This hike is 10.2 miles and 1300 feet elevation gain. Yes, Dogs are allowed on this hike, but make sure they are decent hikers and can put in 10 miles.
We will stop for a brief snack along the trail, with plans for a late lunch back at the picnic area after the hike. Bring something to pass around to share at lunch - though this isn't a formal potluck.
The trail is a mix. It starts out flat along a mixed use (bikes, hiking, campers) path along Lagunitas Creek in Samuel P Taylor Park for a few miles. At the end of this stretch, we cross the river, and can spend a few minutes cooling the dogs in the creek.
The trail then climbs 1,300 feet along a shady and lush rough fire road for a couple miles up to Bolinas Ridge. As we approach the top, there is a trough for wetting those panting dog mouths. This is the last access to dog water - and even though most of the remaining trail is level or downhill, there are still miles to go - please make sure you bring plenty of water for your pup.
We hit the top of the ridge, then slowly trek off for 4 miles, taking in views of Pt. Reyes, Mt. Wittenburg, and Tomalas Bay. Further down the ridge you can see Barnabe Peak, as well as Big Rock Ridge in the distance.
Towards the end of the ridge, we drop down to the Cross-Marin trail, paved along this stretch as we head the remaining route back to our trail head at the campground / picnic area.
There is an $8 entrance fee for this park.
Enter the park and immediately after the kiosk where you pay look for parking by the restrooms on your left.
• Please read and be familiar with the guidelines of the group as listed below. It’s important before you come on a Wanderer hike that you agree and are prepared with the following.:
• Please always check your email the night before just in case there are any necessary adjustments or cancellations. This is especially important if there are any weather issues. Cancellations due to weather will be posted by 10pm the previous evening.
• We combine enjoyment of the trail with respect for everyone’s time. A steady pace and we just keep going! If you are a fast hiker, you will be asked to periodically wait for the group. If you are finding that you are lagging behind, you will be asked to focus your energy on keeping up the best you can ...forgoing picture taking, dancing and scat identification. We also move along as soon as all lagging members are in close visual sight. Please make sure this is something you will enjoy!
• Give yourself time to find the trail head or car pool meeting spot so that you arrive prior to the scheduled time. That is the time we leave. It would be disappointing to miss due to late arrival. We leave the car pool sites on time and we START hiking at the starting time!!!
• Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good rugged soles that are well broken in.
• Duration: 4-5 hours, plus picnic time afterward
• Facilities: Yes...at the trail head
• Dogs?: allowed
• Bring plenty of water. More than one bottle is usually a good idea.
• Dress in layers. The hike starts off cool but rapidly warms up - but coastal fog can blow in and make things chilly. Make sure your hiking boots, shoes are good for your feet.
• Bring a snack for the trail and beverages or other items to share for later if you plan to stick around the picnic area for lunch with us after the hike.
• RSVP etiquette must be followed. Only RSVP when you can commit to attend. Once you have RSVP'd if you have an emergency that means you have to cancel please change your RSVP by 5pm the prior day. This will avoid a "no-show" reflecting on your participation history. Over 3 "no-shows" might mean we have to excuse you from the group. We try very hard to respect each other in this group.
• Bring your smile and great attitude! We are ALL about trail enjoyment while respecting everyone’s time!
• Car pool etiquette - First and foremost....come prepared to drive. Yes.....we know.....a lot of you are trying to car pool because you don't want to or can't drive for whatever reason. I don't want you to be disappointed, so if you can't drive please be aware that you might not be able to join the hike. There is always that risk if you are counting on others to be your transportation. There may be no others wanting to car pool from your selected location or there might be a lot of people and everyone might want to ride. You might arrive late, be in the wrong spot or get stopped by a swarm of your paparazzi...come prepared to drive to the trail head if you want to hike! If we have a gang wanting to ride we determine who gets the rider seats by who has most recently been a driver in the past. This is worked out based by who shows up at the car pool location. We can't guarantee anyone a seat because we never know until that day who will show up. We do our best to work it out and make everyone happy but we need everyone to pitch in and help make it work!
• General rule of thumb for riders...$5 one hour or less to trailhead $8 over one hour to trailhead Please insist your driver accept the money. It's to cover more than gas money...it's the wear and tear on the vehicle. We like to take care of our drivers!
• PLEASE if possible try to use the locations below. The more locations we have the less effective we are and it's so much more complicated. Exceptions would be if you are not close to either location.
Car pool locations:
SANTA ROSA: Coddingtown Mall parking lot in front of the Coddingtown library to leave by 8:30
PETALUMA-Lucky at the intersection of Lakeville and Caulfield Ln. Park closest to Payran St. suggested leave by 8:45
WINDSOR:Safeway lot across from (the now closed) Dennys, depart 8:20