. See the Bay Bridge, The Golden Gate, and all of San Francisco from vast rolling hills like you’ve never seen. You will often find yourself alone on the spacious hillsides which give the feeling that you’re the only person in the world. The area offers a truly unparalleled experience of nature. 

  8. Dipsea Trail: The Dipsea trail is a fan favorite along the Stinson Beach coastline weaving through Mt. Tamalpais. The 9.7-mile trail features an incredible array of different views from the Pacific Ocean to the depths of the Mt. Tamalpais forest. Head to the Matt Davis Steep Ravine to climb over a beautiful waterfall, and take the perfect Instagram photo. The sounds of birds and wildlife along with the crashing of waterfalls make for the perfect weekend getaway from home. 

  9. Tomales Point Trail: This 9.4-mile trail is well worth the long walk. As you pass through the Tule Elk Reserve, you’ll feel as though you entered a portal to the European countryside. At the end of the trail you’ll find incredible views of the ocean, as you will come to expect in Marin.

  10.  Bootjack Trail: This 6.3 mile Mt. Tamalpais trail is perfect for all you nature lovers looking for a day in the wilderness. The trail branches off to the Muir Woods Monument, and is itself home to many larger-than-life California Redwoods. The trail also features the Bootjack campground if you’re looking to plan a breathtaking staycation.

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